Members of Uganda's LGBTQ community are in shock and fear being arrested after parliament passed a new law that makes it a crime to identify as gay, and imposes tough sentences that include the death penalty in certain cases, an activist said on Wednesday.
The "Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023" was passed with a near-unanimous majority by lawmakers in the east African country where anti-LGBTQ sentiment runs deep.
Frank Mugisha, one of a few Ugandans who live openly as gay, told Reuters he was scared the law will trigger "mass arrests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons and mob violence toward LGBTQ communities."
"LGBTQ persons are going to fear going to health centres for services ... there's going to be a lot of trauma and cases of mental health that will lead to a lot of suicide," he said.
Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, but supporters of the new law say it is needed to punish a broader array of LGBTQ activities, which they say threaten traditional values in the conservative and religious East African nation.
It includes steep sentences that include death for "aggravated homosexuality" and life in prison for same-sex relations. Aggravated homosexuality applies to same-sex activities with people under the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV positive, among other categories, according to the law.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday the law would undermine fundamental human rights and "reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS" and urged authorities to reconsider implementation of the law.
The legislation passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday, known as the Anti-Homosexuality Act, is appalling and abhorrent – no one, nowhere, should have to live in fear because of who they are or whom they love. We strongly urge Ugandan lawmakers to reconsider this legislation.
The legislation will next be sent to President Yoweri Museveni, who has repeatedly denounced homosexuality, to be signed into law.
"It's a moment of shock for the LGBTQ community," said Mugisha, whose charity which advocates for LGBTQ rights was shut down last year.
Mugisha said he would challenge the law in court on grounds that it was unconstitutional, and violated various international treaties to which Uganda is a signatory. He did not say when he would file a case.
A case such as his would stand a good chance of striking down the law, according to two Kampala-based lawyers contacted by Reuters.
"The law violates fundamental constitutional rights like privacy and free speech, so purely based on the law, I think it will be a strong case," said lawyer Adrian Jjuko.
Uganda's parliament has passed some of the most sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation in the world. Same-sex acts were already unlawful in Uganda, but on Tuesday night, lawmakers voted to ban identifying as LGBTQ, or the so-called promotion of gay identity.
In a packed chamber, lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of the new anti-homosexuality bill, with only two of the nearly 400 representatives voting against it. "Congratulations," said Speaker Anita Among. "Whatever we are doing, we are doing it for the people of Uganda."
Same-sex acts have been criminal in Uganda under British colonial-era laws, but this new legislation goes much further. It punishes anyone identifying as gay or queer, and potentially people or rights groups seen as promoting LGBTQ+ identity, and same-sex relations could be punishable with up to life imprisonment. Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa's 54 countries.
International condemnation has been swift. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the bill "would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans." He added, "We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation."
White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said Washington is "watching this real closely," and did not rule out possible economic "repercussions" if the legislation is implemented.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called it a "deeply troubling development." "If signed into law by the president, it will render lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are," he said. "It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other."
Uganda passed a previous anti-homosexuality law in 2014, but the courts struck it down on procedural grounds, following outrage in Uganda and from international donors. Human Rights Watch called the new legislation a "more egregious version."
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has spoken in support of the legislation, is expected to sign it into law.
BTS continues to influence and inspire billions of people across the globe with their music, and there’s no slowing them down. The Bangtan boys have never shied away from talking about grave social issues as well as challenging stereotypes and injustices every step of the way. They’ve always preached self-love and self-acceptance, uniting an ARMY of people who worship these artists. Some of the quotes by BTS members are truly stimulating and will make you fall in love with them all over again.
These quotes by BTS beautifully reflect the band’s take on popularity and happiness, being vulnerable and passionate as well as working hard for the fulfilment of dreams and goals. On days when you need a little more motivation, these cheerful sayings by the K-pop supergroup will brighten up your day.
The BTS leader isn’t only a force to reckon with on-stage but also inspires the young and old alike with his amazing advice. His unique perspective on life will definitely boost your spirits.
“I think that there’s no need to live your life based on the standards of others. Everyone says ‘dream big,’ but I don’t think you have to live so fiercely like that all the time.”
“I’m like a surfer, first you just paddle and fall off the board but as time goes by you can stand up on the bigger waves.”
“Popularity is a bubble. It’s a mountain: you can go up really hard but walk down really fast.”
“We’re on some path that’s set since we’re born, but I still believe we can change some things. So, I believe in my faith, but I still don’t believe in my fate.”
