The bill prescribes the death penalty or life imprisonment for some homosexual offenses. Apparently, this would hurt Uganda’s economy, the Open For Business coalition said in a statement Wednesday. “Diversity and inclusion are core principles of our coalition partners in the conduct of their businesses,” the statement said.
If President Yoweri Museveni signs the bill into law, it would undermine Uganda’s attractiveness as a place to do business and invest, the statement reads.
In addition to Google, the Open For Business coalition includes companies such as Microsoft, MasterCard, HSBC and Facebook owner Meta.
Uganda’s legislature last week passed the anti-homosexuality bill. The legislation is now with Museveni, who can sign it into law or return it back to the parliamentary speaker with proposed changes.
Ugandans widely supported the bill, including among others church leaders. It was introduced last month by an opposition lawmaker who said his goal was to punish the “promotion, recruitment and funding” of LGBTQ activities in the country. Only two of 389 legislators present for the voting session opposed the bill.
The bill prescribes the death penalty for the offense of “aggravated homosexuality” and life imprisonment for “homosexuality”.
Furthermore, it is drawing fears that those who identify as LGBTQ can be criminally prosecuted. Aggravated homosexuality is defined as cases of sex relations involving those infected with HIV.
It also involves those considered minors and other categories of vulnerable people. Jail terms of up to 20 years are proposed for those who advocate or promote the rights of LGBTQ people.
Additionally, a suspect convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” can be jailed for 14 years.
The offense of “attempted homosexuality” is punishable by up to 10 years, according to the bill. The death penalty for some acts of homosexuality “is an egregious violation of human rights,” a group of U.N. experts said Wednesday.
Homosexuality is also criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries.
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