U.S. President Barack Obama warned Uganda on Sunday that its plans to further criminalize homosexuality would further “complicate our valued relationship.”
Obama said new legislation that President Yoweri Museveni has pledged to sign will mark a “step backward” for all Ugandans, and reflect poorly on the country’s commitment to protect the human rights of its people.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts “against the order of nature.”
Museveni said last week that he plans to sign the bill, which prescribes life imprisonment for acts of “aggravated homosexuality.”
Those acts are defined as sex acts where one of the partners is infected with HIV, sex with minors or the disabled, and repeated sexual offenses among consenting adults.
The United States is Uganda’s largest donor, sending more than $400 million in aid annually in recent years. If Museveni signs the bill, the U.S. could find ways to register disappointment over the law.
Obama said the United States stands for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights, and believes people everywhere should be treated equally.
“That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality,” Obama said in a written statement issued from Southern California, where he was spending the weekend after a tour of drought-stricken parts of the state.
“Enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda,” he said, adding that the U.S. has conveyed that message to Museveni.
It was unclear when Museveni will sign the bill, although he is under pressure to do so. Ugandan lawmakers passed it in December. The measure enjoys broad support among Christian clerics and lawmakers who say it is needed to deter Western homosexuals from “recruiting” Ugandan children.
Susan Rice, the U.S. national security adviser, said Sunday on Twitter that she spoke “at length” with Museveni on Saturday night and urged him not to sign the bill.
Ugandan gay activists have accused some of their country’s political and religious leaders of being influenced by American evangelicals who want to spread their anti-gay campaign in Africa.
A prominent Ugandan gay group singled out Scott Lively, a Massachusetts evangelical, and sued him in March 2012 under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows non-citizens to file suit in the U.S. if there is an alleged violation of international law.
Uganda is one of many sub-Saharan African countries where homosexuals face severe discrimination, if not jail terms. Nigeria last month increased penalties against gays there and a recent attack by police against young men grabbed headlines this week.
Anyone found guilty of homosexuality is subject to the death penalty in Mauritania and Sudan, something that has also been considered in draft versions of Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is still under debate.
A June report by Amnesty International noted that it is not uncommon in several African countries for lesbians to be “deliberately targeted for sexual violence.”
“Some deem this practice ‘curative’ or ‘corrective’ rape, laboring under the belief that if the victim has sex with a man, she will be ‘cured’ of being a lesbian,” the report said.
16 thoughts on “Uganda At Risk Of Losing US Aid Over Anti-Gay Bill”
If Uganda and other African nations were concerned about losing western aid, they would not be implementing anti-gay laws. The truth of the matter is the west no longer has the influence it used to in Africa. China has changed the game. Secondly, Africa is not listening to Obama. He is a half breed who has no respect for Africa.
What about the treatment of "Blacks" in the United States? Obama needs to be concerned more with that!
You forgot the Puppeteers, a Puppet never decides on anything. Even when he thinks of doing them like the promises before election.
That's one of the biggest problems Westerners have, they want to impose their social laws and mores on other countries.
Just because the US has become sexually corrupt doesn't mean African countries need to follow suit.
Is the bombing of Libya and other countries not a violation of Civil and Political Rights and international covenants? Is the witch-hunting of Edward Snowden for exercising his rights not a violation of human rights? Why do these guys selectively implement the so-called human rights?
Who is the so called obama to ugandans
If the US cutts off there aid. Then we who support ebony children living somewhere where they do not have to be raped or sodomized by Europeans who have used Black countries and the children in them as their personal child sexual playgrounds as if they were just dolls with no say, should support every African country that stands up against the spread of the disease of sodomy and all LGBT activity and rights within their borders. No one who violates children or adults sexually should have rights at all. smh
Richard Francis good reasoning, you should have been a lawyer 🙂 Thing is, most developed countries connive with the US to exploit and destroy younger and upcoming democracies but when it comes to petty things like homosexuality, they are the loudest noise-makers (obscurantism). Bombs kill, maim and destroy indiscriminately – children, animals, property – the destruction is immense and cannot in anyway be compared with a Bill that has not even been passed into law. I bet the question we should be asking is: what economic value will homosexuality add to Uganda? Well, capitalism as a complex political system sees everything in terms of $$$, whether it is outlawing polygamy, bombing Iraq, or protecting corporations. It's something we need to learn I suppose. By the way Rich in response to your argument above, most people say they learn to be gay, not born gay (look this up online). For example, some who have had failed heterosexual relationships may resort to being gay so it is something made by choice, in many instances. All said, my arguments should not be misunderstood to imply that I hate gays, infact I worked with them for three years in east timor and they were amazing people. My quarrel is with how "superpowers" deliberately impose their laws, values and morals on us, the developing world. How do you know with certainty that what is good for you is also good for me? Isn't that discrimination in the first instance?
That MF is tripping! He get whiter every day
Sexually corrupt? PLEASE You can choose to be a bigot, you can't choose your sexual orientation.
So you think the President of a nation should be imposing laws regarding who people have consensual sex with? Especially in a place where the basic needs of a person are barely met? Making sure everyone ATE today should be on the list of priorities, not worrying about who's sleeping withThat should be first and foremost!
@Lisa Atampuri: who do you think you are disrespecting our President. Just because he is trying to do what he thinks is best to protect peoples rights, not just gays. You move to Ghana and now you the spokesperson for how Africa should think of Americans or African-Americans…wow. And do you really think the Chinese have Africa's or Africans backs, think again. No Asians cares about what blacks want or need. They are about making money. You think there going to create jobs for you and your people. Oh sorry, your people now, considering you were once consider an African-American. And lets not talk about gay, Asians are known to like black guys etc… No matter the fact, Africa will never be in the same league as the West or Europe. Why because you can't come to together and treat your own like humans first.
Jerry Stayingfocused Go sit down somewhere. Obama does not know what is right. How the hell you are going to tell the continent of Africa to accept homosexuality? Over 95% of the continent do not accept this lifestyle. The west has no right to dictate their ways on sovereign nations. It's a form of colonialism. So what Obama is the first black president. We should not support him just because he is black. He has done more damage than he has done good. He destroyed Libya and allowed Arab rebels to torture and kill black Africans. Nobody says I am spokes person for Africa. I am there with my husband I know that the people want and dont listen to the lying behind media. Despite the issues with China, Africa has a more beneficial relationship with China than they ever did with the west. I am so glad Africa is waking up.
Lisa Selena The west acts like leaders are imposing their will on the people. Do you understand this is what Africans want. They take their religion and customs very seriously. How dare the west impose their will on Africa. Africans put their religion and God before anything else. These laws will be on the books in almost every African country. The people are telling everyone what they want. No matter what the west says or does most of Africa will never tolerate homosexuality.
I'm definitely not saying Africa has to accept homosexuality but just not kill and torture those for it. Africans just seem to focus on this one issue, when there's so much more going on. GOD doesn't want people to go around hating each other or judging those not like themselves. "Let go and let God". those who do wrong will be dealt with by his hand, not yours. So many people think there going to HEAVEN but have a rude awakening. You know what makes the USA work sharing. In my neighborhood we all share, look out for one another, Liberians, Nigerians, Ghanaians, African-Americans. So much of my information or thought process comes from Africans themselves. Corrupt government without any punishment. Jobs assigned to family-members or friends and nothing for the vast majority of people. Health care in disarray, chieftaincy disagreements etc.. The USA is not perfect but it works. GOD is never gonna bless anything that commands hate…Don't believe me, just wait, watch and see. IT IS TRUE!!!