Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Shelved – Backgrounder

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A different approach. Photo: Russel Higgs/flickr

Promising news from Uganda: the parliament has adjourned without debating a controversial bill that would have mandated life prison for homosexual acts and the death penalty for ‘aggravated’ cases. The move to wipe the draft laws from the agenda came amid mounting pressure from governments and citizens around the world. Bills not completed in the old parliament must be resubmitted to be considered. The fight isn’t over yet, but last week’s developments may prove to be a critical milestone for gay rights in Africa.

We have offered regular coverage of this issue:

  • You Can Run – Or You Can Hide recounts the assassination of gay rights campaigner David Kato Kisule and how homophobia in Uganda has grown even stronger in the wake of the murder.
  • Many western media outlets and human rights groups have failed to provide a proper context for understanding this new wave of homophobia. Gay Rights (and Wrongs) in Africa analyzes the complex cultural and political factors that underpin anti-gay fervor.
  • LGBT and Human Rights provides an overview of the discrimination and persecution of gays and lesbians in the world, with a strong focus on Africa. Did you know that until 21 years ago, the World Health Organization listed homosexuality as a mental disorder?

And you will find more resources on the topic in our Digital Library. Let us know if you have suggestions for additional publications on this topic!


Valerie joined the ISN in April 2011. She holds a master's degree in political science from Leiden University. Valerie previously worked for an information and communication technology consultancy and served as Voter Education Officer and Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste. She speaks German, English, French and Bahasa

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