Profiling criminalisation and criminalisationship of same sex behaviour in Uganda

Published: January 25, 2012


Traditional heterosexual family bedrock (heteronormativity) is encouraged by
condemning homosexual practices (homonormativity) by criminalising and persecution
(homonegativity). Homonegativity is divided into two: criminalisation and
“criminalisationship”. In it one will realise that criminalisation is taken to be the statutory
measures of entrenching laws against same sex sexual practices. “criminalisationship” is
the continued subtle and grand measures that are against same sex relations and practices.
In Uganda criminalisationship is in form of derogatory language, religious sanctioned
hate campaigns, mob lynching of suspected same sex practicing persons, corrective rape
while under incarceration for suspected same sex practicing persons, eviction from
villages or residences of suspected same sex practicing persons, expulsion from places of
work or educational institutions of same sex practicing persons, media outing of
suspected same sex practicing persons and sponsorship of bills that set the ground for
statutory criminalisation. The basis of this paper is to show the structures and content that
have entrenched same sex practice criminalisation and condemnation.

There are five levels of criminalisation and criminalisationship:
1. Codified criminalisation as a result of civil and criminal law: This is in form of
sodomy laws. In Uganda 3 Bills have brought out homonegativity further: The
Anti-homosexuality Bill, 2009 with the aims at strengthening the nation’s
capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional
heterosexual family. The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, 2009 whose
aim is to provide for the management of HIV and AIDS, protection, counselling,
testing, care of persons infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS, rights and
obligation of persons infected and affected and for other related matters. Some of
its provisions are not clear on who will be the culprits of forced disclosure by
court order. The Equal Opportunities Commission ACT, 2007 of Uganda whose
aim was to eliminate discrimination and inequalities against any individual on any
grounds has sections that alienate sexual minorities (Section 16 (6) (d)).
2. Religious hate drives: In form of preaching against same sex relations and
referring this practice to a curse. Some clerics are pushing for a political agenda
against homosexuality. Presidential candidates are asked to publicly state their
stand on homosexuality before the onset of February polls. There are others who
are pushing for conversion therapy or reparative therapy or healing by touching.

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