Update (October 18, 2019): After facing global scrutiny for allegedly considering an anti-homosexuality bill, Uganda is now denying reports of its plan to reintroduce a proposal informally known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. 

The president’s spokesperson confirmed on Monday that Uganda doesn’t plan on introducing the law which would penalize homosexuality with the death penalty. 

The reports circulated a week ago when Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo made an announcement that the bill, originally introduced in 2009, would be considered again.  

Lokodo told local media that the bill would stop the spread of homosexuality in Uganda, CNN reported.

“Our current penal law is limited,” Lokodo said. “It only criminalizes the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.” 

According to Reuters, Lokodo’s statement caused outrage around the world and garnered attention from international donors such as the European Union, World Bank, the United States and the Global Fund.

After the donors expressed their concerns about the bill, Uganda claimed such an agenda did not exist.

Don Wanyama, a spokesperson for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, told Reuters that there are no plans to introduce such a bill.

“We have the penal code that already handles issues of unnatural sexual behavior, so there is no law coming up,” Wanyama said.

When asked why Lokodo spread rumors about the bill, Wanyama said he doesn’t know the source of his claims.

Amnesty International also came out with a statement after hearing reports about the bill, saying the parliament must reject the bill imposing the death penalty for gay sex.

Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said “this is an example of how Uganda’s politicians are stoking dangerous intolerance and bias against LGBTI people.”

“It is outrageous that instead of the Ugandan government taking urgent steps to decriminalize gay sex, they want gay people executed,” Nyanyuki said. “This is going to fire-up more hatred in an already homophobic environment.”


Original story (October 14, 2019): Uganda announced Thursday it plans to reintroduce a bill that will enforce the death penalty on homosexuals. 

The bill, which is informally known as the “kill the gays" bill was nullified five years ago on a technicality. The Ugandan government now plans to reintroduce it within the next few weeks. The government is expected to vote on it before the end of the year. 

The East African country’s Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, told local NTV that current laws criminalizing gay sex are not strict enough, according to CNN

“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalizes the act. We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalized. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence,” he said. 

He went on to call homosexuality unnatural. 

“Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” Lokodo said. 

The bill would need two-thirds approval of members present to be passed. Lokodo is confident it will get the necessary votes to pass, as the government lobbied legislators before announcing its plans to reintroduce it, reports The Independent. The bill also reportedly has the support of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. 

The previous bill was signed into law by Museveni in 2014. It was originally introduced in 2009, but the death penalty was replaced with a proposal of life in prison before it was signed into law. Uganda faced disapproval from all around the world when it was signed. The country’s constitutional court overturned the law because of a technicality. 

Local LGBTQ activists are fighting the reintroduction of the bill. Many are warning the government and the community that the signing of the bill will only cause more violence against the LGBTQ community. 

Amnesty International's Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki, said the bill will “fire-up more hatred in an already homophobic environment.”

Pepe Julian Onziema from Sexual Minorities Uganda said many will flee the country if the bill is passed in fear of hate crimes. 

“When the law was introduced last time, it whipped up homophobic sentiment and hate crimes,” said Onziema. “Hundreds of LGBT+ people have been forced to leave the country as refugees and more will follow if this law is enacted. It will criminalize us from even advocating for LGBT+ rights, let alone supporting and protecting sexual minorities.”

Although Lokodo is confident the bill will be passed, the Uganda Media Center released a statement stating the government does not plan to reintroduce a new law because the current Penal Code is sufficient, reports CNN.