By Male Deogratius
If the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill is passed in its current form, homosexuals, landlords, brothel owners, chief executives of pro-gay organizations, journalists, and film directors face imprisonment or fines ranging from Shs5m to Shs100m.
The Bill, which was gazetted last Friday and was prepared by Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament Asuman Basalirwa, seeks to criminalize homosexuality as well as its promotion and financing.
Its overall penalties are comparable to those specified in the minister David Bahati-sponsored anti-gay law, which was quashed in 2014 by a court on the grounds that it was enacted without quorum.
For instance, offences of homosexuality and attempted or aggravated homosexuality which in the older version were punishable with life imprisonment in the proposed legislation carry a maximum 10-year jail term.
The Bill imposes a Shs100 million fine on any entity that promotes homosexuality, whether through the printing of materials, funding, hosting, or complicity, as well as the deregistration of the organization’s chief executive.
Those who run brothels for homosexuals face seven years in prison, while landlords who rent property to homosexuals face a year in prison.
Anyone convicted of attempted or actual procurement of homosexuality faces a five-year prison sentence, while anyone convicted of conducting/contracting same-sex marriage faces a ten-year prison sentence.
Under the Bill, an editor, journalist, publisher and film director who discloses the identity of a homosexuality victim without authority of court or victim, once convicted, can be fined up to Shs5m.
The proposed law also gives courts broad authority to order protection for a child deemed likely to engage in homosexual behavior, as well as to determine the amount of compensation due to a victim of homosexuality committed by an offender.
“A magistrate’s court may, upon application by any person, issue a protection order if satisfied that a child is likely to engage in homosexual acts,” the draft law states.
Summary of punishments
Homosexuality Life imprisonment 10 years in jail
Aggravated Homosexuality Life imprisonment 10 years imprisonment
Attempted Homosexuality 7-year jail term 2 years in jail
Attempted aggravated homosexuality Life imprisonment 10 years in jail
Aiding and abetting homosexuality 7 years’ imprisonment 2 years in jail
Contracting same-sex marriage Life imprisonment 10 years in jail
Conducting same-sex marriage Seven-year jail term 10 years imprisonment
Promoting homosexuality 5-7 years’ in jail or Shs100m fine, or both Five-year jail term or Shs100m penalty, or both