Despite international condemnation of its policies, the Ugandan government, headed by openly homophobic President Yoweri Museveni, is set to further tighten its anti-gay laws.
Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, the country’s Ethics and Integrity Minister James Buturo said that the government aims to not only stamp out homosexual activity, which is already illegal, but to change the law to make simply being gay an offence.
“We want it to become law in that if someone is a homosexual or confesses to being a gay or lesbian, then he is a criminal,” he said.
Buturo claimed that homosexuality was “mushrooming” in his nation and that “the disease has penetrated everywhere.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, with offenders facing up to five years in prison. Same-sex marriage has also been banned. Various government officials have repeatedly called for a crackdown on LGBT people and activists have reportedly been harassed and tortured by the authorities.
The government’s anti-gay policies have been widely condemned by figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organisations including Human Rights watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.