Uganda has passed strict legislation for homosexual relationships in the country which criminalises anyone identifying as LGBTQ, Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday.
This law could be the first to criminalise identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer because Uganda's parliament just passed comprehensive anti-gay legislation that imposes harsh new punishments for same-sex partnerships (LGBTQ).
Citing Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera reported that more than 30 African countries have banned homosexuality, including Uganda now.
The legislation forbids same-sex relationships as well as aiding and abetting homosexual behaviour as well as conspiring to participate in homosexual activity.
In addition to harsh fines, violations of the law can result in death for so-called "aggravated" homosexuality and life in jail for gay sex. According to the law, aggravated homosexuality includes, among other things, having gay intercourse with minors or when a person is HIV positive.
"The ayes have it," Parliamentary Speaker Anita Annet Among said after the final vote, adding that the "bill passed in record time", Al Jazeera reported.
All but one legislator opposed the bill, and large elements of the original draft law were changed. The strict legislation's proponents argue that it is necessary to punish a wider range of LGBTQ acts because they are perceived as a threat to traditional values in the conservative and religious nation of East Africa.
President Yoweri Museveni will now receive the measure to be signed into law. Although Museveni has not addressed the present legislation, he has long been against LGBTQ rights and passed an anti-gay law in 2013 that was denounced by the West before being overturned by a local court for procedural reasons, reported Al Jazeera. (ANI)