Anti-gay bill in Uganda

“I am concerned about the discrimination against sexual minorities in Uganda. The bill that has now been passed by the Ugandan parliament is in violation of fundamental human rights, and will exacerbate the situation for an already vulnerable group,” commented State Secretary Bård Glad Pedersen.

“I am concerned about the discrimination against sexual minorities in Uganda. The bill that has now been passed by the Ugandan parliament is in violation of fundamental human rights, and will exacerbate the situation for an already vulnerable group,” commented State Secretary Bård Glad Pedersen.

Last week the Ugandan parliament passed a controversial bill that toughens the punishment for homosexual acts. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda; the new bill will prohibit all sexual relations between persons of the same gender, as well as all recognition or promotion of such relations. It is now up to the President to sign or reject the bill.

Norway has repeatedly raised the issue of discrimination and persecution of sexual minorities in Uganda, and has protested against anti-gay legislation that has been proposed several times since 2009.

“We note that the bill has been put forward by an individual member of parliament, and does not seem to have the support of the Government. The President will now consider the bill. We urge him to safeguard the rights of all Ugandans. The principle of non-discrimination as enshrined in the Ugandan Constitution and the country’s international obligations must be respected,” said Mr Pedersen.

Norway supports a number of organisations that are working for human rights in Uganda, including the Ugandan Human Rights Commission. Norway has also supported a national study of Ugandans’ attitudes to sexual minorities and their rights.