Ugandan president lashes out at West for promoting LGBTQ rights in Africa
Western countries should stop “wasting the time of humanity” by trying to impose their beliefs and practices, including homosexuality, on other people, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said.
The president of the East African country made the comments in a parliamentary address on March 16, as lawmakers prepared to vote on an anti-LGBTQ bill.
Although homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, a bill introduced in early March and set to be debated this week, with a vote as early as Tuesday, proposes harsher penalties for promoting LGBTQ rights and activities.
Museveni said that Western threats of sanctions against African countries that oppose homosexuality are hypocritical. “Europeans and other groups marry cousins and near relatives. Here, marrying in one’s clan is taboo. Should we impose sanctions on them for marrying relatives? This is not our job,” he stated.
The US cut off aid to Uganda in 2014 and canceled a military exercise in response to a law that imposes prison terms up to life for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes homosexual sex with a minor or while HIV-positive. Projects affected by the cuts include funding for a $2.4 million Ugandan community policing program, which was stopped following a police raid on a US-funded health program at Makerere University, Reuters reported.
Uganda is not the only African country known for its anti-LGBTQ policies. A bill called ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’ was introduced in Ghana’s parliament in August 2021.
The proposed legislation aims to restrict LGBTQ communities and ‘activities’ while also promoting ‘legitimate’ sexual rights and Ghanaian family values. It increases punishment for cross-dressing, public displays of affection, and other behaviors and also makes advocating for LGBTQ rights on social media or other online platforms illegal.
In Nigeria, Sudan, and Mauritania, the death penalty can be imposed for sexual relations between people of the same sex.