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Country Overview

Uganda

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019:

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Same-sex relations have been criminalized in Uganda since British colonial times. Sections 145 on “unnatural offenses” and 148 on “indecent practices” have been retained in the Penal Code since independence. “Carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between men carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The so-called “Anti-Homosexuality Act,” which foresaw imposition of the death penalty for same-sex relations, was first passed by the parliament of Uganda in 2013 and signed into law by President Museveni in early 2014. It was invalidated by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on procedural grounds the same year. Rumors of a resurrection have been circulating ever since, with the death penalty foreseen not only for same-sex relations, but also for promotion and "recruitment" of homosexuality. In May 2021, the Parliament of Uganda passed the Sexual Offences Bill. Purportedly the Bill aims to prevent sexual violence, enhance punishment against sexual offenders and provide additional protection for victims, however, it also reinforces the ban on same-sex relations. Police regularly target, abuse, and arrest people on the basis of their presumed sexual orientation and gender identity, with forced anal examinations used against those detained, purportedly to gather evidence. Although the laws do not explicitly mention transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, law enforcement officials often conflate gender identity with sexual orientation, and, as such, trans people are detained and charged under the same laws. Government officials have repeatedly shut down Pride events, LGBTIQ events and conferences, and raided LGBTIQ-friendly social spaces. Films, tv shows, and radio programs have been banned for “homosexual content.” Violence from private individuals is also high, and hate speech in the media is strong. Uganda has an enthusiastic and persistent LGBTIQ activist community, despite threats, violent attacks, and arbitrary arrests.

Global Impact

Sub-Saharan Africa

Outright supports LGBTIQ organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and works with mainstream human rights organizations to respect human rights and influence positive changes in laws, policies, attitudes, and beliefs that cause discrimination against LGBTIQ people on the continent.

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United Nations

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Asia

Our work in Asia promotes acceptance of sexual and gender diversity at all levels of society.

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Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, we partner with local groups in various countries as part of our international solidarity work. We also work with our local partners on different topics through capacity building, advocacy, research and holistic security.



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Europe and Central Asia

Outright International partners with activists to fight for an end to human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in Europe and Central Asia, where most of our work involves emergency responses to harassment, discrimination, violence and most recently, Russia’s brutal and expanded invasion of Ukraine.

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Americas

Our work in the Americas continues to build on the fundamental and positive transformation of human rights protections in recent years. We partner with groups in the Caribbean that focus on ending gender-based violence and eradicating discrimination against trans people.

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Pacific

Our work in the Pacific aims to increase visibility of activists, respond to human rights emergencies, and actively bridge local, regional and international activism to achieve equality and justice.

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Human Rights Research

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