Clause by clause analysis of Uganda's anti-gay legislation

Jim Burroway has done the world an invaluable service in providing a clause-by-clause analysis of the notorious anti-gay legislation which is currently before Uganda's Parliament. He writes:

There has been considerable confusion over what would happen if the bill were to become law. Most of the attention has focused on the bill’s death penalty provision, but even if it were removed, the bill’s other eighteen clauses would still represent a barbaric regression for Uganda’s human rights record.

Among the bill's more pernicious provisions is one that defines homosexual activity so broadly that mere touching becomes a criminal act. Burroway writes:

All of which means that someone can “commit homosexuality” even if they are fully clothed and there is no actual skin-to-skin contact. The sole proof required is that the “touching” took place with the perceived “intention” of committing the act of homosexuality. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But just to make sure we’re clear that the bill intends to cast an extraordinarily wider net, go back to the definition of ”sexual act” in Clause 1: an act that “does not necessarily culminate in intercourse.”

You can see where this is going, can’t you? With the bar for conviction thus lowered, anyone can be falsely accused of being gay — one can easily imagine rival politicians, business owners and pastors falling prey to such accusations – and it will become virtually impossible for them to prove their innocence.


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