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Uganda Plans To Introduce Death Penalty For Homosexuality

Uganda Plans To Introduce Death Penalty For Homosexuality

It could be brought in within a matter of weeks

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

The Ugandan government has announced plans for a bill that would mean people convicted of being homosexual would be sentenced to death.

It's already a crime to be gay in the country, but the new legislation is being brought in to stop the rise of what a government official says is 'not natural to Ugandans'. It's said that the law may be brought in within a matter of weeks.

The bill, which is known as 'Kill the Gays' in the country, was first introduced to the east African nation five years ago, but was revoked on a technicality. The general method of execution for civilians in the country is hanging.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni supports the bill.

Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation: "Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that.

"Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence."

Homosexuality is already punishable by death in a handful of African countries, including Sudan and parts of Nigeria, although it's a taboo subject all across the continent.

It comes after the government in Brunei announced the death penalty for homosexuality in the country earlier this year, before backtracking on its decision after widespread international backlash.

The leader of the south-east Asian country, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, announced the government would delay the introduction of the death penalty for homosexuality.

Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah is the current Prime Minister of Brunei.

Celebrities also spoke out about the move, with high profile names like George Clooney and Elton John all boycotting hotels owned by the Sultan; they include some of the most exclusive and expensive in the world, such as the Dorchester group.

In a tweet, Elton John said: "I believe that love is love and being able to love as we choose is a basic human right. Wherever we go, my husband David and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect - as do each and every one of the millions of LGBTQ+ people around the world.

"I commend my friend, #GeorgeClooney, for taking a stand against the anti-gay discrimination and bigotry taking place in the nation of #Brunei - a place where gay people are brutalised, or worse - by boycotting the Sultan's hotels."

It was later announced that the laws would be abandoned.

Featured Image Credit: PA