News / Africa

Ugandan President Signs Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014.
The president of Uganda has signed an anti-homosexuality bill into law, defying Western governments and international human rights groups.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, but the new law imposes much harsher penalties, including 14-year prison terms for first-time offenders and life sentences for so-called “aggravated homosexuality.”

“Promotion” of homosexuality also has been criminalized, as well as failure to report a gay person to police.

Speaking Monday from the state house in Entebbe, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he was signing the bill because the scientists he consulted had not found a gene for homosexuality.

“There are those who engage in homosexuality for mercenary reasons, especially here; the ones who are recruited mainly for poverty. And then there are those who become homosexual by both nature, some element of genetics, and nurture.”

The move comes despite years of intense pressure from Western countries and human rights groups not to sign the bill.

President Barack Obama has called the new law a “step backward” for Uganda, and said it would “complicate” relations between the two countries. At the moment the United States gives Uganda about $400 million annually in aid.

Gay and lesbian rights activist Kasha Nabagesera said Uganda’s homosexual community has been expecting this move for some time, and that they intend to challenge it in court.

“Right now we are just trying to remain calm, and then we will continue with our focus which is to challenge it in the constitutional court. We are just putting the final touches on our petition,” said Nabagesera.

The bill was passed by parliament in December without the necessary quorum, and many expect it to be ruled unconstitutional.  

Nabagesera said the legal challenge will begin later this week.

Museveni issued a defiant response last Friday to U.S. pressure, published in the local media, in which he criticized Western counties for trying to impose their views on Uganda.

Museveni initially indicated he would refuse to sign the bill passed by the Ugandan parliament in December. He later changed his position after consulting with a panel of Ugandan scientists, though some scientists have claimed the president misinterpreted the panel’s conclusions.

You May Like

Guatemala Mudslide Death Toll Rises to 86

Death toll is expected to continue to rise as emergency crews dig through tons of earth for an estimated 350 people still missing More

Debris Found in Search for Missing Ship

Objects located Sunday have not yet been confirmed to be from the 240 meter container ship, El Faro, which disappeared in the eye of Hurricane Joaquin, according to US Coast Guard More

Survivor: Gunman Spared 'Lucky One' to Give Police Message

Law enforcement official says a manifesto of several pages was recovered; contents not revealed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
February 27, 2014 11:43 PM
The Western world doesn't have no morality, and values for our females. Mr. Museveni did what is right to protect the younger generation. Africa has classify Mr. Museveni to be the father of human right. He stood for what is right and true.
America, the UN and EU may called him a dictator, But in the eyes of the Africans, He is one of the heroes of Africa. The Museveni administration help to bring peace and stability in Africa and other regions.
The Western World needs to mind their business and understand that, there are different laws for different countries. And the Uganda constitution doesn't allowed the publicity of gays in their country. why the western cannot import these people in their countries? this is the best way to stand for the gays in Africa.
The problem here, the Western World wants to control Africa with that little bit of money they give to them. Enough of this Western World nonsense, Africa is for the Africans. and the African leaders need to stand for what is right. if not, we are going back to cololism, beware of the height, and dont believe the height.

by: Paula Key from: Canada
February 25, 2014 2:10 AM
Forbes Magazine asked world wide readers on Facebook to name the worst dictators alive today and President Museveni was ranked in amongst them. Now that he has passed the Anti-Homosexual Bill, the world will be more informed about him.

Museveni is placed alongside some notable dictators: Remember that he is also placed along side Uganda’s former dictator **Idi Amin.

Bashar al-Assad of Syria **North Korea’s Kim Jong-ill, ** Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe **Vladamir Putin **General Than Shwe (Burma)**Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kha** Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir **

ddungu Musa Evans -Just Another site writes the following information;

President Museveni should reveal how he acquired this wealth, yet by 1986 he was landless, without shelter, poor like a church mouse, the only wealth he had was an AK 47 Kalashnikov that he had used to butcher Ugandans during the 1981-1986 bush war.

But now surprisingly President Yoweri Museveni’s being ranked the 12th richest person in Africa, his wealth is estimated at $1.7bn

http://stories4hotbloodedlesbians. com
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 25, 2014 7:55 PM
What rubbish are you talking about here? Do you mean because he is a dictator he has nothing good in him? What we understand right now is that so-called human rights strategy of the west is just another way to call the dog a bad name to hang it. Right now Museveni is such a hero in Africa that you cannot vilify with all your arsenal of evil rights. He is a defender of the most valuable rights of Africa. Take it or leave it, he is a hero right now, able to look the west in the eyes and say 'to hell', which most other presidents in the continent, like that of Nigeria, will first seek for permission to say.

by: scallywag from: nyc
February 24, 2014 4:56 PM
One can't help what the anti gay laws are really about? Is it really an attempt to protect children, to uphold morality as has been claimed or just another way to demonize certain sectors of society who are made to symbolize the ills of society and to curry support for a long running president who needed to create a bogeyman that many can now rally against to the mutual benefit of incumbent elite and divert attention to the ongoing pillage of society, of those massacred, maimed , raped and/or forced into exile......

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs