This briefing note explains how the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill 2014 is an example of state-sponsored harassment, persecution and criminalisation of LGBT people by the Ugandan government.
In Uganda it is already a punishable offence for two adults of the same sex to engage in consensual sexual activities in private. Uganda, like much of the Commonwealth, inherited its law from the British during the colonial era. Under Section 145 of the Penal Code, this offence carries a sentence of lifetime imprisonment.
Within the new Bill, the prohibition of promotion will expressly criminalise the non-sexual conduct of LGBT people and criminalise those who provide services to them. This briefing note highlights the circumstances in which LGBT people, and those supporting them, will be targeted by the Bill. This includes: LGBT advocacy being outlawed due to the criminalisation of publishing information ‘intended to facilitate’ homosexuality; LGBT people being denied housing due to the criminalisation of landlords who allow their premises to be used ‘for the purpose of engaging in unnatural sexual practices’; and, LGBT people being excluded from using the internet to express their LGBT identity due to the criminalisation of using it ‘for the purpose of engaging in unnatural sexual practices.’
The briefing note outlines that these provisions violate rights enshrined in Uganda’s Constitution and international human rights treaty obligations.