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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground More

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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
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 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 Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
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 Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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