Ugandan Parliament Passes Anti-Gay Law

The law makes 'aggravated homosexuality' a crime punishable by life in prison

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Lawmakers in Uganda passed a bill Friday that punishes people who commit “aggravated homosexuality” with life imprisonment. Though homosexuality was already a crime in the country, the new law makes punishment for gay acts tougher. It also makes failure to report gays a crime.

The bill has been stalled since it was first introduced in 2009, when world leaders condemned the legislation, including President Barack Obama, who called it “odious.” Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi opposed the vote, BBC reports, saying there weren’t enough members of parliament present.

An earlier version of the bill made homosexuality a crime punishable by death if there was a minor involved or if someone was HIV-positive, but that provision is not included in the bill that passed on Friday. There is no word on whether or not the President Yoweri Museveni will sign the bill into law.

Frank Mugisha, a gay Activist in Uganda said, “I am officially illegal,” BBC reports.