Lawmakers in Uganda are considering a new anti-gay bill that appears to be far more repressive than the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Act, which imposed life sentences on people convicted of homosexuality.
According to LGBT rights activists in the country, the new measure would outlaw “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices” and “exhibiting unnatural sexual practices.” Anyone convicted of the crime could serve up to seven years in prison.
“People don’t realize that the ‘promotion’ part of it will affect everybody,” gay rights activist Frank Mugisha told the Agence France-Presse.
“If newspapers report about homosexuality it could be seen as promotion. My Twitter account could be seen as promotion. All human rights groups that include LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights defense in their activities could be accused of promotion,” he said.
Earlier this year, Uganda’s Constitutional Court overturned the Anti-Homosexuality Act on the technicality that it was improperly passed through Parliament, following an international backlash and threats to slash aide to the country. President Yoweri Museveni appeared to back away from the measure and acknowledged that people can be gay without criminal intent.
Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda under a provision of the penal code and Ugandans have experienced “almost twentyfold increase in anti-LGBT incidents” since December.