Ugandan Leader Signs Anti-Gay Law
Uganda’s president has signed into law a bill that criminalizes homosexuality, despite condemnation from President Obama and other world leaders.
President Yoweri Museveni enacted the legislation at his official residence Monday. While various international groups and leaders have condemned the law, it is popular in Uganda. Several of the officials in attendance clapped after it was signed, according to the Associated Press.
The new law sentences first-time offenders to 14 years in prison. Committing “aggravated homosexuality” -- defined as repeated gay sex or acts involving minors, disabled people, or someone with HIV -- carries a life sentence.
Obama said Friday that enactment would be “a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.”
He added that it “will complicate our valued relationship” with the African nation. Museveni issued a statement saying that Obama’s comments were counter-productive and that homosexuality was abnormal.
“Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody. We do not want anybody to impose their views on us,” he said in the statement. “This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.”