News / Africa

    Uganda's Parliament Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill

    VOA News
    Uganda's parliament has passed a bill that would make some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison.

    The bill was previously condemned by rights groups and Western governments, including the United States, in part because it included the death penalty.

    The version passed Friday does not include the death penalty, but calls for a life sentence for anyone convicted of what the bill calls "aggravated homosexuality."

    An official with Human Rights Watch, senior Africa researcher Maria Burnett, said the new bill is still appalling, despite some amendments. Amnesty International also criticized the measure, calling it "wildly discriminatory."

    The legislation needs the signature of President Yoweri Museveni to become law.

    One of the bill's sponsors, member of parliament David Bahati, said lawmakers showed courage in passing the legislation.

    "I want to thank the speaker of parliament for the courage and defending the children of Uganda and the cause for humanity, to protect our marriages, to defend culture and to defend the future of our children.  We have done our part, it is an important piece of legislation.  We want to thank all those who have been supportive of us, we thank the religious leaders, we thank the parents and we thank all Ugandans who have been praying for us,'' said Bahati.

    Homosexuality is a taboo subject across many parts of Africa. Nearly 40 African nations criminalize homosexual activity, and activists say few Africans are able to be openly gay.

    The Ugandan parliament Thursday passed another controversial piece of legislation, an anti-pornography bill, which among other measures, bans the wearing of mini-skirts.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    December 21, 2013 6:12 PM
    Well, we are almost in 2014, the conscious World should not allow the uneducated African dictatorship legislators and religious fanatics and terrorists to regulate actions by consenting adults behind their closed doors. Barbarism is religion born morality not homosexuality! Got it?

    by: Swag
    December 21, 2013 12:55 PM
    I don't consider myself a gay advocate and I also don't consider myself a homo-phob. I think everyone should have the right to love whoever they want without anyone judging them or in this case, without having to go to jail for the rest of their lives. People should have the right to be themselves and be with whom ever they want. At the end of the day it's just ordinary people in love and that's a beautiful thing.

    by: Jon from: California
    December 20, 2013 1:13 PM
    Damn its nice to see crimes against nature are still punished somewhere. Ol America just allows any freak and geek to do just about anything they please as long as it doesnt affect the rich or the politically connected.
    In Response

    by: Ebony from: chicago
    December 20, 2013 4:04 PM
    Why shouldn't people be allowed to do what they want with themselves, who are u to say that being Gay isnt as natural as being straight? U sound a bit judgemental. Being gay is.just like being black, ur born that way.

    by: Anonymous
    December 20, 2013 1:04 PM
    No homos or mini skirts yay let's go live there

    by: Dan from: North Carolina
    December 20, 2013 1:03 PM
    Until this discriminatory law is struck down in Uganda, all the country's officials responsible for voting or signing this bill into law ought to be tried in international court for crimes against humanity so they can't leave their country without potentially facing arrest themselves

    by: InfamousValdon from: Canada
    December 20, 2013 12:59 PM
    Just because the US has legally allowed homosexuality in their country doesn't mean any other country has to follow suit. The US government won't be happy until all national sovereignty worldwide is a thing of the past. This coming from the country who claim to fight for freedom and democracy. The US government is a living contradiction. What a joke. I wonder if the US government are working with the same human right groups that want to convict Bush and Obama for crimes against humanity and international war crimes.
    In Response

    by: InfamousValdon from: Canada
    December 21, 2013 2:33 PM
    @Dan from North Carolina
    Dan it's very similar here in Canada as in the US as far as politics are concerned. The Canadian government as the US government, are always passing laws that the average Canadian doesn't agree with. I personally don't care if someone is gay or not. I just don't believe that the government should have a say on sexual preference, some things should be private, gay or straight. It seems to me there is a double standard as far as sexuality is concerned. Here in Canada every year in Toronto there is a gay pride parade which to me is an outrage. Look at it this way: What would the homosexual community say if there were an annual straight pride parade? They would loose their minds, saying they're being discriminated against. Just an example of another double standard within our society.
    In Response

    by: Dan from: North Carolina
    December 20, 2013 4:43 PM
    Funny you're from Canada (where protections and rights for gays are much stronger) and hold this viewpoint. While I don't advocate the US or any country policing the world, I think we along with the international community in hand have a duty to confront human rights abuses like this.

    by: alur from: Las Vegas, United States
    December 20, 2013 12:25 PM
    Some countries in the world are destined to hold on to Medieval ideas instead of embracing the 21st century. No one loses their rights when other groups are given theirs. Shame on the government of Uganda. No more U.S. aid for you.

    by: Bruce from: Calgary
    December 20, 2013 12:19 PM
    It's about time ....... finally some forewards, educated, sophisticated enlightened, moral thinkers who think with their brains instead of their stuff

    by: Sean from: Texas
    December 20, 2013 12:19 PM
    Nemo, if you're saying that corrupt politicians condemned these crimes against humanity, and that the American public would actually support something like this, then I say bring on the corruption. Love is love, and on top of that it really isn't anyone else's business.

    by: Nemo from: Hamilton
    December 20, 2013 12:08 PM
    Lets be clear. Corrupt US politicians condemned this, not the American public.
    In Response

    by: Deekoo from: USA
    December 21, 2013 2:54 AM
    Speaking as a member of the American public, I for one condemn this insane law - and I am not usually noted for seeing eye to eye with my politicians.

    Bahati's original bill was Naziesque in nature; the street violence Ssempa has ordered and the thuggish behaviour of the so-called 'Minister for ethics and integrity' all point at a political trend that, if left unchecked, will attempt to take Idi Amin Dada's place in history's nightmares.
    In Response

    by: Dan from: North Carolina
    December 20, 2013 4:54 PM
    William Cherry, I pity you that you stereotypically form your impressions of people based on a pieced together many times over book translated many times over (ever heard of lost in translation?), that contains many antiquated and morally wrong teachings. Slavery anyone? --Try following the actual teachings of Jesus who on all accounts loved everyone without reservation and never said a word about homosexuality being morally wrong.
    In Response

    by: Inverse137 from: US
    December 20, 2013 12:31 PM
    Well, I am not a "corrupt U.S. Polician" and I am part of the American public and I condemn it.

    It is barbaric. Just like you.
    In Response

    by: James from: USA
    December 20, 2013 12:28 PM
    What and you are for this? I would bet 80% of the USA pubic are against this
    In Response

    by: william cherry from: panama city fl
    December 20, 2013 12:24 PM
    Nemo hit it right on the head. Majority of American people do not see this as a "rights" issue. But believe sodomy is immoral and a deviate, chosen life style. The Bible does not preach tolerance of sin. The Bible is a "Declaration of Truth" not a debate.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 20, 2013 12:22 PM
    Thank you for standing up for the American people. They would clearly take the moral high ground and send homosexuals to prison for doing nothing.
    In Response

    by: julius from: hawaii
    December 20, 2013 12:21 PM
    So u support killing gays and think the American public does too?
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.