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Ugandan Law Criminalizes People Who Identify as LGBTQ and their Allies

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cracking down on homosexuality, essentially making it illegal to identify publicly as LGBTQ — or even express support for the LGBTQ community.The bill builds upon the country’s existing colonial-era laws criminalizing consensual same-sex activity, which is punishable by life imprisonment, targeting a host of free speech-related activities in order to discourage LGBTQ visibility in any form.Under the bill, individuals or institutions that support or fund LGBTQ-related groups or organizations, or publish or distribute pro-gay media or literature, can be prosecuted and imprisoned.Media groups, journalists, and publishers who similarly broadcast or distribute LGBTQ-related content that “promotes homosexuality” also face imprisonment, reports CNN.

Property owners can potentially be jailed if they allow their properties to be used as a “brothel,” which is so broadly defined that it can include any gathering space where people are planning or advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ community, or where same-sex sexual activity can potentially take place — regardless of whether such acts actually occur.Cisgender allies of the LGBTQ community can be prosecuted and imprisoned for advocating or expressing support for LGBTQ rights.Friends, family members, and neighbors can also be penalized for failing to inform on individuals they know are engaged in same-sex relationships or LGBTQ advocacy — effectively creating a de facto police state where individual beliefs or free speech rights are under surveillance.The law also imposes the death penalty for those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality,” a term referring to people who engage in homosexual conduct with another person who cannot or does not consent, or commits such acts under.

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