28 February 2014

Uganda: GroundUp - What Does Uganda's 'Anti-Gay' Law Mean for Gay People?


On 24 February 2014, Uganda passed legislation that criminalises homosexuality. Paul Semugoma, a gay Ugandan activist who recently gained temporary residence in South Africa, says that the legislation's impact will be extensive among all Ugandan society. The legislation, according to Paul, is more about consolidating President Yoweri Museveni's power ahead of the 2016 Ugandan elections than about dealing with any meaningful social ill. By Jonathan Dockney for GROUNDUP.

Semugoma had to leave Uganda, as he could not speak openly as a gay person. Semugoma worked in HIV prevention programmes among gay people in Uganda. He says that he had "all the science at my fingertips", but he could not speak openly and honestly about HIV prevention. In 2012, he was invited to speak at an HIV/Aids conference in the United States. Once out of Uganda, he decided to come out, then seek residence in South Africa.

Coming out is a common term for telling another person that you are gay.

The legislation, commonly known as the "anti-gay bill", makes homosexuality a criminal offence. It also makes it a crime to do anything that could be seen to "promote" it. Anyone found guilty for same-sex intercourse or marriage can be imprisoned...

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