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Beyond the Anti-Homosexuality Act: homosexuality and the Parliament of Uganda

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JournalParliamentary Affairs
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Jul 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2019
DatePublished (current) - 12 Jan 2021
Issue number1
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)52-78
Early online date3/08/19
Original languageEnglish


In 2014, the Constitutional Court of Uganda nullified the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014. Since that time, homosexuality has remained a key issue of debate in the Ugandan Parliament and there have been consistent calls from parliamentarians for the enactment of new anti-gay law. In this article, which is based on an analysis of the Official Report (Hansard), we provide a critical consideration of activity in the Ugandan Parliament relating to the issue of homosexuality since 2014. We examine how parliamentarians conceptualize the ‘problem’ of homosexuality and the claims they make about homosexuals. We show that calls for the increased regulation of homosexuality largely depend on problematic assertions about two related issues: the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in Uganda, and the imagined ‘recruitment’ of Ugandan children into homosexuality. We conclude by arguing that if the current level of support in the Parliament for anti-gay legislation is to be diminished, and the enactment of new anti-gay law is to be avoided, then it is crucial that some Ugandan parliamentarians speak out against homophobia and, importantly, are given support to do so.

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© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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