Statement by the Equal Rights Coalition on the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda (29 May 2023)


The Equal Rights Coalition expresses grave concerns about the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 which further criminalizes LGBTI persons in Uganda. The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 criminalizes same sex-relations with even broader and more draconian punishments for LGBTI conduct, including life imprisonment or death. In addition to criminalizing the “promotion of sexuality,” the law threatens LGBTI organizations engaged in human rights advocacy or engaged in health assistance programs, and criminalizes support to LGBTI organizations and those working on the human rights of LGBTI persons.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, which was nullified on procedural grounds by the Constitutional Court of Uganda, and closely mirrors the 2023 Act, has been extensively examined and condemned by human rights experts as discriminatory, violating the human rights of LGBTI persons and inciting hate and violence against LGBTI persons. As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted, exclusion, stigmatization and discrimination of any group within a society is corrosive, is a root cause of violence, and has a negative impact on society as a whole.

The Equal Rights Coalition expresses grave concern about an uptick in violence against Ugandan LGBTI persons and calls on the Ugandan government to protect its citizens, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, from violence.

There is no excuse for violence and discrimination, under any circumstance, against any group. That includes violence on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 infringes on the human rights of all Ugandans, while gravely undermining the human rights of LGBTI persons in particular. More broadly, it contributes to a climate of fear and persecution which will also negatively impact on trade, public health, investment, tourism and development. It also risks undoing the important progress that Uganda has made on global challenges, such as the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Equal Rights Coalition aligns itself with the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Equal Rights Coalition expresses its support to civil society and local communities in Uganda and the wider region.

Equal Rights Coalition members who are co-signatories:

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay