Perilous Prejudice: LGBTQ+ Rights in Uganda and Beyond

By Warren Seay, Jr. and Kaila D. Clark, With the Attorneys at ArentFox Schiff

December 13, 2023

Perilous Prejudice: LGBTQ+ Rights in Uganda and Beyond


By Warren Seay, Jr. and Kaila D. Clark, With the Attorneys at ArentFox Schiff

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer rights have a complex history worldwide. Of the numerous countries that have restricted LGBTQ+ rights (see sidebar), Uganda is arguably the most repressive.[1] Although Uganda’s laws have remained largely unenforced for many years, there has been increasing momentum among anti-LGBTQ+ proponents leading to the recent enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which includes punishments ranging from life imprisonment to the death penalty. Unfortunately, Uganda has earned a spotlight among other countries due to its persistent subjugation of LGBTQ+ Ugandans and the active enforcement of its anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, including the Anti-Homosexuality Act. New York attorneys—though miles away—can play a vital role in the struggle for reform.

LGBTQ+ Rights in Uganda

Since gaining independence in 1962, Uganda has grappled with archaic laws that punish “unnatural offenses” with life imprisonment and are often interpreted to criminalize same-sex relationships.[2] The Ugandan parliament restricted LGBTQ+ rights by amending the Uganda Constitution in 2005 to exclusively recognize heterosexual marriages.[3] This move was accompanied by increased state-sponsored policing of LGBTQ+ individuals, fostering a climate of fear and discrimination.[4] In 2014, Uganda’s President Museveni signed the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Act, exacerbating anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment in Uganda.[5] Although the 2014 act was later overturned on procedural grounds, homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, carrying the threat of imprisonment.[6] However, the overturning of the 2014 act brought some positive change, such as the lifting of the obligation to denounce LGBTQ+ individuals to authorities.[7] Nonetheless, anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment remained strong and motivated the passing of the Sexual Offenses Bill in 2021, which sought to criminalize same-sex sexual acts and discriminate based on HIV status.[8] This bill did not become law; President Museveni vetoed the bill on the grounds that its contents were already covered by other laws.[9]

Violence against LGBTQ+ individuals continues to be common in Uganda, and it is often perpetrated by state officials.[10] Police routinely target, abuse, and arrest individuals based on their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity.[11] LGBTQ+ organizations have also faced significant challenges. For example, Uganda’s main LGBTQ+ rights organization, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was forced to shut down in 2022.[12] The consequences of state-sanctioned oppression are evident, as demonstrated by the publication of the names, photographs, and addresses of LGBTQ+ individuals in a Ugandan newspaper in 2010 which led to the murder of a prominent LGBTQ+ activist.[13]

The Act

The passage of the highly controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act by the Ugandan Parliament in March 2023 marked a significant turning point in the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights.[14] The act introduced severe punishments, including death and long prison sentences for same-sex acts, while also criminalizing the “promotion” of homosexuality with imprisonment of up to 20 years.[15] Legal entities found guilty under the act face consequences such as license suspension or cancellation.[16] Unlike in the past, Ugandan officials are actively enforcing the act, evidenced by a recent case in which a 20-year-old man was charged with “aggravated homosexuality” under the act.[17] The charging sheet states that the defendant “performed unlawful sexual intercourse” with a 41-year-old man but does not provide further details on the “aggravated” nature of the charge or whether the other individual was also charged.[18] The act signals a dramatic shift in the status quo, imposing up to the death penalty for consensual same-sex relations under certain conditions, which has been widely condemned by international organizations, local nonprofits, and foreign countries.

