The Independent (Kampala)

17 February 2014

Uganda: Obama Warns Museveni Over New Anti Gay Law

Photo: Magnus Manske/Flickr
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

US President Obama has warned his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni over the new anti-gay law he promised to sign at the NRM retreat in Kyankwanzi. Obama said the law would complicate relations between the US and Uganda especially considering that Uganda receives over $400m in aid from the US government.

Homosexuality has been a very thorny issue in Uganda since the first anti-gay bill was tabled in 2009 calling for the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality. Pro gay groups have received a lot of hostility from the Ugandan public which say the act is un-African and against Christianity.

"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people," Obama said.

President Museveni had previously dilly dallied around the issue and warned its backers saying it had serious foreign policy implications for the country. However after commissioning a team of scientists to establish whether homosexuals were born and not made, Museveni has budged and agreed to sign it.

"People should be treated equally and should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love," said Obama.

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