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Ugandan MPs approve new version of anti-LGBTQ bill

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema speaks against Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill at the Ugandan High Commission in Pretoria in April, 2023   -  
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Themba Hadebe/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


Ugandan lawmakers approved on Tuesday a new version of the country's anti-gay bill that removes a clause that appeared to criminalize identifying as LGBTQ.

The initial version of the bill was widely criticized by the international community.

“We thank you very much. Once the bill is passed into law, it is the duty of the executive to execute it - and we shall do our part as the executive”, said the Attorney General of Uganda, Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni returned the bill back to parliament, asking for changes.

The bill, in its original version, had prescribed life imprisonment for "homosexuality" and the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.

“I know all of us have faced intimidations out there, people being promised to be denied visas, travel restrictions and bans - but we have been able to withstand that", said Asuman Basalirwa, Ugandan Legislator and Mover of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023

Previously, the US has warned of economic consequences if the legislation is enacted.

“While I was in the U.S, I challenged the people I met, especially Africans, that we can see their struggle to defend the right to sexual orientation, but I don’t see them defend the right of Africa in say the transfer of technology like the Chinese are doing. The black race is struggling to transfer homosexuality, not technology, to Africa - and nobody could answer me”, added Mathias Mpuuga, Ugandan Legislator and Leader of Opposition.

Homosexuality is already illegal in the East African country under a colonial-era law criminalizing sex acts between people of the same gender.

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