Ugandan president signs law making death penalty possible for homosexuals
Kampala, Uganda - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a law making homosexual acts illegal, according to Parliamentary Speaker Anita Annet Among.
The president's office has also confirmed the signing, various media reports said.
The law provides, among other things, for the death penalty for homosexuals convicted of rape or of having sex with minors or disabled people.
Persons or groups who advocate for homosexuals, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activist groups, can be punished with up to 20 years in prison.
Just over a month ago, Museveni sent a first version of the bill back to parliament. The president had expressed concerns that the law could be legally vulnerable.
In its original version, the law would also have criminalized homosexuals who voluntarily seek medical treatment. Parliament has now changed this aspect in a second version of the law.
According to Ugandan LGBT activist Sam Ganafa, the effects were felt even before the law was signed. Hospitals would turn away homosexuals because the facilities feared being harassed by the government.
"It is sad news. Our people are going back to the closets," Ganafa told dpa on Monday.
Cover photo: Anna Moneymaker / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP