The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Uganda criminalizes being gay

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signs the “anti-homosexuality” bill into law. (Ronald Kabuubi/EPA)
Placeholder while article actions load

With the stroke of his pen, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda defied science and world opinion to make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people outlaws in his country.

“Homosexuals are actually mercenaries,” he said. “They are heterosexual people, but because of money they say they are homosexuals. These are prostitutes because of money.” Museveni added, “There’s now an attempt at social imperialism, to impose social values. We’re sorry to see that you (the West) live the way you live, but we keep quiet about it.” The “anti-homosexuality” law carries a penalty of 14 years for a first-time offense and life imprisonment for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.”

The world isn’t keeping quiet about the latest travesty against LGBT people in Africa. Denmark and Norway announced they were delaying or diverting aid. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States was reviewing its relationship with the central African country, including $400 million in aid.

“This is a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights,” Kerry said in a statement. Museveni’s signature on the law and the motivation behind it show he doesn’t care at all.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj