Uganda is expected to propose a new anti-gay bill on Wednesday, according to an audio recording of the country’s speaker of parliament, Annet Anita Among, accessed by news agency, AFP.
Sexual minorities have traditionally faced widespread persecution in the country, where anti-gay and transphobic views are common.
But, while homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, there has not been a conviction for consensual same-sex activity since the country’s independence from Britain in 1962.
The news of the proposed bill comes as conspiracy theories blaming shadowy international forces for “promoting homosexuality” flood Ugandan social media.
This accusation is routinely directed at Western governments and aid agencies in the country, who repeatedly defend the LGBTQ community from attacks related to their identity.
At the same time, the Ugandan government last month set up a committee to investigate the alleged “promotion” of gay, lesbian, and transgender rights in schools.
Frank Mugisha, the executive director of leading gay rights organisation, Sexual Minorities Uganda, which was suspended by the authorities last year, said he had already been inundated with calls from LGBTQ people who are fearful about the proposed law.
“Homosexual acts are already illegal and a new law would mean more harassment and discrimination against people who are already vulnerable,” he said.