“If you want to love others, I think you should love yourself first”
“I go somewhere I haven’t been and just watch people and colours. That’s my inspiration.”
“Humans seem to be programmed to think of ambivalent feelings at the same time. That is the driving force behind human beings: to be the warrant of all things and to control other worlds.”
Jimin has always instilled hope and inspiration in his fans with his thought-provoking messages, be it about gratitude, fulfilling dreams or self-love.
“I hope you will never give up. Remember there is a person here in Korea, in the city of Seoul, who understands you.”
“Once your heart is moved, it will develop to something better and positive.”
“We are all in different parts of the world, in different environments and circumstances, but at this moment, I hope we can all give each other a warm pat on the back and say, ‘It’s okay’.”
“Even if I’m a little hurt it’s okay.”
“Know that the pain will pass. And when it does you will be stronger.”
BTS’ V aka Kim Taehyung exudes positivity wherever he goes and motivates all his followers to be the best version of themselves.
“When things get hard, stop for a while and look back and see how far you’ve come. Don’t forget how rewarding it is. You are the most beautiful flower, more than anyone else in this world.”
“Purple is the last colour of the rainbow colours. So, means I will trust and love you for a long time.”
“I urge you to listen to your heart. Things may feel a little difficult right now, but somewhere out there, luck and opportunity is waiting for you. I believe that.”
“Don’t be trapped in someone else’s dream.”
“Hard work will never betray you.”
“You’re too young to let the world break you.”
Jungkook has time and again proved that he’s filled with wisdom and tries to push his fans to follow their dreams and passions irrespective of what the world thinks.
“Effort makes you. You will regret it someday if you don’t do your best now…don’t think it’s too late but keep working on it…it may take time, but there’s nothing that gets worse due to practising…so practise. You may get depressed, but it’s evidence that you are doing good.”
“We should try to respect and understand each other. We need to be considerate of others. Only then we can understand each other and get close to each other and become one.”
“Isn’t a man someone who doesn’t care about what others think? A man does whatever he wants.”
“Living without passion is like being dead.”
“Without anger or sadness, you won’t be able to feel true happiness.”
“To the world, you may be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.”
The oldest member of the K-pop group also has a lot of wisdom to impart. Jin always has something meaningful to say, be it via his music, interviews, or fan Q&As.
“If any of you feels lost in the face of uncertainty or the pressure of starting anew, don’t rush. Take a deep breath. You may find that any moment can be turned into an opportunity.”
“Your presence can give happiness. I hope you remember that.”
“Those who keep trying without giving up are the ones who succeed.”
“Everything becomes a bad thing when you think negative. When you think positive, it becomes better. That’s what I believe.”
“Win, lose, I don’t care because at the end of the day, I still have this face. So, who’s the real winner?”
BTS’ Suga aka Min Yoongi has publicly spoken about mental well-being as well as equality for the LGBTQ+ community, making him a true inspiration. He has spoken about how one should lead their life with their head held high despite setbacks and call for help when needed.
“Life is tough and things don’t always work out well, but we should be brave and go on with our lives.”
“I really want to say that everyone in the world is lonely, and everyone is sad, and if we know that
The leader of Lambeth Council has expressed her anger at a damning report into the Metropolitan Police which concludes that the police force continues to let down Londoners and is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic.
Commenting on the release of Baroness Casey’s independent report into the culture of the Metropolitan Police today, Cllr Claire Holland said: “This report is shameful, detailing appalling breaches of trust and the failure of the Met to properly protect Londoners.
“It reveals what many of us know all too well – that there is widespread failure in the Met to deal with misconduct by officers which leaves racism, misogyny and homophobia going unpunished.
“These findings may not surprise residents in Lambeth, particularly women, our LGBTQ+ communities and those from Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic backgrounds, who directly experience this racism, misogyny and homophobia. But they continue to cause distress and trauma amongst them, preventing trust in the police from being built and leaving our communities vulnerable to mistreatment.
“This report cannot be ignored as many have been before. This has to be a moment of genuine change, with an end to this cycle of mistrust and institutional racism, misogyny and homophobia.”
Communities in Lambeth have experienced these shocking failures in the most profound ways, from the horrifying murder of Sarah Everard to the shooting of Chris Kaba and death in custody of Ian Taylor. In her report Baroness Casey lays out how our residents face discriminatory and unfair treatment in many ways, including that faced by a Lambeth employee in 2019 which is referenced in report.
That man faced an unfair and unnecessary stop and search and when he complained about it, he was told there was no case to answer. Only after being challenged by Lambeth Council was the case properly reviewed and the complaint upheld. But even then, no action was taken against the officers, leaving an absence of justice which can only exacerbate the lack of trust many people have in the police.
Cllr Mahamed Hashi, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities said: “The report is a damning indictment of the Metropolitan Police and the deep-rooted discrimination that exists within the organisation. The findings are particularly shocking in relation to the safety of women and girls, who have been placed at greater risk than necessary.
“The report highlights what we know to be true in Lambeth regarding the impact of policing cuts, and the withdrawal from the frontline that many of us have experienced in our communities.
“I know that many Lambeth residents will already know the report’s finding that the Met under-protects and over-polices Black Londoners. That our daily experience is recognised is important but also deeply frustrating for so many that too little action has been taken to address this until now.
“We will continue to hold the Met to account and work our local police services to root out discrimination and keep Lambeth residents safe.”
JoJo Siwa is officially the patron saint of Disney Adults. The actress and singer revealed in a new interview that Disney World served as the backdrop for many formative experiences in her life, as she told PEOPLE that she came into her own as a queer woman while visiting the House of Mouse's Orlando, Fla. resort.
"I have a lot of really fun memories here. I have a lot of really hard memories here, but I have grown a lot at Disney," the 19-year-old told the publication while visiting Magic Kingdom to experience the park's new Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster. "I fell in love for the first time at Disney World. I realized I was gay at Disney World. I went through stages of heartbreak at Disney World. There's been a lot in my personal life that Disney World has really attributed to."
Siwa first came out in January 2021 via TikTok, when she was only one month into dating her first girlfriend, Kylie Prew.
"I was here for 14 days with a girl that was my really good friend and I realized that, 'Oh, I like her,'" Siwa continued. "And having all those feelings while just being in the most magical place in the world and the happiest place on Earth was so cool. We're not together anymore, but we did have some really fun, happy memories here."
Siwa told EW for our 2021 Pride cover that her fans missed many signs pointing to her sexuality throughout her career, as she said she came out to family and friends long before she told the public.
"I mean, I wore a rainbow on the top of my head almost every day of my life," she said. "And any time I could have anything rainbow, I would get rainbow. June's my favorite month to shop because of all the Pride clothes."
The performer has since become a vocal supporter of LGBTQIA+ rights, including pushing back against Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure, who made controversial comments about her new holiday network producing content that will favor "traditional marriage" over LGBTQ love stories in late 2022. Siwa previously clashed with the actress in July, when she suggested in a social media video that Bure was one of the rudest celebrities she's ever met.
Subscribe to EW's Quick Drag podcast for recaps of RuPaul's Drag Race, including reactions with the cast, special guests, and more.
JoJo Siwa recently talked about the significant moments in her life that happened at Disney World. In an interview with People magazine, Siwa said that she has both fun and challenging memories at the resort in Orlando, Florida. She added that she grew a lot while spending time there.
Siwa admitted to realizing that she was gay for the first time while at Disney World. The Rainbow Collection founder and Boomerang singer also shared that she fell in love for the first time while she was there. Earlier this year, Siwa announced that she is a member of the LGBTQ community and introduced her girlfriend, Kylie Prew, to the world. Siwa and Prew first met on a cruise in 2019 and became close friends. During a two-week vacation to Disney World with Siwa's brother Jayden and his girlfriend, Siwa realized that she was in love with Prew. Siwa and Prew have had an on-and-off relationship, but they remain close friends.
Siwa shared that even though she and Prew are not together anymore, they have had some fun and happy memories at Disney World. The two have dated on and off since going public with their romance, and Siwa has shared photos and videos of their trips on social media. Despite having split up, Siwa and Prew remain best friends and enjoy each other's company. Last May, Siwa confirmed that she and Prew were back together by sharing photos of the two at Disney World.
Siwa and Prew's relationship has gone through its ups and downs, but they have continued to remain close friends. In June of last year, Prew shared in an Instagram video that they had split again. She was clear, however, that she bears no ill will towards Siwa and that they are just taking a break. Siwa, on the other hand, has been focusing on her career as a singer, actress, and influencer. She continues to inspire her fans through her music and her colorful fashion sense.
Two people have been charged by police after an angry confrontation between hundreds of people and LGBTQ protesters outside a church where One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham was speaking in Sydney’s south-west. Footage shows a large group of mostly men confronting about 15 LGBTQ protesters outside St Michael’s Church in Belfield, where Latham held an event on Tuesday night.
