News / USA

    White House: Uganda Takes Step Backward by Signing Gay Legislation

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signs a new anti-gay bill that sets harsh penalties for homosexual sex, in Entebbe, Uganda, Feb. 24, 2014.
    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signs a new anti-gay bill that sets harsh penalties for homosexual sex, in Entebbe, Uganda, Feb. 24, 2014.
    ReutersVOA News
    The White House sharply criticized Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday for signing legislation that imposes harsh penalties for homosexuality, calling it a step backward.
     
    The new law strengthened existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for “aggravated homosexuality,” including sex with a minor or while HIV positive.
     
    “Instead of standing on the side of freedom, justice, and equal rights for its people, today, regrettably, Ugandan President Museveni took Uganda a step backward by signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
     
    His statement did not say whether U.S. assistance to Uganda would be suspended. An official said last week aid would be reviewed if Museveni signed the law. Washington is one of Uganda's largest foreign donors, with assistance of more than $400 million annually in recent years.
     
    Carney said the law was an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda and reflects poorly on the country's commitment to protect the human rights of the Ugandan people.
     
    “We will continue to urge the Ugandan government to repeal this abhorrent law and to advocate for the protection of the universal human rights of LGBT persons in Uganda and around the world,” he said.

    A State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States is reviewing its relationship with Uganda as a consequence of the new law.

    "Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values," said Psaki.

    Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African nations and a taboo subject across many parts of the continent.  Activists say few Africans are able to be openly gay.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    February 28, 2014 6:17 AM
    We don't have problem with gay people. As God creatures, it is their right to live. What we are saying you cannot imposed your will on the rest of the world. Mr. Obama is the first President in the history of America to openly accept same sex marriage. This man has made America weak to the outside world, he has demoralized America. and he and secretary Kerry trying hard to spread their gay message in Africa and around the world. America has lot of issue on her agenda then of gay marriage. His Obama care is not working, his democratic colleagues are ashamed of his Obama care, He has lot on his plate right now. This nation was built on a Christian value, and we still stand for what our fore father stood for. America should have been the voice of God on the earth, instead they are advocating for satan. If Mr. Obama was to bring about change in the world, he needs to stand up to Russia.

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    February 28, 2014 4:54 AM
    The US, EU and the world bank are on the human wrong side. and Mr. Museveni is the father of human right. The problem here is the majority of the people in the US, EU and the world Bank, people that hold key positions in the hierarchy are all gays. so what do you expect?
    The US, and the EU wants to advocate for human right, but afraid of Syria, Russia and Iran. Those people are killing their own people, suppressing them, and the so call western world sitting there and doing nothing.
    Mr Obama, few months sat on the national and international TV and say to the world, if Syria crosses the redline, they will face justice, Syria did. what did Mr. Obama do? nothing, he was bluffing. He sat there and denied that he never said so. He scare of Russia and Iran, But not Museveni,hahahaha
    The former Ukrainian President committed atrocities against his people and sitting in Russia, Why the father of so call human right, Mr. Barrack Hussein Obama cannot go and arrest him? We need justice for the Ukrainian people.

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    February 25, 2014 3:54 AM
    If US suspends the $ 400 million aid, only the common people will surely continue to suffer. Yoweri Museveni who has been in power for more than 27 years has accumulated enough money and stashed it in off shore accounts. He will remain rich for the rest of his life.

    by: KS from: Boston
    February 24, 2014 3:19 PM
    I think aid should be suspended. It is difficult line to straddle claiming support and advocate for human rights while providing and to governments that so clearly eschew the same. Moreover, Museveni challenged the West - particularly the USA - when be asked that Uganda be left alone. So be it. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President.
    In Response

    by: Jim from: Oregon State
    February 25, 2014 6:50 PM
    Yup! America should be the new world dictator, even on moral issues. Hey America! Lets make pedophilia legal here in the US. Then we could bash most countries. Now that I think about it, what about all those bible believers in the south. Lets kick those states out of the union. Wait a-minute. I forgot, America is a free country. Ooops. I forgot. Obama is President. So if it's his way, you are free. But the constitution gives us freedom of religion. The Bible says gay activity is wrong. Oooooh I can see it coming. Time to make following the Bible illegal. I don't think American can sing 'God Bless America' anymore.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora