Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill: SA’s Commitment To Engagement And Persuasion A Step In The Right Direction

GOOD Statement by Brett Herron,
GOOD Secretary-General & Member of Parliament

25 May 2023

The GOOD Party welcomes the clear commitment made by Deputy President Paul Mashatile to persuade and engage Uganda on its dangerous Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

This commitment was made in response to GOOD’s Parliamentary question today on whether South Africa is planning any peace mission to Uganda to address the potential human rights crisis that is unfolding.

Since 2013, the Ugandan government has continued its aggressive anti-LGBTQIA+ stance with laws declaring that any acts “promoting or engaging in homosexuality” could lead to life imprisonment.

An even harsher version of the law was passed in March this year, when the lawmakers agreed that any citizen who identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, could look at life in prison. This version again was sent back to Parliament for further changes.

The latest amended Bill, passed earlier this month, unfortunately reflects a mostly unchanged piece of legislation, still leaving Uganda with one of the world’s strictest anti-LGBTQIA+ bills.

While Deputy President Mashatile failed to agree with us on the role that South Africa, with its own history of human rights abuses and reliance on international support, should play in championing global peace and human rights, he did acknowledge that LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights, and are universal.

This is a small step, but at least signals a commitment to not simply stand by and watch on if and when LGBTQIA+ lives will be endangered.

However as GOOD, we hope that this engagement and persuasion is more effective than “quiet diplomacy” was with Zimbabwe, and that it will in fact lead to better outcomes for the people of Uganda.

We need constant pressure from our leaders if we are to address a culture that will be a breeding ground for hate and persecution on the continent.

No law can deny you of your human rights as they are inherent by virtue of being a human being.

GOOD once again strongly condemns the decision taken by the Ugandan lawmakers.

Media Enquiries:

Brett Herron, GOOD Secretary-General & Member of Parliament
Cell: 0825183264

Janke Tolmay, GOOD Media Manager
Cell: 0733671223