Friday, February 28, 2014

Hate In Uganda On Full Display

A Ugandan tabloid has named the country's "200 top homosexuals", a day after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people.  Red Pepper's list appeared under the headline: "Exposed", raising concerns of a witch-hunt against gay people. 

Western governments have condemned Museveni's decision to approve the bill.  Homosexual acts were already illegal in Uganda, but the new law bans the promotion of homosexuality and covers lesbians for the first time.

The law mandates life imprisonment for gay sex (including oral sex), "aggravated homosexuality", (including sex while HIV-positive), and/or living in a same-sex marriage.  Violators can get seven years for "attempting to commit homosexuality" or promoting homosexuality.  Businesses or non-governmental organisations found guilty of the promotion of homosexuality would have their certificates of registration cancelled and directors could face seven years in jail

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo told reporters that President Museveni wanted "to demonstrate Uganda's independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation".  The sponsor of the bill, MP David Bahati, insisted homosexuality was a "behaviour that can be learned and can be unlearned".

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