Uganda President Yoweri Museveni bucked outside influences and signed into law a draconian anti-gay bill that could see homosexuals given life sentences. He then called gay people “disgusting.”
The president signed the bill on Monday after it was passed in December by parliament, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The bill easily passed parliament once the death sentence clause was pulled. The bill’s passing could be a popular move within Museveni’s own country, even if it isn’t popular outside.
Many foreign donors have threatened to pull aid, with Denmark announcing that its 47 million kroner aid would no longer go towards the government. President Barack Obama has said that if the Ugandan president signed the bill, it could hurt ties between the U.S. and Kampala.
The Ugandan president seemed relatively unworried about foreign pressure as he noted that “If the West does not want to work with us because of homosexuals, then we have enough space to ourselves here.”
After he signed the bill, Museveni sat down for an interview and really let the world knows how he feels on the matter. In talking to CNN, he said, “They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?”
He explained that before he wasn’t aware what gays “were doing.” He continued, “I’ve been told recently that what they do is terrible.”
The president, who is up for reelection in 2016, said of the calls to reject the bill from outside his country, “Respect African societies and their values.” Museveni added, “If you don’t agree, just keep quiet. Let us manage our society, then we will see if we are wrong, we shall find out by ourselves.”
The legislation says that people have to out others who they know to be gay to the authorities as well as makes promotion of homosexuality illegal and some could be sentenced to life in jail.
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons