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On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-homosexuality bill into a law, which bans all homosexual acts, but also forces people to report those they know to be gay or face jail time.
Many Western countries who provide foreign aid to the country are angry the bill was signed into law and have threatened to pull their aid.
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 sentencing instead became life in prison, which can also be sentenced to people who fail to report gays they know to the police.
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, as the act was already considered taboo.
Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons