Uganda bans even saying you're gay

Ugandan lawmakers passed a more literal "Don't say gay" law than Florida's grade-school ban on such discussions, making it outright illegal to identify as LGBTQ there. Homosexual acts are already illegal and can carry the death penalty. The Associated Press reports that such minorities are already targeted for mob violence and legal discrimination in Uganda, and that the law will provide cover for it. Those offending the ban on LGBTQ identification will be jailed.

In a packed chamber, lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of legislation called the 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. So-called aggravated homosexuality, which includes sex with someone who has HIV could incur the death penalty. The law would also punish anyone who identifies as gay or queer, and potentially people or rights groups seen to promote or support LGBTQ identity.

The "crime" of homosexuality tends to occur in private, where authorities don't see it. Bans on homosexual acts do not prevent queer people from being seen, from campaigning for rights, or from participation in the arts and politics. Banning identification provides a device to remove even the implication or knowledge of homosexual life from public life–totalitarianism in the raw.