Uganda

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 (AHB or the bill) was controversial right from the time of its inception. Its tabling in Uganda’s parliament in October 2009 was greatly welcomed by some religious leaders and sections of the population, while at the same time, it was vehemently opposed by some human rights organisations in Uganda and abroad. Foreign governments including the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden among others also weighed in threatening to suspend aid to Uganda if the bill was passed into law. The provisions of the bill posed a threat to the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons in Uganda regardless of their sexual orientation, but far more so for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons.

Partners

This case study was a product of collaboration between IDS and Adrian Jjuuko of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, Uganda.

Case study

This case study analysed the implications of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill on Uganda’s legal system. This paper was therefore part of HRAPF’s broad legal advocacy strategy to have unfair laws which discriminate against LGBTI persons and other sexual minorities removed from the law books so that all persons can enjoy equality before and under the law that is espoused by Article 21 of the Constitution.  

Methodology

The paper discussed the contents of the AHB and traced its background as well as its current status. It also analysed the legal issues that are likely to arise if it ever becomes law, discussed the legal issues that are already arising with the bill whilst it remains only a bill, and finally discussed some of the positive aspects of the bill.

Case Study: The legal status of the Anti Homosexuality Bill in Uganda

  • The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda contains a number of provisions that, for legal reasons, are nearly impossible to implement. Two examples include:
    1. The difficulty of collecting evidence as there is no 'complainant' for sex between consenting adults;
    2. The punishment is 'disproportionate' under criminal law as there is no vicitm of the 'crime' of homosexuality between consenting adults.