Ugandan lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to parliament that proposes tough new penalties for same-s*x relations in a country where homosexuality is already illegal, defying criticism from human rights groups.
Annet Anita Among, the speaker of parliament, referred the bill to a house committee for scrutiny, the first step in an accelerated process to pass the proposal into law.
There would be “a public hearing” in which sexual minorities would be allowed to participate, she said in an address before parliament laced with homophobic language.
“Let the public come express their views — including the homos — allow them to come,” she said.
The bill comes as conspiracy theories accusing shadowy international forces of promoting homosexuality gain traction on social media in conservative Uganda.
Under the proposed law, anyone who engages in same-s*x activity or who “holds out” as LGBTQ could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
It is unclear how long the parliamentary process could take