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International leaders, LGBT community react to signing of Uganda’s anti-gay bill

Monday, February 24, 2014
via Twitteruganda President Yoweri Museveni signs anti-gay bill into law.

via Twitter
uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs anti-gay bill into law.

KAMPALA, Uganda — A look at world reactions after Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial anti-gay bill that calls for harsh penalties, including 14 years in jail for first-time offenders, and life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for, among other offenses, repeated gay sex between consenting adults. See our full report here


“As President Obama has said, this law is more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda, it reflects poorly on the country’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people and will undermine public health, including efforts to fight HIV/AIDS,” an official White House statement said.


Kenyan prize-winning writer Binyavanga Wainaina, who came out as gay last month in an online essay, said Museveni is looking to create a political wedge issue that will help his constituents forget about government corruption and a lax economy.

“By the time the next election happens, mysterious opposition figures are going to be arrested for being homosexual, can we bet? Cause all you need is a suspicion, isn’t it?” Wainaina told The Associated Press. “They are never going to police it in an accurate way.”


Ugandan gay activist Dr. Paul Semugoma, who staved off deportation from South Africa last week, d escribed the new law as “inhuman,” saying: “It is sad that they disapprove of me and consider me to be evil, unnatural and un-African because of my kind of love. What should it matter to anyone who I love?

It’s simply politics of destruction. We (homosexuals) are convenient scapegoats to be used when they need to boost their political power.”


The U.S. national security adviser, Susan Rice, posted on her Twitter account: “Nobody should be discriminated against or punished for who they are or whom they love. Sad day for Uganda and the world.”


“This legislation will institutionalize hatred and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Uganda. Its passage into law signals a very grave episode in the nation’s history,” said Michelle Kagari of Amnesty International.


“The U.K. strongly opposes all discrimination on any grounds. We question the Bill’s compatibility with Uganda’s constitution and international treaty obligations. There can be no doubt that this Bill will increase persecution and discrimination of Ugandans, as well as damage Uganda’s reputation internationally,” said Britain Foreign Secretary William Hague, adding he was deeply saddened by the signing. “We will continue to press the Government of Uganda to defend human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds.”


“This is a huge blow for anyone who values basic human rights. In the complete absence of a victim, Museveni has signed a piece of legislation that protects no one and persecutes many,” said Jonathan Cooper, Chief Executive of the Human Dignity Trust, a collection of law professionals supporting groups to uphold human rights. “This bleak situation will have an immediate effect on countries like the U.K., the rest of the EU, Canada and U.S., as people flee and seek sanctuary. The international community must do all that we can to stand in solidarity with those fighting to uphold their human rights.”


In Belgium, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who is openly gay, said his country “firmly condemns this violation of human rights and demands that the international community react forcefully.”

“Today is a very sad day for LGBT rights,” he said in a Twitter post. “I am appalled by the anti-gay law in Uganda.”


Denmark’s Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen told news agency Ritzau Denmark’s roughly 50 million Danish kroner ($9.2 million) of aid to Ugandan state programs will be redirected to activities in the private sector and with civil organizations.

Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation Hillevi Engstrom said Sweden will also consider redirecting its 70 million Swedish kronor ($10.7 million) in aid to Uganda when it completes an evaluation this spring.

“I want to emphasize that our aid is not without conditions. The Swedish government puts a lot of focus on human rights,” Engstrom said.


Experience from other jurisdictions with similarly draconian laws, such as Nigeria or Russia, indicates that their implementation is often followed by a surge in violence against individuals thought to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission Africa Program said in a statement. The Ugandan government has not indicated any plans to counter such violence or to investigate potential allegations of abuse, it said.

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37 more reader comments:

  1. I think we should hang this man.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:17pm
  2. You don't even live in Uganda!

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:56pm
  3. God forbid we get White Supremacist there hanging people!

