Uganda accused the U.S. of pushing an “LGBT agenda” in the wake of pushback to an anti-gay law.
“There’s a coup at the State Department in the U.S. It is being taken over by people who are pushing the LGBT agenda in Africa,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem said in a Wednesday Reuters article.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an expansion of the previous visa restriction policy targeting “those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda” Monday. This expansion is now aimed at officials or others who were behind or complicit in “policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations.”
“These groups include, but are not limited to, environmental activists, human rights defenders, journalists, LGBTQI+ persons, and civil society organizers,” Blinken said in a statement. “The immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.”
Back in May, Uganda’s president signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which calls for capital punishment for cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as acts carried out by those infected with HIV or homosexual acts that involve children, disabled people or those drugged against their will. It also calls for prison for those who have gay sex.
“This shameful Act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda. The dangers posed by this democratic backsliding are a threat to everyone residing in Uganda, including U.S. government personnel, the staff of our implementing partners, tourists, members of the business community, and others,” President Biden wrote after lawmakers passed the law.
The legislation faced condemnation from both sides of American politics. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have all noted their disapproval of the bill.
“Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination,” Cruz said at the time. “ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ.”
by Tara Suter
Source – The Hill