The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, seeks out advice from the United States regarding their newly proposed anti-homosexuality law. Initially, Museveni did not support this law, stating that it is not homosexuals’ fault that they were born “abnormal.”
Acccording to BBCNews, Museveni wants the United States to help their scientists determine if homosexuality is a genetic or behavioral trait.
“I … encourage the U.S. government to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual,” he said. “When that is proved, we can review this legislation.”
President Obama, in an attempt to deal with this issue, stated that the passage of this legislation would greatly harm any relations the United States has with Uganda. This warning holds a lot of weight, considering the fact that the United States is one of Uganda’s largest aid donors.
There are already regulations regarding male homosexuality, but this bill tightens restrictions and now addresses female homosexuality as well. Tighter restrictions include the life imprisonment of anyone who interacts in any homosexual activities.
The discussion of homosexuality without the condemnation of it is also punishable by a prison sentence. Punishment further extends to those who do not report any acts of homosexuality, BBCNews detailed.
According to Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch, an independent organization dedicated to the defense and protection of human rights worldwide, decided to weigh in on the issue. The Africa director for Human Rights Watch, Daniel Bekele, said, “There is real urgency now that Museveni has stated his intention to sign the bill.”
The Human Rights Watch group replied that Ugandan international donors should specify the consequences that the passage of this anti-homosexuality bill will cause if it is passed. Bekele goes on to say that, “Uganda’s international partners need to show unequivocally that if this bill is passed, it will not be business as usual with the Ugandan government.”