On 29 May 2023 Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 into law, declaring consensual same-sex sexual activities and any “promotion” of homosexuality a punishable criminal offence. The new law incorporates penalties that include a death sentence for cases of sexual relations involving people infected with HIV, repeated offences, minors, and other vulnerable groups.
This law will discourage the most vulnerable populations from accessing health services and punish those who seek to help them or advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. There have been reports of increased physical and online attacks, and arbitrary arrests following this announcement, forcing LGBTQIA+ individuals and organisations in Uganda to go underground or flee the country.
As the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, we strongly condemn this law, which violates fundamental human rights, compromises health and wellbeing, and erodes effective public health strategies. Not only does the Act endanger the lives of all LGBTQIA+ persons, but also the broader population as it threatens to undo decades of work against HIV and other public health crises in the country. The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation remains firmly committed to our goal of ending HIV and enhancing health and wellbeing for all without leaving anyone behind.
See below statements from others united against the Act:
- Convening for Equality
- Global Fund, UNAIDS, PEPFAR
- OUT LGBT Well-being
- Parents, Friends and Families of South African Queers (PFSAQ), Lerato la Basadi and Isikhala Women’s Group
Click here for our previous statement, issued at the passing of the Bill in Ugandan parliament on 21 March 2023.