US President Barack Obama has strongly condemned moves to pass a bill in Uganda that would see some LGBTIs jailed for life if convicted of having gay sex President Barack Obama has warned Uganda that passing a bill to further criminalize homosexuality in the East African nation would damage the relationship between the two countries – issuing a public statement on the issue earlier today.
‘As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights,’ Obama said.
‘We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love. That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality.’
Obama criticized Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for announcing he would pass the law, saying it would affect Uganda’s standing in the international community and its relations with the US.
‘The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda,’ Obama said.
‘It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.
‘As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.’
Museveni announced last week that he would sign the law after a panel of Ugandan scientists claimed to have proven homosexuality was a learned behavior.
The Ugandan scientists made the claim just days after scientists in the US released the strongest research to date indicating that genetics are a strong factor in determining whether a person will be same-sex attracted.
14 February 2014 | By Andrew Potts
– Archives: Human Rights Watch