Biden slams Uganda anti-gay law, urges repeal

Uganda has passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act which makes gay sex punishable by life imprisonment. – EPA pic, May 30, 2023.

US President Joe Biden yesterday slammed Uganda’s draconian new law against homosexuality as a grave human rights violation, and threatened to cut aid and investment in the east African country.

He called for the immediate repeal of the tough new measures, which state among other things that “engaging in acts of homosexuality” in Uganda would be an offence punishable with life imprisonment.

“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights,” Biden said in a statement, joining a chorus of condemnation after President Yoweri Museveni signed the measures into law.

“No one should have to live in constant fear for their life or being subjected to violence and discrimination,” Biden said. “It is wrong.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered his own condemnation, saying the United States was “deeply troubled” by the law’s passage. 

“Uganda’s failure to safeguard the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons is part of a broader degradation of human rights protections that puts Ugandan citizens at risk,” Blinken said in a statement. 

Biden said he had asked his National Security Council to assess what the law means for “all aspects of US engagement with Uganda,” including services providing AIDS relief, and other assistance and investments.

He said the administration would also consider slapping sanctions on the East African nation and restricting the entry into the United States of people engaging in human rights abuses or corruption there.

Blinken reiterated the possibility of visa restrictions, and said the State Department would “develop mechanisms to support the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda and to promote accountability for Ugandan officials” involved in human rights abuses. – AFP, May 30, 2023.

Sign up or sign in here to comment.