The Act has faced criticism from human rights advocates who argue that it could have adverse public health consequences, particularly for individuals living with HIV. The act institutionalizes discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, creating a punitive barrier to accessing HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services. The act’s provisions of life imprisonment for “homosexual relations” and the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” (which includes sex when the person involved is HIV positive), instill fear in LGBTQ+ individuals seeking essential health care services. As a result, HIV clinics have reported a decline in patients accessing their services since the act went into effect, with some patients even requesting the removal of their identifying information from clinic systems.[19] Critics argue that the act not only diminishes the human rights of people living with HIV but also obstructs access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services for vulnerable groups, including the LGBTQ+ community. Research shows that criminalizing homosexuality in sub-Saharan Africa leads to increased HIV rates among LGBTQ+ individuals, marginalized populations, and young adults, who are at the highest risk for HIV and are the least likely to seek testing or treatment.[20] The act may further ostracize these populations, discouraging them from seeking necessary health care services. Furthermore, the act threatens vital funding, such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which supports health care services combating HIV/AIDS in the region.[21] The act also reintroduces the requirement to report “homosexual relations” and imposes severe penalties for failure to report or for “promoting or abetting homosexuality.” Consequently, some health care providers have left their jobs out of fear for their safety, families, and careers.[22] The act not only reduces access to healthcare services for LGBTQ+ individuals but also criminalizes LGBTQ+-inclusive healthcare, obstructing health care providers from performing their jobs and undermining Uganda’s efforts to end AIDS by 2030.[23]

It is important to note that Uganda, as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is barred from passing or enforcing laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation.[24] However, it is unclear how the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may be used to prevent the passing or enforcement of such laws. Human rights activists argue that the act represents a significant violation of LGBTQ+ rights, leading to international condemnation and legal challenges. The act has had consequences beyond the courtroom, empowering homophobic social attitudes with credibility. For example, since the act’s passage, the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) has recorded 149 cases of violence against LGBTQ+ people in June and July of 2023 alone, highlighting an alarming increase in violence.[25] The concerning trend of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in east African countries is a concern of activists who observe neighboring countries expressing interest in adopting similar legislation, making the current situation even more precarious for LGBTQ+ individuals in the region.

What Can Legal Professionals Do?

A U.S.-based attorney may ask themselves what pursuing justice looks like with respect to Uganda and its subjugation of LGBTQ+ individuals. We suggest a variety of ways that U.S. law firms can play a role in protecting this vulnerable population:

Be a Friend of the Court

Legal allies in the U.S. and abroad may support local advocates working to overturn the act. Challenges to Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislation are especially important as neighboring countries, like Kenya and Tanzania, may seek to enact similar laws.[26] George Kaluma, a Kenyan parliamentarian, recently praised Uganda’s government for passing the act on social media by saying, “What a leader we’ve in Africa!”[27] He continued by asserting, “Kenya is following you in this endeavour to save humanity.”[28] Unfortunately, Kaluma’s words likely represent a growing sentiment among lawmakers in the region aiming to limit the rights of, and persecute, LGBTQ+ Africans. Therefore, the efforts of Ugandan attorneys to overturn the act on constitutional grounds are vitally important to deter the passage of similar laws.

Ugandan activists and attorneys have begun to formulate a blueprint to attack and overturn the act on constitutional grounds. After the act was passed, prominent activists and attorneys in Uganda questioned its constitutionality. Human rights lawyer Adrian Jjuuko claimed the act violated multiple articles of Uganda’s Constitution, including the rights to equality, non-discrimination, and dignity.[29] Jjuuko stated, “[The criminalizing of] consensual same-sex activity among adults basically goes against key provisions of the constitution including violating the rights to equality and non-discrimination under article 20 and 21 of the constitution. It also violates the right to dignity which is under article 24 of the constitution.”[30] A simple reading of the constitutional provisions Jjuuko refers to supports his argument that the act flagrantly violates the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ Ugandans.

One key constitutional provision that Jjuuko highlighted is Article 20 of the Ugandan Constitution which guarantees basic human rights and autonomy to every citizen stating, “Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual are inherent and not granted by the State.”[31] By ensuring that individual rights are inherent to every individual, the Ugandan Constitution guarantees its citizens the right to conduct their private lives autonomously and without interference from their government. Article 20 goes on to say that the fundamental rights of Ugandans shall be “upheld and promoted by all … agencies of Government and all persons.”[32] As attorneys like Jjuuko assert, the act violates the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ Ugandans.

Article 21 of the Ugandan Constitution protects citizens from discrimination based on various qualities, including sex, race, and religion.[33] The provision states, “All persons are equal … under the law in all spheres [life] … and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.” Like the U.S. Constitution, the Ugandan Constitution was written to ensure that all citizens enjoyed equal rights under the law. The act is a clear violation of this guarantee, treating LGBTQ+ Ugandans as lesser citizens and targeting them because of their sexual orientation. Article 21 explicitly states that such treatment is unconstitutional discrimination. The Constitution specifically defines “discriminate” as treating people differently “only or mainly” because of “their respective descriptions by sex, race, [etc.].”

Additionally, Article 24 of the Ugandan Constitution protects against “inhuman treatment.”[34] It requires “[r]espect for human dignity” and prohibits any form of “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”[35] By criminalizing “homosexuality” and imposing severe penalties, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, the act subjects LGBTQ+ Ugandans to inhuman and degrading treatment, violating their constitutional rights.[36]

Furthermore, the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in the legislative process also called into question the constitutional legitimacy of the act.[37] The exclusion of LGBTQ+ citizens from the decision-making process undermines their right to have their views heard on a law that directly affects them. Provided the non-inclusion of LGBTQ+ citizens in the passage of the act, and the many contradictions between the act’s provisions and the Ugandan Constitution, there are clear grounds for attorneys to challenge the constitutionality of the act.

Provide Direct Representation

Attorneys can also help by directly representing LGBTQ+ Ugandans who require legal assistance. This can be done through partnerships with organizations like the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), which defends those prosecuted under the act and provides vital legal support. Attorneys can also support asylum matters and help qualified individuals relocate to safe countries, such as the U.S. or other viable options.

The passage of the act has led to a significant number of Ugandans fleeing the country due to persecution and overall anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment.[38] Under U.S. law, asylum is a form of protection granted to foreign nationals who can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution based on numerous factors including membership in a particular social group, such as the LGBTQ+ community.[39] In the U.S., those granted asylum are allowed to remain in the country, work, travel, apply for permanent residency, and eventually citizenship.[40] Asylum seekers must be on U.S. territory or at a port of entry to apply for asylum.[41] In recent years, the process of seeking asylum at the U.S. border has been impacted by the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico program, whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. may be returned to Mexico and required to wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings.[42] These policies make it more challenging for asylum-seekers to enter the U.S. and apply for protection. Between 2002 and 2020, 1,278 Ugandans were granted asylum in the U.S.[43] However, receiving asylum is an arduous task, including lengthy waiting at a border while an application is processed.[44] While embassies and consulates can assist with immigration matters, such as visa applications, they cannot grant asylum applications.[45]

Another option for entry into the U.S. is humanitarian parole, which allows foreign nationals who are otherwise inadmissible to temporarily enter the country due to emergency, urgent humanitarian reasons, or significant public benefit.[46] The authority to grant humanitarian parole lies with the Secretary of Homeland Security and may be granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or, at the discretion of the port director, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a U.S. port of entry.[47] The president may influence the Secretary of Homeland Security’s decision-making by issuing executive orders or directives.[48] However, humanitarian parole is not a direct route to asylum and is granted on a case-by-case basis, with no guarantee of entry.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has discretion to authorize humanitarian parole based on “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefit.”[49] Whether the applicant merits a favorable exercise of discretion is considered. Another important factor considered in granting parole is the applicant’s means of support while in the U.S. Applicants may use persons who agree to financially support them in the U.S., who may be natural persons, nonprofit organizations or, in some circumstances, medical institutions. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the burden is on the applicant to prove entitlement to parole.

While there is no statutory or regulatory definition of “urgent humanitarian reasons,” several factors are considered in holistic fashion, including but not limited to:

  • whether the circumstances are pressing
  • the effect of the circumstances on the applicant’s welfare and well-being and
  • the degree of suffering that may result if parole is not granted.

There is likewise no statutory or regulatory definition of “significant public benefit.” According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration, “significant public benefit” may include, but is not limited to, law enforcement and national security benefit(s) or certain foreign or domestic policy considerations.

Notably, parole is not intended to bypass normal visa processing procedures or established refugee processing channels. Humanitarian parole is typically granted for no more than one year, although it may be granted for a longer period depending on the reason(s) for the parole. In the past, humanitarian parole has been used for groups such as “Ugandan Asians” who faced persecution and were stripped of their nationality by the Ugandan government.[50] In response, the U.S. attorney general “announced that he would exercise the authority granted to him under the INA to parole up to 1,000 Ugandan Asians into the United States” and later paroled hundreds more based upon a “direct foreign policy interest.”

In Nantume v. Barr,[51] the First Circuit stated:

“We have no illusions about what is happening in Uganda with respect to LGBT individuals. . . . We regard the views of the Ugandan government toward members of the LGBT community as benighted, and we know that the petitioner’s life in her homeland may prove trying. But the conditions that confront LGBT individuals in Uganda, though disturbing, are not new. . . . The Executive Branch has the power to assist aliens trapped in this sort of cultural snare. [citing Humanitarian Parole] (granting Attorney General discretion to “parole into the United States . . .  on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons . . .  any alien applying for admission to the United States”). But courts are bound by a more rigid framework of legal rules and cannot reconstruct those rules to achieve particular results.”

931 F.3d 35, 41 (internal citations omitted).

By partnering with organizations like HRAPF and assisting with asylum or humanitarian parole matters, legal professionals can provide direct support to LGBTQ+ Ugandans in need.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Consider contacting your representatives in office to discuss what the U.S. can do to assist Ugandans affected by the Act. Advocating for diplomatic efforts and international pressure can help protect the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda. The international community has raised concerns since the enactment of the act. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, along with organizations like the Global Fund, UNAIDS, and PEPFAR, have criticized Uganda for jeopardizing progress made in combating AIDS and have called for the repeal of the act.[52] The World Bank has halted new financing to Uganda, stating that the act endangers people’s access to vital medical care and is inconsistent with the values of non-discrimination and inclusion.[53] Additionally, the Archbishop of Canterbury called on the Anglican Church of Uganda and global Anglican organizations to renounce their support for the act.[54]

Various countries, including the U.S., have also expressed concern and condemned the act.[55] President Biden issued a statement condemning the act as a violation of human rights and directed a review of U.S.-Uganda relations including aid, trade eligibility, and sanctions for human rights abuses or corruption.[56] The U.S. has imposed visa restrictions and terminated Uganda’s beneficiary status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act due to human rights violations.[57] The U.S. also issued a business advisory warning of risks for U.S. companies in Uganda.[58] However, the U.S. has not imposed direct sanctions on Uganda in response to the act, raising concerns among activists who advocate for a stronger stance against violence and discrimination.[59]A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, though, that would ban U.S. foreign aid to countries that criminalize LGBTQ+ activity.[60] It is crucial for the international community to continue applying pressure and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals not only in Uganda but also in the wider region. By contacting your elected officials and raising their awareness, the international community can help combat the negative impact of such legislation on the lives of countless individuals.

Reconsider Business Affiliations With or in Uganda

It is not unprecedented for firms or other businesses to pause a fixation on their bottom lines in the face of human rights violations. As recently as March 2022, firms began pulling out of Russia in numbers unseen before.[61] This response came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent international condemnation. Even if firms did not have offices on the ground, many reconsidered representing clients that were associated with the Russian regime at all.[62] In cases such as this, moral reputation matters. It matters to clients and it should matter to firms. Firms should take account of their commitments in and around Uganda to see if they are helping or hurting the cause and act accordingly.

Spread Awareness

Author legal articles or blogs for existing publications or your law firm, or share articles (such as this article) with your network to raise awareness about the act and its implications. Consider hosting speakers or leading panel discussions with attorneys and advocates who have worked with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. Topics for discussion may include the legal and cultural history leading to the act’s enactment, experiences of attorneys navigating the act, and personal stories highlighting the impact of the law on LGBTQ+ Ugandans.

Donate Time and/or Money to Ugandan Attorneys and Advocates

Partner with organizations and attorneys leading efforts to assist LGBTQ+ Ugandans, such as Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, which is currently representing two Ugandan men indicted under the act. HRAPF is funded mostly by donations from the U.S. and Europe. Support can include financial contributions and pro bono services, specifically in asylum matters or criminal defense cases.


The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in Uganda has been long and arduous. Oppressive laws, societal prejudice, and state-sanctioned violence continue to undermine the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. However, there are glimmers of hope as regional progress is made towards equality. It is crucial for the international community to raise awareness, provide legal support, and exert diplomatic pressure to address the grave human rights violations faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and beyond.

The countries where LGBTQ+ rights are restricted include:

  • Russia, where laws against “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships among minors” have been used to suppress public discussion of LGBTQ+ issues. The law is sometimes enforced leading to arrests and fines.
  • Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is illegal and can be punishable by death, corporal punishment, or imprisonment. Reported cases of enforcement include arrests and public lashings.
  • Brunei, where there are laws that could potentially enforce death by stoning for homosexuality, though international outcry has led to a moratorium on the death penalty.
  • Nigeria, where in 12 northern states that have adopted Sharia law, homosexuality is punishable by death. In other states, it can be punished with imprisonment.
  • Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia, where life imprisonment is prescribed for same-sex sexual relations.
  • Gambia, Kenya, and Malawi, where maximum prison sentences of 14 years are imposed.
  • United Arab Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal, and penalties can range from a minimum of six months imprisonment with no set maximum. Same-sex relationships are not recognized, and adoption by same-sex couples is prohibited. The law provides no protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and LGBTQ+ individuals are not allowed to serve openly in the military or donate blood.
  • The United States has 12 states ( Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas) where gay sex is outlawed. Though these “sodomy laws” have been invalidated by the Supreme Court, they remain on the books. These laws are unenforced regarding consensual same-sex conduct.

This article is a collaboration among the legal professionals at ArentFox Schiff, led by Warren Seay, Jr, a real estate finance partner at the firm and a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, and Kaila D. Clark, the co-chair of the firm’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. Their shared goal is to contribute to the ongoing conversation surrounding LGBTQ+ rights and to advocate for the urgent need to safeguard and advance these rights on an international level. List of contributors: Kaila D. Clark, Cameron Custard, Christine DiBiase, Matt Jackson, Anna Mandel, Tisha M. Martin, Helenka B. Mietka, Warren Seay Jr., Clayton Spivey, and Mario A. Torrico. The authors are also grateful for the contributions of Sabine Rundlet.

[1] The Penal Code Act, 1950, Cap. 120 (Uganda); Mubiru Kisingiri v. Uganda, (2016) UGHCCRD 6 (Uganda); Enze Han & Joseph O’Mahoney, British Colonialism and the Criminalization of Homosexuality, 34 (2018); Kenya: Court Upholds Archaic Anti-Homosexuality Laws, Hum. Rts. Watch, May 24, 2019,; This Alien Legacy: The Origins of “Sodomy” Laws in British Colonialism, Hum. Rts. Watch, 2008,

[2] Id.; Uganda: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Deepens Repression, Hum. Rts. Watch, July 12, 2005,

[3] Const. of the Republic of Uganda, ch. 4, cl. 31(2a).

[4] Uganda: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Deepens Repression, supra note 2.

[5] Niha Masih & Rael Ombuor, Ugandan Law Criminalizes Being LGBTQ Amid Crackdown on Homosexuality, Wash. Post, March 22, 2023,

[6] Id.

[7] Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Act Struck Down in Step Towards Ending Discrimination, Amnesty Int’l, Aug. 1, 2014,; Uganda: Anti-Homosexuality Act’s Heavy Toll, Hum. Rts. Watch, May 14, 2014,; Anna Myriam Roccatello, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Threatens Human Rights in the Country, Int’l Ctr. for Transitional Justice, May 1, 2023,; Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Homosexuality Law, (, Aug. 1, 2014),

[8] UNAIDS Condemns New Law That Further Criminalizes and Marginalizes Vulnerable Groups of People in Uganda, (2021),

[9] Museveni Rejects Sexual Offences and Succession Bills, Africa Press, Aug. 18, 2021,

[10] Uganda: Guarantee Human Rights, AFR 59/4539/2021, Amnesty Int’l, 2021,

[11] Uganda, Outright Int’l,

[12] Leo Sands, Uganda LGBT Rights: Government Shuts Down Key Advocacy Group, BBC News, Aug. 6, 2022,; Uganda’s Suspension of LGBT Charity a ‘Clear Witch-Hunt’, Say Campaigners, The Guardian, Aug. 6, 2022,; Colin Stewart, Uganda Orders Shutdown of Prominent LGBT Rights Group SMUG,, Aug. 8, 2022,

[13] Faith Karimi, Uganda Newspaper Publishes ‘Gay List,’ Calls for Their Hanging, CNN, Oct. 20, 2010,; Navi Pillay, What David Kato’s Death Can Teach the World Africa Renewal, UN Africa Renewal,

[14] The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 (Uganda).

[15] Id.

[16] Id.

[17] A. Martinez & Emmanuel Akinwotu, A Man in Uganda Becomes First Known Person Charged With ‘Aggravated Homosexuality,’, Aug. 29, 2023,

[18] Exclusive: First Ugandan Charged With ‘Aggravated Homosexuality’ Punishable by Death,, Aug. 28, 2023,

[19] Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law Jeopardises Progress in the Fight Against AIDS, Rédaction Africanews, Sept. 10, 2023.

[20] David J. Kramer & Deborah L. Birx, Uganda’s President Shouldn’t Sign Anti-Gay Legislation, George W. Bush Presidential Center, June 2, 2023; Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment, Aug. 2022. UPHIA-Summary-Sheet-2020.pdf (

[21] Amanda Clark, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act Isn’t Just a Human Rights Crisis–It’s a Public Health Crisis, Wilson Center, May 3, 2023,

[22] supra note 19.

[23] supra note 21.

[24] Comm. No. 488/1992, U.N. GAOR Hum. Rts. Comm., 50th Sess., U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/50/D/488/1992 (1994); Uganda: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Deepens Repression, supra note 2.

[25] Uganda: Authorities Must Drop Charges in Death Penalty Case Under Anti-Homosexuality Act, Amnesty Int’l, Aug. 30, 2023,

[26] Uganda Enacts Harsh Anti-LGBTQ Law Including Death Penalty, Reuters, May 30, 2023,

[27] Id.

[28] Id.

 [29] Uganda’s Controversial “Anti-Homosexuality Act” Includes Possibility of Death Sentence, Death Penalty Information Center, June 1, 2023,

[30] Id.

[31] Constitution | Parliament of Uganda

[32] Id.

[33] Id.

[34] Id.

[35] Id.

[36] Id.

[37] Anti-LGBTQ Law ‘Unconstitutional,’ Ugandan Lawyer Says, Reuters, May 29, 2023,

[38] Sam Leader, ‘It is like hell on Earth’: LGBT+ Ugandans tortured, starving and evicted due to anti-gay law, ITV (Sept. 28, 2023),; Pete Allison, Uganda anti-gay laws: Beaten and forced to flee for being LGBT, BBC (May 4, 2023),; Patrick Kelleher, ‘Sharp increase’ in LGBTQ+ Ugandans trying to flee country after Anti-Homosexuality Bill, The Pink News (May 6, 2023),

[39] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,

[40] Id.

[41] Id.

[42] Bernd Debusmann Jr., Title 42: What is the immigration rule and why has it ended?, BBC News (May 12, 2023); Migrant Protection Protocols, DHS (Jan. 24, 2019),; see Title 42 (42 CFR § 71.40).

