Last edited: July 10, 2005

Uganda to Jail Same-Sex Couples Who Marry, July 7, 2005

KAMPALA—Uganda’s parliament has passed tough new laws against gays in the African nation. The new law makes it a criminal offense for same-sex couples to marry.

“Parliament has adopted a proposal to amend the Constitution so as to criminalize same-sex marriages,” Bernard Eceru, a spokesperson for the government told the Ugandan Newspaper. Eceru said that 111 MPs voted in favor of the amendment, 17 against and three abstained.

Specific jail terms for offenders were not included in the legislation but are to be laid out in revisions to the Ugandan penal code at a later date, Eceru told the paper.

Gay sex is already illegal in Uganda. Hundreds of gays and lesbians have fled the country. Many have sought refuge in the United Kingdom but have often been denied refugee status and returned home.

Uganda’s Anglican Church is one of the leaders of the conservative movement in that faith that has been threatening a schism over the election of a gay bishop in the United States.

In addition to making gay marriage a criminal offence the Ugandan Parliament removed presidential term limits.

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