A new anti-gay law in Uganda calls for life in prison for those who are convicted

Uganda has passed one of the world’s toughest anti-gay laws that calls for life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality. Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-homosexuality act on Monday despite widespread condemnation from many Western governments and human rights activists.

Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, a religiously conservative East African nation. But the new law levies harsher penalties for LGBTQ people. It calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is defined as same-sex relations involving HIV-positive people, children or other vulnerable people. Anyone convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can be imprisoned for up to 14 years. Ugandans who engages in gay sex can receive life in prison, while anyone who attempts to have same-sex relations can face 10 years in prison.

In a statement, President Biden called the newly passed law “shameful” and suggested it could impact U.S.-Uganda relations.

“I have directed my National Security Council to evaluate the implications of this law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda,” he said, “Including our ability to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other forms of assistance and investments.”

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