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Country Overview


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Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?


Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?


Legal Gender Recognition Possible?


LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?


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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. In 2013, parliament passed an Anti-Homosexuality Bill, signed into law by President Museveni in early 2014, which added new offenses related to same-sex sexual acts and LGBTQ advocacy. The Constitutional Court invalidated it on procedural grounds the same year. In May of 2023, President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a new version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This law now includes the death penalty for some consensual same-sex acts, prohibits expressions of support for LGBTQ people, and prohibits landlords from housing LGBTQ people. The most far-reaching provision is Article 15, the “duty to report acts of homosexuality.” Under this provision, everyone in Uganda faces six months in prison if they fail to report to the police any person of whom they have “a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed or intends to commit” either acts of homosexuality or any other offense under the law. Since the passage of the law, Ugandan human rights groups have documented a rise in arrests, evictions, and violence.

On the 18th of December, 2023, the Constitutional Court of Uganda heard petitions challenging the Anti-homosexuality Act 2023. The petitions argue that the law infringes upon the right to privacy, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression. They also contend that the law was rushed through parliament without adequate public consultation. 

Government officials have repeatedly shut down Pride events, LGBTIQ events, and conferences, as well as raided LGBTIQ-friendly social spaces. Films, television shows, and radio programs have been banned for “homosexual content.” In August 2022, the Ugandan government suspended the operations of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a local nonprofit advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minorities. Despite threats, violent attacks, and arbitrary arrests, Uganda’s LGBTIQ activist community continues to advocate assiduously for rights.


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.

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United Nations

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