The Ugandan government recently expressed its intentions to proceed with a bill that would make any public display of being gay a crime. Homosexual sex is already a criminal offense punishable by life in prison, but the expansive new legislation would make homosexuality illegal whether or not the individual engages in homosexual sex.
Several international human rights and LGBT advocacy groups have requested Kampala drop the bill and retract the existing sodomy law. In early April, a rally of nearly two dozen gays and lesbians gathered at the capital to denounce the government. One woman reported that a pastor and his congregates stripped her naked and publicly harassed her as they tried to exorcise her.
The U.N. recently issued a declaration calling for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, which was formally endorsed by President Obama’s administration, but the Ugandan government has not softened its position.
“Many lies are being peddled. Such lies include foolish claims that some people are born as homosexuals,” Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo stated during a news conference. “It is the duty of Ugandans to be vigilant because agents of immorality are busy using all lies and deceptions to hurt our society.”