Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni has signed one of the world’s most severe anti-gay bills into law. The bill was signed days before the United States prepares to celebrate an entire month of gay Pride in June.
The bill imposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes sex with a minor, having sex while HIV positive, and incest.
It also includes 20-year sentences for promoting homosexuality anywhere in the world.
According to EURweb.com, Museveni sent the bill back to Parliament for revisions earlier this year. The latest version of the bill passed earlier this month.
The revisions make it illegal to conceal a person who has committed aggravated homosexual acts, criminalizes gay sex education, and calls for “rehabilitating” gay people, otherwise known in the US as gay conversion therapy.
The speaker of the Parliament Anita Annet celebrated the bill’s signing, defying international pressure, including from the United States which said it was “deeply troubled.”
Annet said Parliament had “answered the cries of our people” by criminalizing the gay community.
“I thank His Excellency, the president, for his steadfast action in the interest of Uganda. 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 the country,” she said.
Museveni faced heavy criticism from U.S. lawmakers over the years.
“The United States is deeply troubled by Uganda’s passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, a law that undermines the human rights, prosperity, and welfare of all Ugandans,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Monday, May 29.
Blinken has directed the State Department to update the guidance warning LGBT+ Americans who are traveling to Uganda.
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