[43] Asylum applications and refugees in Uganda, (May 6, 2023),

[44] Jamillah Nabunjo, a 33-year-old Ugandan woman, arrived in Juarez, Mexico in April 2019 from her home in Kampala, Uganda. Targeted for her political beliefs and because she owned a small business, Jamillah arrived at the border to find a long wait for her turn to approach the U.S. port of entry to start her asylum request. As part of a practice known as metering, at best only a few people are admitted each day at the Juarez entry ports of entry. When Jamillah added her name to the list, her number was 12,636. While in Juarez, Jamillah accumulated friends and supporters in the immigrant aid community who tried to advocate with Customs and Border Protection to allow her to enter the U.S. earlier than her designated number once her health was in decline but were unsuccessful. Jamillah died the same week her number was called.

[45] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Asylum, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Nov. 2, 2023).

[46] Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2023),

[47] Humanitarian Protection and Parole – Chapter 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2023),; Humanitarian Parole, U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection (2023),

[48] Id.

[49] The full text of 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(d)(5)(A)-(B) states: “The Attorney General may, except as provided in subparagraph (B) or in section 1184(f) of this title, in his discretion parole into the United States temporarily under such conditions as he may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit any alien applying for admission to the United States, but such parole of such alien shall not be regarded as an admission of the alien and when the purposes of such parole shall, in the opinion of the Attorney General, have been served the alien shall forthwith return or be returned to the custody from which he was paroled and thereafter his case shall continue to be dealt with in the same manner as that of any other applicant for admission to the United States. (B) The Attorney General may not parole into the United States an alien who is a refugee unless the Attorney General determines that compelling reasons in the public interest with respect to that particular alien require that the alien be paroled into the United States rather than be admitted as a refugee under section 1157 of this title.”


[51] Nantume v. Barr, 931 F.3d 35 (1st Cir. 2019).

[52] Uganda Accuses West of Blackmail in Its Response to Anti-LGBTQ Law, Reuters, May 30, 2023,; Leaders of the Global Fund, UNAIDS and PEPFAR, Press Statement by the Leaders of the Global Fund, UNAIDS and PEPFAR on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, UNAIDS, May 29, 2023,

[53] World Bank Group Statement on Uganda 2023 Anti-Homosexuality Act, World Bank Group, May 31, 2023,; Olivia Konotey-Ahulu & Eric Martin, World Bank’s Decision To Pause Uganda’s Funding Spurs Questions on Decision Process, Bloomberg, Aug. 21, 2023,; Elias Biryabarema, Uganda President Defiant After World Bank Suspends Funding Over LGBT Law, Reuters, Aug. 10, 2023,

[54] Press Release: Archbishop of Canterbury Urges Church of Uganda To Reject Anti-LGBTQ Law, Anglican Communion, June 9, 2023,

[55] Minister Mitchell Responds to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, May 29, 2023,; Uganda: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the Promulgation of the Anti-Homosexuality BilI, European Union External Action, May 29, 2023,

[56] Press Release: Statement From President Joe Biden on the Enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, The White House, May 29, 2023,

[57] Press Release: Visa Restrictions for Undermining the Democratic Process in Uganda, U.S. Department of State, June 16, 2023,; President Joseph R. Biden Jr, Letters to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate on Intent to Terminate the Designation of the Central African Republic, the Gabonese Republic, Niger, and the Republic of Uganda as Beneficiary Sub-Saharan African Countries Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Oct. 30, 2023,, US To Remove Uganda and Three Other African Countries From Agoa Trade Deal, Oct. 31, 2023,

[58] Uganda Business Advisory, U.S. Department of State, Oct. 23, 2023,

[59] Ugandan Activists Criticise EU Inaction Over LGBTQ Law, Reuters, Sept. 8, 2023,

[60] Michael K. Lavers, Santos Bill Would Ban US Foreign Aid to Countries That Criminalize LGBTQ People, Washington Blade, Apr. 23, 2023,

[61] Krishnan Nair, Goodbye, Russia—The Global Lawyer: The Moscow Exodus We Witnessed Last Week, Though Complex and Messy, Was Necessary. International, March 14, 2022,

[62] Id.

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