LGBTQIA+ Advocacy in Uganda: Facing down fear and fighting for justice

Season 5, Episode 3,   Apr 14, 2023, 07:23 PM

In March 2023, the Ugandan Parliament moved forward broad-reaching legislation to further criminalize LGBTQIA+ people. 

The bill would make it a crime to even identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, with sentences up to life imprisonment. It gives authorities wide powers to crackdown on anyone who does not report on same-sex couples or who promote gay rights, including prohibitions on media coverage. And the law could impose death sentences in some cases, including for the transmission of HIV. Uganda’s President Museveni has the power to stop the bill. But so far he is issuing statements for other African countries to follow Uganda down this path.

Anti-gay hate laws and actions by authorities are sweeping across the region with recent crackdowns in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

After the news broke from Uganda, AVAC and partners came together for a call with advocates in Uganda. They are fierce and imperiled voices who are readying to fight for LGBTQIA+ people in Uganda, but at AVAC, we know they are fighting for all of us.

On the call, advocates dug into the specifics of how these attacks have gained momentum and their ties to US-based religious extremists. And advocates discuss what needs to happen next.