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:57pm
  4. Me 2

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:18pm
  5. Cut their funding immediately let them know bigotry has a price & while we are at it cut federal funds for Arizona and Kansas.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:19pm
  6. Clinton Foundation World Bank Africa World Bank Visa MasterCard fund Museveni corrupt ChristoNazi gay bashing genocidal government propped up by United Nations & The White House

    Replied on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:28pm
  7. Me too!!!! the only manner to …touch….this country is with $$$$$$$ sanctions

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:22pm
  8. When there is a negative a possitive always comes to play. He signed the documents but it means he doesnot have the support of other countries. He just signed an evil deal.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:24pm
  9. Um yes this is my reaction… Sincerely, Fuck You Mr. Museveni. For your attention, Thank you.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:24pm
  10. I feel like Uganda is gonna become Syria in 3…2…1…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:29pm
  11. Unfortunately, sanctions would only hurt the already poor people of Uganda.. The wealthy, and there are alot, would still live as they do already blind to it all…This bill certainly wont make the ‘evil’ go away as they think… Having been to Kampala many many times.. this is just one more LEGAL danger on already very dodgy ground! Shame on Museveni.. shame!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:29pm
  12. it’s all BRAINWASHED….cut USA funds….

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:30pm
  13. He’s an Ignorant jackass. I’m sickened.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:30pm
  14. How about the only funding we give to Uganda comes with a price. It can only be for LGBT people and they cannot be jailed or killed as a result of the help.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:31pm
  15. Wrong wrong wrong in every way.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:32pm
  16. I think he should be put in a zoo for dinosaurs..

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:33pm
  17. Stop the funding, maybe they’ll get the picture.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:35pm
  18. I can’t believe this.. really disappointing. Just imagine if the whole world signs similar bills like this. I would rather kill myself than to survive under endless discrimination and physical/mental torture!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:36pm
  19. Now is the time for the entire worldwide LGBTQ community to put aside their differences and unite against the persecution brought upon us by the church. This bill is a PERFECT illustration of what is to come if we do not BLATANTLY ATTACK THE SOURCE of this ignorance CREATED by self proclaimed righteous.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:41pm
  20. Time for an international movement condemning nations that pass anti LGBT laws. These people are citizens and due their rights.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:44pm
  21. Sorry excuse for a human. Humans take a few steps back with this one. I’ve read a lot of comments today on many news forums about this and I am shocked at how many people believe this should happen here in the states. To think people will die for being born and living the way mother nature intended them to live is something I cannot even begin to think about. I am so glad that my sister does not have to live in a country that would do something like this.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:46pm
  22. hang the president, as death sentence

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:48pm
  23. Most of people in Africa is Low IQ

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:48pm
  24. He should be charged with war crimes since he’s started a war against homosexuals…

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:49pm
  25. Every country should Boycott and embargo against Uganda!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:51pm
  26. Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:56pm
  27. These savage should be jailed for crimes to humanity….life sentence.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 5:58pm
  28. What a tool.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:02pm
  29. It is people like this and “Country Leaders” like this that make bigotry look OK and that there is nothing wrong with it. I COMPLETELY agree with Robert Hadley! I am a bisexual woman who has had sexual contact with another woman. See, in this country I can make statements like that. No matter if you are straight, gay, a lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, WE ALL should be treated fairly and equally!! What is everyone who is against anyone of the LGBT community so afraid of?? It’s not like if a person is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender and we are going to hit on EVERYONE of the same sex! People to need to get over their biased BS and start realizing that just because we’re not straight, that we do not deserve the same rights as everyone else! God made every single one of us, whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender!! It’s time that we start enforcing a change in this country!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:04pm
  30. Everyone stop posting this evil man’s picture. His ego is getting off on the exposure. Post a picture of the people he and his government are abusing and stop feeding his ego.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:06pm
  31. Darrel i lived there for 2 years. Its a shit country.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:08pm
  32. And darrel thats very ignorant of you to bring up color. You must be a retard.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:09pm
  33. its a crime to take away human rights as much as bigotry should be conciderd a crime

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:10pm
  34. Homophobia and bigotry, in the form of religious right wing extremism has a lot to answer for ! Freedom should not be dictated by religious extremists ! These people in Uganda now qualify for Asylum , please straight allies around the world , help us to make sure this does not get forgotten ! We need your Help !

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:16pm
  35. A travesty, and it came from US.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:16pm
  36. Some how I can only come up with two words that fit this man….one is ignorant…the other would get me blocked forever…so in a lessor stance….Ignorant thug will have to suffice.

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:16pm
  37. The world’s reaction – as with all things LGBT related – is cosmetic

    Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:17pm