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Ugandan lawmakers approve revised Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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Ugandan lawmakers on Tuesday approved a revised version of their country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill that still calls for the death penalty for anyone found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality.” MPs in March approved the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but President Yoweri Museveni on April 20 sent it back to Parliament for additional consideration.

The Legal and Parliamentary Sectoral Committee in an April 28 report notes Museveni specifically argued the law “should be clear so that what is being criminalized is not the state of one having a deviant proclivity, but rather the actions of one acting on the deviance or promoting the same.” The committee report also indicates Museveni argued the provision of the law that specifically required Ugandans to “report acts of homosexuality” created “unnecessary contradictions and duties which pose implementation challenges and conflicts in society.” The updated version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that lawmakers approved on Tuesday contains the aforementioned recommendations.

The death penalty provision remains, even though Museveni advised lawmakers to repeal it from the original measure. “This legislation is very, very draconian and extreme,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a Ugandan LGBTQ and intersex rights group, during an interview on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Monday. “It is here to erase the entire existance of an LGBTQ person in Uganda, but it also radicalizes Ugandans into hatred of the LGBTQ community and we’re already seeing that happening.” Museveni in 2014 signed a version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that imposed a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

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