Many in the Uganda LGBTQ Community are fleeing this East African Country; tourists are afraid to visit the Pearl of Africa after 78-year-old President Yoweri Museveni signed the harshest anti-homosexuality law in the world with a golden pen today. The president of the country, however, is a proud man because he defied pressure from what he calls “imperialistic” Western Countries and even the Vatican.
Foreign investments, foreign aid will punish not only those who supported this law, but Uganda’s economy will suffer All evidence shows it will drive investment away from the country.
The law includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”
Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, as they are in more than 30 African countries. The new law in addition also targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and requires “reporting.”
Theoretically, anyone could be arrested on a “suspicion only, putting not locals, rivals, but also travelers at risk.
The maximum penalty is death in Mauritania, Somalia, and Nigeria in states where Sharia law is applied – and now also Uganda.
Life imprisonment is the maximum penalty for same-sex relations in Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. Jail terms of up to 14 years are possible in Gambia, Kenya, and Malawi.
In 2017, Chad criminalized same-sex acts in what the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) called “a worrying example of legal regression in the region.”
A draft bill to toughen strict laws against same-sex relations in Senegal was thrown out in January last year before being put to a vote because existing legislation was deemed sufficiently clear and the resultant penalties severe enough.
Although homosexuality is not a crime in Egypt, discrimination against the LGBTQ community is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and charged with debauchery, immorality, or blasphemy.
Ivory Coast does not criminalize gay sex, but there have been recorded cases of detention and prosecution.
Tanzania has banned the provision of condoms and lubricants to LGBTQ health clinics and, since 2018, increased the use of forced anal examinations.
Sodomy convictions in Tunisia have reportedly been on the rise.
Broad protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation exists in three countries: Angola, Mauritius, and South Africa. Employment protection exists in the same three countries plus Botswana, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Seychelles.
South Africa is the only African country where gay marriage is legal.
The new law in Uganda imposes capital punishment for some behavior, including having gay sex when HIV-positive, and stipulates a 20-year sentence for “promoting” homosexuality.
Human rights leaders in Uganda say: “It’s a very dark and sad day for the LGBTQ community, our allies, and all of Uganda.”
Activists have vowed a legal challenge to the law.
Uganda receives billions of dollars in foreign aid each year and could face another round of sanctions.
Besides the United States, most European Countries and even Google condemned the legislation after its original passage in March.
“With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues, the Members of Parliament, for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country,” the Speaker of the Uganda Parliament, Anita Among, said.
Uganda’s LGBTQ community is afraid: many have closed down social media accounts and fled homes for safe houses.
The World Tourism Network immediately commented:
“No country has the right to violate human rights, including the life of its people. 10% of all people in Uganda are terrified to be part of the LGBTQ community. Shame on the President of Uganda and those that voted for this so-called law.
We highly respect the good people of Uganda and support the LGBTQ community there. No decent human being would want to support such discrimination.”
Safety and Security for Travelers to Uganda
eTurboNews will continue to warn readers, specifically members and friends of the LGBTQ community, to use extreme caution when traveling to Uganda.
This is a major ramping up of anti-gay laws into unchartered areas.
Uganda’s economy will suffer All evidence shows it will drive investment away from the country. Which multi National CEO would ask employees to go and work there, an investment expert told eTurboNews.