We're well into a new decade, but equality for LGBTQ people around the world continues to not be a given. In fact, being part of the LGBTQ community can often mean a prison sentence, or even death.
"Such is the case in the African nation of Uganda's president signs into law anti-LGBTQ bill that imposes death penalty, a country with more than 45 million people. President Yoweri Museveni signed in one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, which prescribes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is defined as cases of having sex while HIV positive, as well as sexual relations with minors and other categories of vulnerable people. The bill also criminalizes sex education for the gay community, makes it illegal not to report perpetrators of so-called aggravated homosexuality, and calls for “rehabilitation”–widely discredited conversion therapy–for gay offenders, reports CNN.
The Ugandan parliament had previously voted for an earlier version of the bill that would introduce life imprisonment and the death penalty for those convicted of engaging in homosexual sex or “recruitment, promotion, and funding” of same-sex “activities," though the version of the bill signed by Museveni doesn't criminalize those who merely identify as LGBTQ+. Still, world leaders have condemned the bill and Uganda's government.
While it’s true that over 30 countries around the world have legalized same-sex marriage and that about as many allow for joint adoption by same-sex couples, it’s also true that same-sex sexual activity is illegal in more than 60 countries.
Several countries have legislation pending to rid their books of these archaic laws, but sadly, others are becoming even more extreme in their persecution of the LGBTQ community."