The White House and the European Union have joined the United Nations and other human rights organizations in condemning Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law.
The law, which would impose severe penalties on people identifying as Gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, and others, was passed by Parliament on Tuesday, drawing praise from supporters of the law and anger from opponents, raising the possibility of economic sanctions from nations around the world.
“We have grave concerns with the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, AHA, by the Parliament of Uganda yesterday, and increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it will impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardise progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and… damage Uganda’s international reputation.”
The bill proposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes sexual acts involving people living with HIV or involving minors or other vulnerable groups.
The legislation also provides for life imprisonment for the crime of “homosexuality” and up to 10 years in prison for attempted homosexuality.
EU spokeswoman Ms Nabila Massrali tweeted: “Uganda: The EU is deeply concerned by the passing of an Anti-Homosexuality Bill by the Parliament. We will continue engaging with authorities and civil society to ensure that all individuals are treated equally.”
The White House and European Union join the United Nations and other human rights organizations, which have previously raised similar concerns about the anti-homosexuality law.
Mister. Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, explained in a statement that “If the law is signed by the President, it would make lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals just because they exist.“
He urged President Museveni not to sign the law.
Amnesty International also described the draft law, which would criminalize consensual homosexuality between adults, as “terrifying”, “vague” and “poorly worded”.
“This highly repressive legislation will institutionalize discrimination, hatred and prejudice against LGBT people – including those perceived as LGBTQ+ – and impede legitimate action by public health professionals and civil society leaders.”