Saturday, 22 March 2014

Times: Homophobia in Uganda
Friday, March 21, 2014, 00:01 by John Guillaumier, St Julian’s

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signs the anti-homosexual Bill into law . Photo: James Akena/Reuters.

Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, called homosexuals “mercenaries” and “prostitutes” as he signed legislation setting harsh penalties against them, including long-term jail sentences.

Navi Pillay, the top United Nations human rights official, said in a statement at Geneva: “This law will institutionalise discrimination and is likely to encourage harassment and violence against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa said that Museveni had assured him that the Bill would not be signed. The Archbishop also declared: “There is no justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever.”

US President Barack Obama fiercely criticised Uganda’s anti-gay Bill. He warned Museveni that the relations between the two countries would be damaged.

The High Commissioner of Uganda to Malta, Dinah Grace Akello, said when addressing Maltese reporters: “This (controversy) has just surfaced because there was debate in Parliament; it has been blown out of proportion.”

The World Bank, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands do not think so! In fact, they have withheld or diverted aid to Uganda totalling more than $80 million.

I wonder what the Ugandan High Commissioner to Malta would have to say if some European country had to pass discriminatory legislation against Ugandans and if an ambassador of that European country would then tell reporters that the controversy “had been blown out of proportion”!

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