Uganda Remains Unshaken Despite US Intimidation Over Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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The Parliament of Uganda on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 that provides for protection of the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex and promotion of such acts.

The Bill also seeks to address the gaps of other laws in Uganda including the Penal Code Act, Cap 120, as well as supplement provisions of the Constitution by criminalizing same sex acts. The Bill now awaits President Museveni’s assenting.

However, the Bill which was tabled in Parliament and later passed sparked outrage from gays and gay funders who threatened to withdraw funds from Uganda if the Bill became law.

UNAIDS through their East and Southern Africa Director, Ann Githuku-Shongwe has warned Uganda that the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill will come with extremely damaging consequences for public health through restraining the human rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable people of Uganda access life-saving services.

She also claimed that the Bill discriminates and stigmatises the vulnerable, adding that the criminalisation of homosexuals will increase HIV/AIDS. Shongwe noted that in countries where homosexuals are criminalised, HIV prevalence is five times higher among men who have sex with fellow men than in countries without such laws. She asked the President not to approve it.

Winnie Byanyima followed suit, urging President Museveni not to sign the Bill into law, saying that it will undermine the efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

β€œIf enacted, this law will undermine Uganda’s efforts to end AIDS by 2030, by violating fundamental human rights including the right to health and the very right to life,” Byanyima said.

United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against the new Act’s implementation on Twitter, saying it was an attack on Ugandans’ human rights and would reverse the battle against HIV/AIDS.

β€œThe Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation,” he tweeted.

The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner Volker Turk on Wednesday, March 22 urged President Museveni to block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

β€œThe Passing of this discriminatory bill probably among the worst of its kind in the world is a deeply troubling development,” Turk’s statement read in part.

John Kirby, the National Security Council Spokesperson threatened that if the law is enacted, the US would have to take a look at imposing economic sanctions on Uganda. Adding that this would be really unfortunate since most of US aid is in the form of health assistance, especially on AIDS.

However, the majority of Ugandans have responded on social media, stating that they will not tolerate anything that undermines their culture and beliefs and will not be intimidated by US threats because homosexuality violates natural law.

Other people, including cultural and religious leaders, have stated that homosexuality is incompatible with African cultural standards and practices, which is completely unacceptable.

The legislatures of the 11th Parliament, headed by the speaker, have pledged to continue fighting homosexuality in order to preserve their culture and protect children and the young generation from the vice.

Over the years, homosexuality has been seen and regarded as an abomination in the African culture. The Bible talks about when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sinful ways. The Bible also in Genesis 2:24 says that a man shall leave his father and mother and join his wife and shall become one. In the same book of Genesis, God created Adam and Eve.

The Bible therefore, does not talk about Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve. The same Bible clearly states that the main union of husband and wife was for procreation to multiply and fill the world (Genesis 1:22).

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