Skip to content

Life Sentence for Gay Ugandans

December 22, 2013


Uganda has passed an anti-gay bill that imposes life sentences for some homosexual acts.

In a move described by opponents as “a truly terrifying day for human rights”, MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the bill.

It has been widely condemned by activists and world leaders, with US President Barack Obama describing the bill as “odious” and Archbishop Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu comparing it to apartheid.

The bill does not include the death penalty, as it did for “aggravated homosexual acts” when first tabled in 2009. Instead, those caught engaging in homosexual acts for a second time, as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or is infected with HIV, will face life in prison.

Ugandan media reported that a proposal for a reduced 14-year sentence was rejected by MPs, who instead upheld the penalty of life imprisonment.

David Bahati, the MP behind the private member’s bill, hailed its adoption as a victory against “evil” in Uganda, a deeply religious country where many have embraced evangelical Christianity.

“Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way,” he said on Friday. “It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks.”

The bill must receive final approval from Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan President.

As in many African countries, gay men and women in Uganda face harassment, violence and death threats.

After the vote, Frank Mugisha, one of Uganda’s most prominent gay activists, declared himself “officially illegal”.

“This is a truly terrifying day for human rights in Uganda,” he said. “It will open a new era of fear and persecution. If this law is signed by President Museveni, I’d be thrown in jail for life and in all likelihood killed. We urgently need world leaders to call on President Museveni and demand he stops this bill of hate from becoming law.”

Mr Mugisha said there was “panic” among the country’s gay and lesbian people.

“I’m outraged that members of parliament have passed this bill in a very uninformed way. It has been rushed. It has not been scrutinised,” he said. “I am worried about my community.”

Leslie Lefkow, of Human Rights Watch, said the law was “abhorrent”.

“The bill’s provision on the criminalisation of ‘promotion’ is a direct attack on the legitimate work of national and international activists and organisations working to defend and promote human rights in Uganda,” the group added.

Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law, but Mr Bahati argued that tougher penalties were needed to counter the influence of gay people from Western countries.

Rebecca Kadaga, the parliamentary speaker, promised last year that the bill would be passed as a “Christmas gift” to Ugandans.

On Thursday, Uganda passed an anti-pornography bill banning miniskirts and sexually suggestive television content including music videos.

The law reportedly outlaws anything that “shows sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks”, as well as “any erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals”.




23 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2013 8:09 am

    Quelle surprise… It’s the religious freaks calling for the death penalty…

  2. December 22, 2013 8:34 am

    “American Christian evangelical organisations have actively lobbied for the re-introduction of the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda, which was presented in the parliament Tuesday, according to local activists.”

  3. December 22, 2013 8:38 am

    I agree that this is a very bad development Reb but it does put into perspective activists, like yourself, getting so upset about people with concerns about the campaign to change the definition of marriage.

    Now how about a piece about the treatment of Homosexuals in Iran and other Muslim countries seeing that you are going for an international perspective. or even the way that Russia is passing laws that are making Homosexuals there ever more marginalised?

    Screenshot of this comment taken BTW

  4. December 22, 2013 8:55 am

    “I agree that this is a very bad development Reb but…”



  5. December 22, 2013 8:57 am

    And what on Earth makes you think I’m an “activist?”

    Unless of course, you think that anyone who challenges bigotry/homophobia is therefor an activist, which seems to be the case.

  6. December 22, 2013 9:15 am


    The problem is not that you ” challenge bigotry/homophobia “ but the way that you see “bigotry/homophobia”in anyone who challenges the campaign to redefine the definition of marriage.

    That said I define as an activist anyone who repeatedly advocates for something on a blog page or website such as yours.

    How do you define an activist if you disagree with my definition?

  7. December 22, 2013 9:23 am

    Inane, we’ve been down this familiar road far to often for me to be bothered repeating ad nauseum the usual explanation and your feeble attempts to defend your entrenched bigotry and homophobia.

    So, talk to the hand asshole, I’m not interested.

  8. December 22, 2013 9:25 am

    And actually why don’t you for a change address the topic at hand which is about Uganda.

  9. December 22, 2013 9:48 am


    Inane, we’ve been down this familiar road far to often for me to be bothered repeating ad nauseum the usual explanation and your feeble attempts to defend your entrenched bigotry and homophobia.

    So, talk to the hand asshole, I’m not interested.

    I have no need to defend a vice that I do not have.

    And actually why don’t you for a change address the topic at hand which is about Uganda.

    Well what is there to say but it is a terrible development?
    I generally agree with what you say in your post however short of invading the country what can we possibly do to stop or change such retrograde law making?

    I 100% agree with you about the perniciousness of the lawmaking in Uganda and I even have no time at all for that particular brand of belligerent brand of Christianity that endorses and supports the criminalising consensual sexual activity of any sort. Heck I even fully approve of your denouncing such things.
    Why can’t you accept that with good grace instead of sprouting bile about our previous arguments?

  10. TB Queensland permalink
    December 22, 2013 10:24 am

    It b-a-a-a-a-ck 😯

  11. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    December 22, 2013 11:00 am

    …a vice…

    Those 2 short words say so much.

  12. egg permalink
    December 22, 2013 11:13 am

    Where’s his mate? The better half.

  13. December 22, 2013 11:27 am

    ‘Those 2 short words say so much.”

    Don’t they just.

  14. December 22, 2013 3:53 pm

    Reb anywhere there is extreme ignorance, including this thread apparently, you will have the religious nutters plying their filthy trade of hatred and division.
    Activist? Approval? Bile? it speaks for itself really. 🙄
    Tom, spot on mate

  15. December 23, 2013 9:22 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘On Thursday, Uganda passed’ ‘ ‘ ‘ the dog-bothering, small-minded, teabags wet-dream. As with all forms of `small-mindedness`, it is near-always the least important item on the national schedule. Uganda would have plenty topics it is largely failing at, (safety,housing,food,water,) and how adults choose to `shag` each other, won`t help their nation one iota.

  16. December 23, 2013 9:29 pm

    It’s a bit of a worry really.

    What with Russia going backwards on equality for gays and lesbians too..

    Whenever economies struggle, people will look to other minority groups to blame… The times are ripe for a resurgence in fascism.

  17. December 23, 2013 10:40 pm

    As a teabag, the only `vice` l have is,
    taking the impoverished side of every topic.

  18. December 23, 2013 10:41 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that such despicable shit is only come to pass & tolerated in Religiously Conservative enclaves (be they the hierarchy or the general population).

    It is the polar opposite of Enlightenment.

  19. December 23, 2013 10:47 pm

    Winter Olympics in Sochi are shaping up to be a bit of a global focal point for ‘equality’.

    I imagine a few canny ice-athletes may see it as a great opportunity to push the cause on the world stage…& the eyes of the world will be on Russia…so tear gas or indefinite imprisonment would be a relatively unrealistic response from Vlad & co.
    Such passive protest, and the global/societal recognition of it are how the world moves forward (incrementally). [genuine ‘conservatives’ hate that stuff]

    The best way to overturn the will of the fucktards is definitely to put their indefensible nonsense under a glaring public spotlight; the wider the coverage, the better.

  20. December 23, 2013 10:50 pm

    Ahahahahahaha…Inane thinks reb is an ‘activist’.

    If that don’t beat all.

    I think he’s read what you’ve typed…in the short term at least…but the comprehension gland had been switched off prior to cognitive assimilation.

  21. December 23, 2013 10:54 pm

    “Those 2 short words say so much.”

    And so many free generic-thinkers accuse YomM of being a rightward automaton.

    More comprehension defecit.

  22. December 23, 2013 10:59 pm

    Screw all the Howardesque flagsturbating, the exultation of ignorance & pushback against intellectual ‘elites’.

    All of that leads to ABOVE

  23. egg permalink
    December 25, 2013 8:07 am

    Those two short words, a question of vice, a matter of life and death.

    ‘ALAN TURING, the British mathematician who helped to crack the Enigma code but who took his own life after a conviction for “homosexual activity”, has been given a posthumous pardon. The official British government announcement marks the successful end of a campaign to restore the honour of a brilliant scientist and war hero.’


Go on say something, you'll feel better...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: