On March 21, the Ugandan parliament passed a hardline bill criminalizing LGBTQ+ identity, giving the government wide latitude to prosecute gay Ugandans, punishable by life imprisonment. This represents a clear violation of human rights and dignity for Ugandans who identify as LGBTQ+, putting them at further risk of violence and discrimination in a country where same-sex relations were already illegal.
Global condemnation of the new legislation has been swift, within and outside of Uganda. Richard Lusimbo, a Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist, told NPR, “The LGBTQI community has basically been told, you can’t raise your head, you can’t be seen, you can’t be heard.” The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights is urging Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni not to sign the bill. “The bill would have negative repercussions on society as a whole and violates the nation’s constitution. The passing of this discriminatory bill – probably among the worst of its kind in the world – is a deeply troubling development.”
Such violations of human rights, regardless of where they occur, are antithetical to I-TECH’s values and our vision of health and flourishing for all. We strongly object to these actions by the Ugandan government and stand against the criminalization of and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals and communities in Uganda.