President Museveni has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023.
It now becomes the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.
Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 at the start of this month with amendments to five clauses following proposals by President Museveni.
The Bill was first passed 21 March 2023 but was returned by the President.
The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs reviewed the concerns and proposals made by the President regarding distinguishing between being a homosexual and actually engaging in acts of homosexuality.
The President said the law should be clear so that what is being criminalized is not the state of one having a deviant proclivity but rather the actions of one acting on the deviance or promoting the same.
The Committee Chairperson, Hon. Robina Rwakoojo, said the President’s concerns were genuine and had been initially expressed by the committee in its report to the House.
The committee also recommended the merging of two sub-clauses under Clause 9 of the Bill that relates to owners of premises that may be reported to be used to commit the offence of homosexuality.
On the duty to report acts of homosexuality under Clause 14, the President expressed concern that the clause presented constitutional challenges and created unnecessary contradictions and duties which pose implementation challenges and conflicts in society.
The President recommended for deletion of clause 14 or in the alternative, to redraft it to restrict it to children and other vulnerable members of society as required in Article 17(1)(c) of the Constitution.
The committee, however, said clause 14 is relevant because it imposes a duty on a person who knows or has a reasonable suspicion that a person, has committed or intends to commit the offence of homosexuality, to report the matter to police for appropriate action.
The House passed a proposal by Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) on Clause to increase the imprisonment penalty from six months to five years.
A proposal by Hon. Fox Odoi (NRM, West Budama North East County) to delete the clauses cited by the President and subsequently, reject the entire Bill was rejected by MPs.