News / USA

US Lawmakers Slam Ugandan Anti-Gay Law

Ugandan anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Ssempa posts public notice offering "rehabilitation" for homosexuals, National Theater, Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.
Ugandan anti-gay activist Pastor Martin Ssempa posts public notice offering "rehabilitation" for homosexuals, National Theater, Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.
Michael Bowman
Uganda is reaping blistering international criticism and a loss of aid revenue after President Yoweri Museveni signed a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality.

Uganda’s new law mandates punishment of up to life in prison for same-sex relations.

International reaction has been swift: Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands announced the withholding of more than $20 million in combined aid to Uganda. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry decried what he called a “tragic day for Uganda” and announced a review of U.S. assistance to the country.

At the U.S. Capitol, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said the United States cannot ignore the Ugandan law.

“It is outrageous. It is wrong. And it ought to, and I am sure it will, affect our relations with that country," he said, calling the law of a violation of human rights.

A Ugandan reads a copy of the "Red Pepper" tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.A Ugandan reads a copy of the "Red Pepper" tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.
x
A Ugandan reads a copy of the "Red Pepper" tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.
A Ugandan reads a copy of the "Red Pepper" tabloid newspaper in Kampala, Feb. 25, 2014.
Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia said he is appalled that, in the wake of the signing of the law, a Ugandan newspaper published a long list of names of suspected gay people in the country.

“I am very troubled by this," Kaine said. "And I think the United States needs to seriously explore every lever we have at our disposal to get [Uganda] to back away from this policy. And if they will not back away — and they are a sovereign nation and they can make their own decision — it means that we need to reexamine any program we have that is supportive of a government that would embrace those kinds of policies.”

That review is already under way, according to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“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.”

Uganda is not backing down. President Museveni called gay people “disgusting” and described the law as a rejection of Western attempts to impose its social values on Africa.

Not all U.S. lawmakers are speaking out against Uganda’s punishment of homosexuality. Asked if he had any reaction to the law, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham simply said “no.” When pressed by reporters, Graham expressed misgivings about interrupting aid to Uganda.

“Africa is a continent in peril," the South Carolina senator said. "The problems in Uganda with AIDS and, you know, kids starving: Do we deny economic aid to the developing world in Africa, which could be an ally, over an issue like this? I am not so sure that is the right answer."

According to global-humanitarian-assistance.org, Uganda receives $1.6 billion in total yearly foreign assistance. The United States is the country’s largest donor.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Timothy from: uganda
March 04, 2014 4:22 AM
When the government is harassing and torturing its citizens in opposition.Where is the US?When opposition leaders are hit with hammers and pepper sprayed and bandled on the back of pick ups?Where is Obama?snoozing!!!.When they enact public order management bill to prevent freedom of assembly and expresion.Where are those senators?.American leaders are a bunch of hypocrites.Guantanamo bay.-Hello.torturing innocent moslems in defence of you values and people without trial.dont they have rights too.defending Israel at all costs.Poor palestineans.Riding on the back of your military and financial might to impose values and customs on people.How is iraq and afghanistan.maybe libya is all good.God help us

In Response

by: Susan Fox from: Denver
March 14, 2014 8:02 PM
Good for you Timothy! I have met Ugandan people on Twitter and they are genuinely hurt by response of the US. Liberal US and European hypocrites are mocking them for their position, and that fact -- that the American people applaud what they are doing is totally lost in the translation. God bless you. Susan Fox www.christsfaithfulwitness.com


by: Guridy from: Virginia
March 03, 2014 9:08 AM
Good for Uganda. It is sad to see how Tim Kaine and so many so called Americans, can attack Uganda's anti gay stance based on the reasons they see as hurting the Ugandan population. Has anyone bothered to see the numbers of HIV deaths due to homosexual sex, dirty needles and blood transfusions? We need leaders to take back America from the 2% of queer bullies in our own country.


by: paschn from: U.S.
March 02, 2014 9:00 AM
500 military actions in less than 250 years, 700 combat ready bases on foreign soil to keep their puppets safe and foreign resources/markets open to their corporations and the poison they sell, 10.5 million jobs sent elsewhere while their own people languish in the latest central Bank contrived depression, invade/slaughter/murder seated heads of state, (then laugh/joke about it publicly), allow perverted materials to be used in their elementary schools, ruin nation after nation with depleted uranium munitions, causing mutilated little "freaks" and rampant cancers for generations, (not to mention the ruining of their land for centuries), shredding their own constitution which allows them to arrest, hold w/o trial, confiscate assets, (NDAA, no more Posse Comitatus/Habeas Corpus), use of unmanned drones to murder your own citizens w/o trial on foreign soil along with any innocent locals too close. Yes, we definitely need the U.S. to police the morals/laws/constitutions of all nations. With fewer than 5% of their own "cultural experts" holding a passport.... Pardon me while I laugh myself wet.


by: Eric Helmey from: United States
March 01, 2014 9:09 AM
If Uganda is a God fearing country then let God be the judge. Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you. I am not gay but I will not force my will upon others. What is disgusting is that an entire nation will inspire hate and intolerance. We should not support a country that discriminates against any group of people. And we should oust any of our leaders in this country who does not speak out against such tyranny, including Lindsay Graham, because they do not reflect this countries view's on equality.


by: W.Denis from: Kampala
February 27, 2014 11:24 AM
Thumb-up Yoweri Museveni.We Africans have our values we collectively stand for.Uganda is a God fearing country.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 27, 2014 3:30 AM
Now I am sure what needed for western countries is not to slam but to teach Ugandan president, lawmakers and ordinary people patiently to be able to accept homosexuals rationally.


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
February 27, 2014 2:47 AM
This is the combined work of Muslim fanatics and Christian lunatics rallying behind laws condemning gays and girls with mini skirts, but there's no religious edict condemning avarice, corruptions and dictatorship in Africa. Well, Africa is starving continent and GOD is not coming down to our aide. Without Western financial support Uganda will soon be collapsed.


by: Dan Wainaina from: Kenya
February 26, 2014 11:07 AM
I Am suprised by great extent the human race have fallen and separated from the God who made them, Alright, this is a modern world, but the God of the ancient never changed today and forever, I believe that everyone is familiar with what hapened to the bibilical Sodom and Gomorah. Today we see with our own eyes the dramatic efects of what it means to as the anger(wrath) of God. Please our dear honourables revew your status on this.


by: sopani sichinga from: malawi
February 26, 2014 7:54 AM
I really support Museveni for the action taken. They should not intimidate Africa by saying they will stop aiding. Africa is different from any other continent.


by: njoroge ruhari from: juba. South Sudan
February 25, 2014 11:58 PM
did Uganda came to ask for aid from Usa, or it is the Usa who saw it well to help them. Let Uganda make their own decisions please.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid