Gay Law: US Envoy Warns Uganda Of Tough Times Ahead


erectile geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>President Museveni has previously warned foreign countries not to dare meddle in Uganda’s domestic affairs over the newly enacted law which he believes will safeguard the African traditional family setting and the country’s moral fabric.

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buy geneva;”>US and other western countries have been mobilising to cut aid to Uganda but officials said the country will ‘move on’ with or without aid. Uganda has also rejected calls to repeal the law.

Speaking at the International Home and Housewares Pre-Departure Reception in Kampala on Monday evening, US Ambassador to Uganda, Scott H. DeLisi warned: “In the days ahead, the engagement between our governments will not be business as usual. But neither will it be no business at all.”

Scott told the distinguished businessmen and women planning to travel to the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, US, later this month that their trip comes “at a time when the relationship between Uganda and the U.S. has, in President Obama’s words, become complicated. And some of you may find that Americans you meet have a view of Uganda that is shaped by their very different perspective on the importance of equal protection and non-discrimination under the law.”

He added: “My purpose tonight, though, is not to fuel a debate about the new Anti-Homosexuality Law. As I’m sure you all know, however, the U.S. government, in keeping with the high premium it attaches to all human rights, opposes this legislation. We believe it should be repealed to ensure that it does not result in discrimination of the kind that complicates the implementation of numerous programs constituting our engagement with Uganda.”

“Having said that, it is at times like these, when the government to government relationship is strained, that the ties between Ugandan companies and American companies in the private sector become even more important.”

Scott’s remarks underline the need to bolster diplomatic efforts to find a solution to a standoff between Washington and US.

At a recent meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister, Sam Kutesa told EU Diplomats that gays would not be persecuted, adding, the law was aimed at putting an end to exhibitionism of homosexuality practices.

Anti-gay law

The new law criminalises, outlaws and provides tough 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 comprehensively 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.

Embassy closing rumours

Ambassador Scott also spoke out on reports that United States is considering closing its Embassy in Kampala.

“I say this in specific reference to some false reports suggesting that the US is about to terminate its engagement with ?‎Uganda and that the embassy in Kampala will soon close. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he observed.

“As President Obama noted, the US has a valued relationship with Uganda and this remains true, despite the challenges posed by the new law. Our partnership is multi-faceted and complex, and it’s not just about our interactions with the Ugandan government on this recent legislation. It is also about our engagement with the people whose lives we touch every day with our development programs in health and food security.”

Scott said by traveling to the International Home and Housewares Show, Ugandan businessmen will be meeting with American companies, looking for new business opportunities thus “helping to strengthen an important dimension of the U.S.-Uganda relationship and helping to build a future for your nation that looks beyond the challenges we currently face.”


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