Officials In Uganda Say Country’s Anti-Gay Bill Is Misunderstood
The passing of an anti-gay law in Uganda this past February has officials in the African nation scrambling to refurbish their image to the global community – and restore financial support. Leaders say that the finer points of the Anti-Homosexuality Act were, in their words, “misinterpreted” by the masses.
With international donors withdrawing funds as a result of the divisive law, the Ugandan government says that the Act, which threatens life in prison to those who violate, was misunderstood. A statement released by the government does its best to correct its true intention, which still doesn’t seem clear.
From the Huffington Post:
“However, its enactment has been misinterpreted as a piece of legislation intended to punish and discriminate against people of a ‘homosexual orientation’, especially by our development partners,” the government said in a statement.
The United States last month reduced aid to Uganda, imposed visa restrictions and canceled a regional military exercise in response. The World Bank, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands also suspended or redirected aid to the government.
“Uganda reaffirms that no activities of individuals, groups companies or organizations will be affected by the act,” the statement said, without explaining how gay Ugandans who faced tougher jail terms under the new law could avoid being affected.
The Act condemns “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes acts with a minor or having sex while HIV-positive. The law’s signing exploded onto the world stage after President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law. Ugandans mostly supported the Act’s passing.
In Africa, homosexuality is largely frowned upon and is illegal in 37 nations on the continent.
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