The Ugandan parliament has passed a controversial Sexual Offences Bill which contains clauses that criminalizes same-sex relationships and sex work. The bill which awaits the signature of President Yoweri Museveni prescribes a five-year jail term for anyone guilty of same-sex acts and has been pending since 2014. Although the new bill protects victims of domestic violence within and outside marriage, gives women the right to withdraw consent, it, however, puts queer Ugandans in a precarious and vulnerable position.
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Frank Mugisha, director at Sexual Minorities Uganda said: “It is unfortunate that the parliament of Uganda is obsessed with legislating around people’s private lives. Such legislation is very hard to enforce. This will only increase the vulnerability of LGBT persons. This is yet another law that will be used by law enforcers to harass, blackmail, and arrest LGBT persons. I also do not see the need, since same-sex relations are already criminalized in our penal code.”
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