DA condemns state-sponsored homophobia

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
31 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP.

The Ugandan Parliament has recently passed a deadly bill that now makes engaging in acts of homosexuality a crime punishable by death. The Act not only criminalises conspiracy to engage in homosexuality but further stipulates a 20-year sentence for “promoting” homosexuality.

Earlier this year, the Ugandan President and homophobe-in-chief, Yoweri Museveni, referred to homosexuality as a “deviant proclivity”. This, despite 15 global leaders in science having written an open letter to the President stating that, “homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality. The science on this subject is crystal clear and we call on you in the strongest possible terms to veto the bill in the name of science.”

The African Union’s Agenda 2063 envisions a continent in which there is a universal culture of respect for human rights. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights seeks to uphold these rights, and any member state of the African Union can make referrals to the African Court on Human Rights where a state is actively violating this Charter.

Last week in Parliament, in responding to a question from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, not only refused to condemn Uganda’s state-sponsored homophobia, but further refused to confirm whether South Africa would be willing to demonstrate leadership on the African continent and refer this matter to the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

South Africa was one of the first countries to decriminalise same-sex relationships. As a Constitutional Democracy and a leader on the African continent, South Africa now has a moral and legal duty to take measures to support and defend the rights of all minorities throughout the African Union.

The DA will now write to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, requesting that South Africa initiate steps via diplomatic channels to hold Uganda to account in passing this horrific and brutal law.

The DA further calls on all member states of the African Union (AU) and representatives of the Pan African Parliament to initiate consequence management in relation to this atrocious attack on the fundamental human rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.