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Friday, June 9, 2023

Ugandan President to Sign Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

The African leaders have been urged by Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, to reject the promotion of homosexuality. He has indicated that he intends to sign into law the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill recently passed by parliament.

The bill imposes harsh penalties, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” and life imprisonment for “recruitment, promotion, and funding” of same-sex “activities.”

This bill has faced widespread international criticism, with the UN high commissioner for human rights urging the president not to sign it. Museveni believes that homosexuality is a danger to the procreation of the human race and that Africa should take the lead in saving the world from this “dangerous” decadence.

He said: “Africa should provide the lead to save the world from this degeneration and decadence, which is really very dangerous for humanity. If people of opposite sex [sic] stop appreciating one another then how will the human race be propagated?”

The conference was hosted online by the US-based Family Watch International, defined as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Museveni praised the Ugandan MPs for passing the anti-gay bill and vowed never to tolerate the promotion and publicisation of homosexuality in Uganda.

To protect their safety, a Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist attended a recent conference on Zoom using a pseudonym. The conference aimed to establish an African strategy against homosexuality and urged African countries to reject American influence, including on LGBTQ+ issues.

The Uganda government promoted the conference and tweeted quotes from Kenyan MP George Peter Kaluma, who equated same-sex relationships with wiping out humanity. According to Ugandan human rights lawyer Nicolas Opiyo, the current wave of homophobia and transphobia in the region is driven by American evangelicals using local proxies to impose their worldview on African societies.

The conference, which took place last Friday and Saturday, brought together delegates from 22 African countries, including MPs and representatives from various organizations. It was aimed at formulating an African-wide approach to combat what it called the promotion of homosexuality. The conference specifically called on Zambia, Tanzania, and Ghana to reject American influence, following the recent visit by US Vice President Kamala Harris to those countries.

Despite international criticism, the Ugandan government has pushed forward with its controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which was passed by parliament last month. The bill imposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and life imprisonment for “recruitment, promotion, and funding” of same-sex “activities”. The UN high commissioner for human rights has called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni not to sign the bill into law.

However, according to a Ugandan human rights lawyer, the anti-LGBTQ+ campaign in Uganda and the region has nothing to do with African values but is driven by American evangelicals using local proxies to impose their worldview on African societies. He argues that claims about African family values are nothing but a dog whistle, and an imposition of a narrow Christian worldview on all Africans. The Ugandan gay community continues to be a target of misinformation, hate, and culture wars.

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