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HomePoliticsUganda’s Museveni wants ‘rehabilitation’ measures in anti-LGBTQ legislation

Uganda’s Museveni wants ‘rehabilitation’ measures in anti-LGBTQ legislation

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he would sign some of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ legislation once provisions are added to “rehabilitate” gay people, vowing not to cede to international pressure.

Museveni told lawmakers at a meeting on Thursday that he supports the bill they passed last month but would send it back to parliament for “strengthening”.

The United States, European Union and major corporations have condemned the bill. Museveni predicted Uganda would face sanctions once the legislation goes into effect, as it did in 2014 when he signed another anti-LGBTQ law.

In a statement issued by his office late on Thursday, Museveni congratulated lawmakers for having “rejected the pressure from the imperialists”.

He said donors would likely cut funding for Uganda’s health sector, requiring reductions to the public wage bill.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose the death penalty for so-called aggravated homosexuality and 20-year sentences for “promoting” homosexuality. Among the offences defined as aggravated homosexuality is having gay sex when HIV-positive.

Museveni said he wanted the legislation amended to allow people who voluntarily renounce homosexuality to be “rehabilitated”.

“This country has issued amnesty for people who have carried out criminal activities of treasonous nature against this country,” he said.

“A similar provision would be provided in this law to ensure that a person who comes out on his own is not criminalised.”

So-called conversion therapy treatments supposed to turn gay people straight have been widely discredited by medical associations as ineffective and harmful to mental health.

Museveni was also advised to seek amendments to the bill in order to avert a successful court challenge.

Deputy Attorney General Kafuuzi Jackson Karugaba said in a letter on Thursday to the speaker of parliament that he had advised the president to seek revisions of several provisions, including some that were vaguely written and the one imposing the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.

Rights activist Clare Byarugaba took some solace from the delay in passing the legislation.

“The decision by the president not to assent to the Anti- Homosexuality Bill 2023 immediately is the much needed reprieve the LGBTIQ community needed,” she told Reuters.

(Editing by Aaron Ross & Simon Cameron-Moore)

Disclaimer: This report is auto generated from the Reuters news service. ThePrint holds no responsibilty for its content.

Source: The Print

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