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“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights,” the president said, while suggesting possible sanctions.
Activists hold placards protesting Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill.
President Joe Biden condemned Uganda’s anti-gay law on Monday, calling for its immediate repeal and the possibility of implementing sanctions.
“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights — one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country,” Biden said in a statement.
On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed a tough anti-gay bill into law that orders the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as same-sex relations involving HIV-positive people, children or other vulnerable people.
Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda.
“This shameful Act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda,” Biden said.
Biden said he had directed the National Security Council to evaluate the implications of the law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda, including the ability to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investments.
“And we are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption,” Biden said.
The legislation signed on Monday in Uganda adds to many anti-LGBTQ laws that have been enacted on the African continent, where only 22 of 54 nations allow homosexuality.
Under the Trump administration, a global campaign was launched to end the criminalization of homosexuality in multiple nations. The push to end laws that outlaw homosexuality abroad stood in contrast with the Trump administration’s mixed record on gay rights in the United States. The Trump administration banned transgender people from the U.S. military and cut funding for HIV and AIDS research.
On Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the new Uganda “horrific and wrong.”
“Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination,” Cruz said on Twitter. “ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse.” – politico.com
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