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Uganda Denies Plans to Reintroduce Anti-Gay Law

Government of Uganda has come out to deny reported plans to reintroduce the Anti-Gay law, saying it is currently unnecessary.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Ethics and Integrity Minister Hon Simon Lokodo had hinted on re-tabling the law in parliament.

The Minister was quoted saying the legislation would this time be successfully passed, adding that its supporters in parliament had “remobilized”.

However, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo on Saturday morning dismissed these reports, stressing that the current laws in Uganda that criminalize homosexuality are sufficient.

“Government hereby clarifies that it does not intend to introduce any new law with regards to the regulation of LGBT activities in Uganda because the current provisions in the Penal Code are sufficient,” Opondo said.

Minister Lokodo did not respond to our request for comments.

Opondo’s clarification however, came amid piling pressure from international rights organizations and media, which leapt into stern condemnation of the reported government plans.

Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Joan Nyanyuki described the news of the return of the anti-gay law as “outrageous.”

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“Uganda’s MPs must resoundingly reject any plan to legalize this kind of bigotry and witch hunting of anyone who is perceived as being different,” she said.

The Anti-Gay law was first passed by parliament in late 2013 and signed by President Museveni in February 2014.

The law however, was struck down by the Constructional Court on grounds that it was passed in the House without quorum.

Efforts thereafter to have the bill re-tabled were blocked by President Museveni, as multiple donor countries threatened to cut aid to Uganda.

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