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Uganda's president signs anti-gay legislation into law — includes death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality'

Photo by BADRU KATUMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Uganda's president signed into law anti-gay legislation which includes the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," the Associated Press reported.

What are the details?

The bill signed by President Yoweri Museveni doesn't criminalize LBGTQ identification, but the AP said it does prescribe the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which the outlet said is defined as sexual relations involving HIV-positive people as well as with minors and other vulnerable individuals.

In addition, a suspect convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can be imprisoned for up to 14 years, the AP said, citing the legislation.

While rights activists and others outside Uganda widely condemn the new law, the outlet said many in the East African country support it.

Parliamentary Speaker Anita Among said in a statement that the president had “answered the cries of our people” by signing the bill, the AP reported.

“With a lot of humility, I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country,” the statement read, according to the outlet.

More from the AP:

LGBTQ rights campaigners say the new legislation is unnecessary in a country where homosexuality has long been illegal under a colonial-era law criminalizing sexual activity “against the order of nature.” The punishment for that offense is life imprisonment.

The U.S. has warned of economic consequences over legislation described by Amnesty International as “draconian and overly broad.”

The U.N. Human Rights Office said Monday it was “appalled that the draconian and discriminatory anti-gay bill is now law," describing the legislation as ”a recipe for systematic violations of the rights" of LGBTQ people and others.

The outlet added that anti-gay sentiment in Uganda has grown recently in the wake of news alleging sodomy in boarding schools, including a prestigious school for boys where a parent accused a teacher of abusing her son.

The AP reported that homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries, and that some Africans see it as a product of other countries rather than a sexual orientation.

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