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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    February 25, 2014 8:31 PM
    Thank God the roads are open - east, west, north and south. Already China is making serious inroad into the African market without the bottlenecks and strings of the West - Europe and America. Soon Iran will be out of the hooks and noose and will begin to add such humanitarian aid to the exportation of terrorism to Africa - talk about the carrot and cane - a big mouse-trap. Africa is relatively hungry, but it may not be so willing to take all the insults from Europe and America because of a paltry $1.6billion; after all even the money with which some of these countries are bribing the continent is borrowed or a deficit budget that may disappear during another shutdown. So what is so good about it? But thank God for some sane heads like Lindsey Graham, everybody doesn't have to go mad at the same time.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    February 25, 2014 8:14 PM
    Enough of this gay issues. We are talking about sex here, not just what you out there want to paint as rights issues. This public debate about sex - whether gay side of it or not - is tantamount to pornography. And if I agree with you that this discussion becomes relevant for open discussion, it will be necessary then to want to know the sexuality of every American in public office. Imagine the irony of a country that cannot stand up to defend thousands of lives being lost in Syria daily in a senseless civil war wants to spend a whole decade defending right to sex. What devil really is in charge of USA that's making use of all the blood spilled everyday; that wants the population of the world reduced by every means available, including through cessation of birth and reproductivity? I have not seen any rational contribution to this matter from USA, which points to everything coming out from the stables and purported domain of humans out there has been engineered in hell. Enough of the open discussion of sex, it is pure pornography; otherwise we should ask Mr. President to start doing it in public to assure us what type of sex he is involved in.

    by: Arnulfo Alvarez from: San Antonio tx
    February 25, 2014 7:34 PM
    County's should work on there own problems they have there's and we have own problems let them be oh well

    by: Arnulfo Alvarez from: San Antonio tx
    February 25, 2014 7:27 PM
    I thought America was the land of the brave it's becoming the land of the gay an the quer Uganda should stick with it's law maybe America will wake up specially the government we have or the people we have in government

    by: John from: Bakers Hill W. A.
    February 25, 2014 7:14 PM
    Hooray for Uganda! Best news I have heard in a decade. I might move there.Praying for you Uganda.

    by: Normandy from: Los Angeles
    February 25, 2014 5:48 PM
    Unfortunately, we must make these nasty dogs heel. All aid from the USA must be stopped. The savages must be taught a lesson.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    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.
    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.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora