Rebecca Kadaga, politician and Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, has called for the country’s anti-homosexuality laws to be re-instated.
Same-sex sexual activity is already illegal in Uganda—punishable by up to seven years imprisonment—but Kadaga is pushing for harsher sentences for the LGBT+ community who are found guilty of homosexuality.
“There is no bill on homosexuality. What we need is a new bill,” she said.
Kadaga strongly supported the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, a short-lived bill that broadened punishments for the LGBT+ community found guilty of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ to include life imprisonment.
LGBT+ rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda wrote on Facebook that: “Since the law was annulled on 1st August 2014, different Ugandan leaders have been trying to bring back a law that would abuse the rights of Ugandan LGBTI.”
The group’s communications officer - Grace Waitherero - told Gay Star News that Uganda should be prioritising public health instead of discrimination.
“We have more to do in this country than passing a bill like this. We need to eliminate HIV rather than trying to abuse the rights of Ugandans,” she said.
Waitherero added that the LGBT+ community in Uganda is in dire need of legal protection.
“This is coming from politicians,” she said. “Ugandans don’t really care about these things. They can hate LGBTI persons, but there’s nothing they can do if the law doesn’t allow them to do it.
“Although if there was a law that would allow them to hunt LGBTI people down, they would do it.
“We don’t need the law. It’s just unnecessary,” Waitherero added.
“They are trying to set progress back. It’s wrong for anyone to persecute anyone for their homosexuality.
“These politicians have no respect for the system.”
Last year, Ugandan Pride celebrations at a nightclub in Kampala were shut down by police and about 20 people were arrested.