The United Nations and the United States led calls Wednesday (March 22) for Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to reject what they have labelled an “appalling” anti-gay bill.
“We would have a look at whether or not there might be repercussions that we would have to take, perhaps in an economic way, should this law actually get passed,” John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council is quoted to have said.
Lawmakers in the East African country had by a majority voted on March 21 to pass the legislation, elements of which include:
– A person who is convicted of grooming or trafficking children to engage them in homosexual activities faces life in prison.
– Individuals and institutions which support or fund LGBT rights activities also face prosecution.
A local media outfit, @ubctvuganda also reported a proposed 20-year jail term for ‘any entity that funds or promotes any form of homosexuality’.
Uganda is a deeply traditional and religiously conservative country. The president is known to have harsh words for homosexuals and LGBTQ persons have routinely been raided.
The final leg of making the bill into law is the signature of president Yoweri Museveni.
A number of African countries have in the recent past rejected LGBTQ+ orientation. Uganda’s neighbours Kenya have had the president, first lady and deputy president openly speak out against LGBTQ+.
Ghana is also in the process of passing an anti-LGBTQ+ law, a legislation that is believed to ave the backing of majority of lawmakers including the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
National Security Council’s John Kirby suggests the U.S. would consider economic punishments if Uganda’s law criminalizing LGBTQ people goes into effect:
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance.” pic.twitter.com/hWrRrHqd6q
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023