Riot police were called in and surrounded the protesters for their protection. The protesters, from the group Community Action for Rainbow Rights, said they had gone to the church to protest peacefully before the incident turned violent. Footage from the event shows a man being pushed to the ground and a large group surrounding him, as some in the crowd try to stop others storming over him.
Police said officers from the Campsie Police Area Command were called to the church about 5pm and, when they arrived, a number of glass bottles and other projectiles were thrown at them. The Public Order and Riot Squad and Operational Support Group joined to help to disperse the crowd. A male constable was allegedly struck by a projectile and his hand was injured. He was taken to Canterbury Hospital in a stable condition.
Police also said a 38-year-old man was pushed to the ground and assaulted. Police said a 34-year-old man was arrested and taken to Campsie Police Station where he was charged with encouraging the commission of crimes. He was given conditional bail to appear before Bankstown Local Court on April 11. A 41-year-old man was arrested and charged with common assault. He is due to appear before Bankstown Local Court on May 30.
Speaking on Nine’s 2GB on Wednesday, Latham said he made his way to the church from the back because protesters were blocking Margaret Road, and was later told about the violence. “The police informed me that out the front, there had been chaotic scenes – the equivalent of a riot – where some of the parishioners took exception to the fact that access to their church was going to be blocked by these transgender protesters, and they took matters into their own hands, which was wrong,” he said.
Latham also denounced the protest group for blocking the road and said in a democracy he should be allowed to speak “in a church hall to concerned parents”. “I think blocking roads and access to church is definitely wrong in that setting,” he said. “People like myself, a politician running for elected office, should be allowed to make his speech without that kind of action.”
Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said targeting the LGBTQ community during a state election is cruel and lazy politics and accused Latham of fuelling hate. “Mark Latham is a disgusting human being and people who are considering voting for One Nation need to realise they are voting for an extremely hateful and dangerous individual who risks causing a great deal of damage to our state,” he said.
Greenwich said words and hate cause a great deal of damage, particularly when they’re targeted at vulnerable minority groups. “It really is incumbent on political leaders to call this out and to show support for the LGBTIQ+ community,” he said.
LGBTQ activist group Community Action for Rainbow Rights tweeted that “a small peaceful” group of LGBTQ activists were attacked by “a mob 30 times their size”. Speaking to Nine, a LGBTQ protester said they were surrounded and assaulted by the group. “We were in fear of our lives.”
As inquires into the incident continue, police urge anyone with information or mobile phone vision to contact Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.
Former basketball star and current "Inside the NBA" analyst Shaquille O'Neal sparked concern online when he tweeted a photo of himself from a hospital bed on Sunday afternoon, writing, "I'm always watching."
The 51-year-old also tagged Johnson and Candace Parker, his fellow TNT commentators, in the tweet writing, "Miss y'all."
"Love ya big Fella," Parker said in response to the tweet.
Prior to the hospital photo, Shaq tweeted at Parker directly, referencing her newscast with Johnson from that night: "BARBECUE CHICKEN ALERT BARBECUE CHICKEN ALERT," after Parker used the phrase on-air.
The tweet earned an on-screen mention during TNT's March Madness coverage on Sunday, with Johnson editorializing, "Shaq's got a little time on his hands!" before wishing him the best in his recovery.
C Mandler is a social media producer and trending topics writer for CBS News, focusing on American politics and LGBTQ+ issues.
San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer didn't take part in pregame warmups Saturday night, saying the team's decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.
Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.
“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.
Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia's Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.
Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.
The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team's commitment to inclusiveness.
“As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic," the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”
The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer's actions, adding that “Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community.”
“Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”
San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer boycotted pregame warmups on Saturday night, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs. Reimer said in a statement on Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.
Reimer did not play in the Sharks’ home game against the New York Islanders on Saturday, which was the team’s Pride night. “For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian – not just in title but in how I choose to live my daily. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for my sins and, in response, asks me to love everyone and to follow Him. I have no hate in my heart for anyone and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness,” Reimer said.
Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.
The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness. “As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”
The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions. “Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”
Reimer is due to become a free agent this summer and acknowledged that his decision on Saturday could affect his future in the NHL. “I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t something that crossed my mind honestly,” Reimer said on Saturday. “I’m sure there’s people in management or ownership that won’t look favorably on this. At the same time, I hope that there’s another handful of people in management or ownership that respect me for standing up for what I believe in and that’s a big part of who I am.”