mind http://commonsensewithmoney.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-upgrader.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>According to officials at the Ministry, salve all the envoys expressed their governments’ objection of the passing of the Bill.
However, there was consensus from the Ambassadors that they value the partnership with Uganda and far reaching decisions will not be taken in haste as they continue to engage the Ugandan government on the issue.
The Ambassadors were mindful that they do not want ordinary people to suffer as a result development assistance cuts, as they are closely observing the implications of the Law.
On his part Hon. Kutesa reiterated the President’s position on the Law but emphasized that its intention is not to discriminate, harass or witchunt homosexuals but prohibited promotion and exhibition of homosexuality in Uganda.
The Minister further added that “we should examine this issue in a cool and rational manner”, with continued engagement as a way forward.
The development sheds light on government’s diplomatic efforts to avoid a blanket cut of aid which would have severe repercussions on key sectors such as the Health Ministry.
Norway has reportedly withheld $8m of aid to Uganda while World Bank will delay $90m loan that was aimed at boosting Uganda’s health services.
A few hours after this meeting, the western embassies issued a statement deeply concerned and disappointed about the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
“We strongly believe that all humans share common indivisible rights. The Anti-Homosexuality Law contradicts this universal principle and the Ugandan commitment to protect the fundamental human rights of all of its citizens,” reads part of the statement from the European Union diplomats.
“We would like to remind the Government of Uganda of its constitutional and international human rights obligations. Having ratified the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Uganda is obliged to guarantee the human rights infringed by the Anti-Homosexuality Law.”
The new law criminalises, outlaws and provides harsh jail terms for same sex relationships in the country. It further provides a fourteen year jail term for one convicted for the offence of homosexuality; and imprisonment for life for the offence of aggravated homosexuality.
According to Parliament, the legislation seeks to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non-governmental organization inside or outside the country.
The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said in its Report, “The Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.”
The Committee also said that there is need to protect the children and youth of Uganda who are vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviations as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child development settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption and foster care.