Yoweri Museveni, President Of Uganda, Signs Harsh Anti-Gay BillBy: Tobias Roth - February 24, 2014
As the support for the gay community is continually rising in the United States, things just seem to get worse for the people of Uganda. The president has been criticized for his anti-gay actions in the past, and continues to make it worse for gay people in his country.
Despite the fact that there had been protests from multiple human rights groups, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill today, which has severe penalties for gay people in the country of Uganda. The controversial bill was signed this morning, and has been popular in his country, despite hearing protests from other countries.
As the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has continually made it difficult to be a gay person, and leaders from various countries around the world protested the bill that was put into action today. He was pressured by countries in the west, but wanted to assert independence in the middle of western pressure, and signed the bill anyway.
The president had a number of outside forces trying to influence him, including President Barack Obama, but this did not seem to phase him at all, and he wanted to stay completely independent without letting other leaders have an influence on him. Other notable leaders such as retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu also attempted to urge him to not sign the controversial bill, instead wanting him to “strengthen Uganda’s culture of human rights and justice.”
In a statement that Yoweri Museveni made on Friday, he said “We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.”
It may be hard to believe, but the bill used to be even worse than what it was when he signed it this morning. After once proposing the death penalty for some homosexual acts, Museveni has set the maximum penalty as life imprisonment, and a 14-year jail sentence for first time homosexual offenders. The life imprisonment is for “aggravated homosexuality.” According to Amnesty International, this can refer to acts in which one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors.
Before Yoweri Museveni signed the bill this morning, lawmakers passed the bill in December. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, and the new bill, which was originally introduced in 2009, has gone back and forth for years, as outside forces have continually condemned it.
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