On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-homosexuality bill into a law, which bans all homosexual acts, but also persons who know of homosexuals and don’t report them can be imprisoned.
This act of defiance has raised many donors from the West, as well as President Obama’s, backs. The worry is that it will break relations between the United States and Uganda.
When the first draft of the bill came out, the death penalty was recommended for the sentencing of any homosexual act. Many thought that this was too brutal, so the recommended sentencing was brought down to life in prison, which can also be sentenced to people who know of homosexuals, and don’t report them.
According to All Africa, Andrea Kampf from the German Institute for Human Rights said that, “There haven’t been that many prosecutions in Uganda or in the other countries – with the exception of Cameroon. For those who are directly affected, this means that they live in a climate of fear and stigmatization. For activists, this means threats of physical violence.” She says that the primary goal is to stop debate over the subject.
Museveni told CNN that, “We have been disappointed for a long time by the conduct of the West, the way you conduct yourselves there. Our disappointment is now exacerbated because we are sorry to see that you live the way you live, but we keep quiet about it. Now you say ‘you must also live like us’ — that’s where we say no.”
Homosexuality is now illegal in 38 African countries.
Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons