News / Africa

Uganda Says US Gay Penalties are 'Blackmail'

FILE - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni
FILE - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni
VOA News
A Ugandan government spokesman has accused the United States of "blackmail" after President Barack Obama's administration cut funding to Uganda and canceled a regional military exercise in response to a new law criminalizing homosexuality.
 
Ofwono Opondo told VOA that as a sovereign country, Uganda would continue to make decisions in its best interest.
 
Opondo said his government rejects the U.S. decision as blackmail.
 
"We think it is simply a blackmail. We have said it before, homosexuality is not a fundamental human right. In our own constitution, it is not guaranteed as a fundamental right," said Opondo.
 
On Thursday, the U.S. announced it had canceled plans for a U.S.-sponsored military exercise that was going to be held in Uganda. The Obama administration also cut funding to the country and barred Ugandans believed to be involved in human rights abuses from entering the United States.
 
U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Uganda's legislation ran "counter to universal human rights."
 
In February, President Yoweri Museveni signed the measure that criminalizes homosexuality with punishments of up to life in prison. The legislation drew widespread international condemnation.
 
Opondo was asked if he believed U.S. opposition would jeopardize President Museveni's chances of being invited to a White House summit with African leaders in August.
 
"The United States government should use that summit to engage with the president of Uganda through diplomatic channels rather than blackmail. Preventing him from attending the summit, that would not in any way cancel the validity of the law passed by Uganda. So, we think that continuous engagement is much better than blackmail,” said Opondo.
 
Opondo also said the U.S. did not formally notify Uganda when it announced the new penalties on Thursday. He said the Ugandan government found out about the U.S. decision through media reports.
 
Homosexuality is a crime in 38 African countries.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tony from: USA
June 20, 2014 11:15 PM
It is unfair and hypocritical to cut aid and assistance to Uganda when nothing is done to Saudi Arabia which has even tougher law against gays than it is in Uganda. Gays are killed in Saudi Arabia but the United States continues to send billions in assistance each year. Why pick on Africans when nothing is done to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Russia?


by: Helen G Thomas
June 20, 2014 9:05 PM
Continue to stand, Uganda. America is no longer the standard of power it used to be.


by: Curtboogie from: Ny
June 20, 2014 3:46 PM
Its funny to see Obama huff and puff and try to blow Uganda down, but apparently, Uganda built their house with bricks, and Obama will soon get dizzy from all his blowing. Better to keep blowing on those straw huts in the U.S.


by: Odongo Moses from: Kampala
June 20, 2014 3:17 PM
We are keeping M23 Rebels in Uganda, We are corrupmen, We are opposing UNICC against Kenya, We Opposed NATO operations in Lybia.


by: Robert Jackson
June 20, 2014 9:12 AM
The Ugandan government, they're a bunch of special people, weak minded and ignorant.


by: socal1200r from: usa
June 20, 2014 8:22 AM
Just another example of the U.S. trying to impose it's twisted set of values on other countries. Good to see these other countries standing up to the LGBT mafia, keep it up!


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
June 20, 2014 8:10 AM
Homofascism: A way of organizing a society in which homosexualists impose their agenda with which no one is allowed to disagree or have any appeal to the contrary without being subjected to severe consequences of ridicule, slander, libel, fines, public demonstrations, distortions, denial of free speech rights, loss of employment and having the word “hate” attached to you in some form.


by: Henry Mkalira from: Lilongwe, Malawi
June 20, 2014 6:53 AM
If US and other superpowers are fighting for Gay's right why are they not fighting for the poor people from Uganda and some African countries by allowing them to enter their countries. Abandon immigration laws and stop issuing VISAs.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid