Uganda’s president returns anti-LGBTQ measure for’strengthening’

Uganda's president returns anti-LGBTQ measure for'strengthening'
Image: Reuters

President Yoweri Museveni, according to the chief whip of Uganda’s ruling party, supports legislation that contains one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, but would send it back to parliament for “strengthening.”

According to NRM chief whip Denis Hamson Obua, an NRM team met with the president to discuss the legislation and gained his permission in principle to push it into law.

“Before that is done, we also agree that the bill will be returned in order to facilitate the reinforcement and strengthening of some provisions in line with our best practices,” he said at a news conference after the meeting.

He did not say which elements of the bill needed to be strengthened. Another NRM MP, Kwizera Eddie Wagahungu, said before the meeting that Museveni may seek revisions to sections that violate existing law in order to avoid a successful court challenge.

According to Obua, the meeting with parliament’s legal and parliamentary affairs committee to prepare the amendments is set for Tuesday so that Museveni may meet with them.

The bill has received much criticism since it asks for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and 20-year sentences for “promoting” homosexuality. The US, the UN, the European Union, and a long list of corporate titans have all come out against the idea.

One of the charges designated as aggravated homosexuality is having gay intercourse when HIV-positive. President Yoweri Museveni has advocated for an easing of trade restrictions in Kisozi, Uganda

Members of Uganda’s LGBTQ community believe that the bill’s passage last month with almost unanimous support in parliament has already resulted in a surge of arrests, evictions, and mob violence against them.

Museveni is a vocal opponent of LGBTQ equality. Only last month, he referred to LGBT people as “deviations from normal.”

While he did sign laws in 2014 that enhanced penalties for same-sex couples, he has previously said that homosexuality is best dealt with via counseling rather than legislation.

He may have had to do a balancing act to accommodate both his own party’s MPs and foreign funders who provide billions of dollars annually.

Western governments withheld financing, placed travel restrictions, and curtailed security cooperation in response to Museveni’s 2014 measure. Within months, a domestic court overturned the measure on procedural grounds.

Proponents of the new measure claimed it was important to establish more tougher regulations to offset the damage that homosexuality does to traditional family values, which are already illegal in more than 30 African countries.

Representatives from neighboring Kenya and Tanzania have recently advocated for similar laws.

Last month, a number of global firms headed by Google expressed their objections to the bill, claiming that it would hurt the Ugandan economy and put their Ugandan operations in jeopardy.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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