Think Progress reports:
Last week, it seemed like Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was delaying taking action on the infamous anti-homosexuality bill, suggesting he was interested in hearing from more U.S. scientists about the nature of homosexuality. On Monday, though, he signed the bill into law. The law, often referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill because previous versions of it included the death penalty, allows for a lifetime jail sentence for people found guilty of being gay.
Some more recent versions of the bill have still included reference to a different law that did allow for the death penalty. First-time offenders can be punished with 14 years in jail. Those who promote LGBT issues would also be in violation of the law, as would anybody who officiates a same-sex marriage. Museveni explained that he signed the bill because he was concerned that gay people were “recruiting normal people” into homosexuality, using them as prostitutes, and exhibiting themselves.
In its lawsuit against Scott Lively, the Center for Constitutional Rights calls him directly responsible for the new law.
In addition to putting the lives of LGBTI Ugandans at serious risk, in signing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, President Museveni has criminalized the existence and work of our client, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), and other advocacy organizations in violation of the Ugandan constitution and international law. The Center for Constitutional Rights holds right-wing U.S. evangelical Scott Lively directly responsible: he has been working in Uganda since 2002 to outlaw the speech and assembly of LGBTI people and effectively silence and erase the community from political life.
Desmond Tutu spoke out against the law. Pink News reports:
Archbishop Tutu said that the was “very disheartened” that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is intending to sign a bill into law that could see gay people facing lifetime prison sentence. “In South Africa, Apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks,” Archbishop Tutu said in a statement. “It was demeaning to those whose ‘crime’ was to love each other, it was demeaning to the policemen ? and it was a blot on our entire society.”
“The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love… There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts.”
It’s time to shun Uganda and Nigeria in the international community. No more aid for countries that treat their LGBT citizens as criminals.