Uganda parliament passes harsh anti-LGBTQ bill

STORY: Uganda's parliament passed one of the world's strictest anti-LGBTQ bills on Tuesday (May 2).

The new bill retained most of the harshest measures adopted in March, including long jail terms and the death penalty, which were condemned by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and major corporations.

Cases of so-called "aggravated homosexuality", a term the government uses to describe actions including having gay sex when HIV-positive, will now risk death penalty.

And that's not all.

The new bill also allows a 20-year sentence for promoting homosexuality.

Activists say it could criminalise any advocacy for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens.

President Yoweri Museveni, a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights, has signalled he intends to sign the legislation once certain changes are made.

It was not immediately clear if the new bill satisfied his requests, and his office was not available for comment.

Same-sex relations are already illegal in Uganda and members of the LGBTQ community routinely face arrest and harassment by law enforcement.

Western governments suspended aid, imposed visa restrictions and curtailed security cooperation in response to another anti-LGBTQ law Museveni signed in 2014.

That law was nullified within months by a domestic court on procedural grounds.

Now, the U.S. government said that it was assessing the implications of the looming law for activities in Uganda under its flagship HIV/AIDS programme.