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Uganda Passes Inhumane Anti-Gay Law


“Aggravated homosexuality” now punishable by life in prison

The Guardian reports that politicians in Uganda have passed a law that punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment. This is the current iteration of a 2010 bill widely known as the "Kill the Gays" bill, as it called for the death penalty for people convicted of "aggravated homosexuality."

Though this version of the bill, which passed early today, does not include the death penalty it still calls for life imprisonment for people convicted of "aggravated homosexuality."

According to ABC, "aggravated homosexuality" is defined as "a homosexual act where one of the partners is infected with HIV, sex with minors and the disabled, as well as repeated sexual offenses among consenting adults."

The bill also calls for a seven-year jail sentence for someone who "conducts a marriage ceremony" for same-sex couples.

Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda under a law dating back to the country's colonial occupation. Many believe that it was the influence of American evangelicals that engendered this recent anti-gay campaign across Africa. Roger Ross's documentary, God Loves Ugandainvestigates this pernicious effect evangelicals have had on the country. The film is in the running for an Oscar nomination.

Call Me Kuchu, a documentary by first-time directors Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall also focused on gay Uganda and local activist David Kato, who was brutally killed in 2011. The documentary followed a community of LGBT Ugandans in the country's underground gay scene, and made the rounds on the festival circuit earlier this year.

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Alex Panisch