LGBT rights in Uganda covers the legal and social conditions of LGBT people living in Uganda.

LGBT life in UgandaEdit

Homosexuality is regarded as a taboo in Uganda (as it is in many other parts of Africa), a country whose LGBT population is estimated to be 500,000.[1] Homosexuality has been referred to as "carnal knowledge of another against the order of nature" by the Ugandan government.[2]

Penal Code Act 1950 (revised)

  • § 145 (sexually neutral)

“Any person who— (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; (b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”

  • § 148 (sexually neutral)

“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Other: § 146 prohibits “attempts“ to commit offence specified in § 145 [7 years]

According to Jessica Stern of Human Rights Watch, "For years, President Yoweri Museveni's government routinely threatens and vilifies lesbians and gays, and subjects sexual rights activists to harassment."[3] The U.S. State Department's 2006 Country Report on Human Rights for Uganda stated that homosexuals "faced widespread discrimination and legal restrictions." It is illegal for homosexuals to engage in sexual acts; the maximum sentence for engaging in such acts is life imprisonment.[1][4]

Gays and lesbians face discrimination and harassment at the hands of the media, police, teachers, and other groups; in fact, a Ugandan newspaper, The Red Pepper, published a list of allegedly gay men, many of whom suffered harassment as a result.[5]

Radio Simba was fined over $1,000 and forced to issue a public apology after hosting homosexuals on a live talk show; Information Minister Nsaba Buturo said the measure reflected Ugandans' wish to uphold "God's moral values." "We are not going to give them the opportunity to recruit others," he added.[6]

Earlier that year, Human Rights Watch reported that Uganda's "abstinence-until-marriage" HIV programs "intrinsically discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation."[7]

Ban on same-sex marriagesEdit

On September 29, 2005, President Museveni signed into law a constitutional amendment proscribing same-sex marriages, making Uganda the second country in the world to do so.[8] According to the amendment, “marriage is lawful only if entered into between a man and a woman,” and “it is unlawful for same-sex couples to marry"[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Ugandans hold anti-gay sex rally" BBC News, August 21, 2007. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  2. "Homosexuality in Africa" BBC News, June 28, 2002. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  3. "Ugandan 'gay' name list condemned" BBC News, September 8, 2006. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  4. "Uganda" Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2006. United States Department of State. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  5. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people" Amnesty International Report 2007 Uganda. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  6. "Fine for Ugandan radio gay show" BBC News, October 3, 2004. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  7. "The Less They Know, the Better Abstinence-Only HIV/AIDS Programs in Uganda" Human Rights Watch. March 2005. Accessed on August 21, 2007.
  8. "Uganda's Targeting of Gays and Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Condemned" Behind the Mask (African LGBT rights group). October 12, 2005. Accessed on January 29, 2008.
  9. , however, in 2008, a British-Ugandan called Sabir Ahmed married a gay man called Lloyd Asamoah. The two were executed by President Museveni after the news of their marriage went public."Uganda: Press Homophobia Raises Fears of Crackdown" Government Campaign Against Gay and Lesbian Community Escalates Human Rights Watch. September 8, 2006. Accessed on August 21, 2007.

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