Joe Biden Threatens to Withhold Uganda Aid over Anti-LGBT Bill

The White House said Monday that Uganda through programs such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), after far-left President Joe Biden issued a statement and Uganda passed an “anti-AIDS relief bill.” threatened to cut lifesaving aid for homosexuality law. ”

Dictator Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act on Monday.the law is cruel to punish Those convicted of “engaging in homosexual acts” could be sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty. Individuals Charged with ‘Intentionally Propagating'[ing] “Homosexuals” can be sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite their sexual orientation. Organizations that may include Western NGOs and government programs could also be banned from entering the country for 10 years for similar charges.

The law also bundles overt sex crimes such as statutory rape with LGBT identification. The law uses the term “”.homosexuality exacerbated” refers to same-sex relationships with “vulnerable” people who may be adults in same-sex sexual relationships with minors, HIV-infected individuals who engage in sexual activity, or individuals who are unable to consent due to mental health problems. I mean The death penalty applies to “aggravated homosexuality”.

The “anti-homosexuality law” also punishes individuals believed to know of sexual assaults on children or “vulnerable people” but does not report them to the police.

Ugandan MP John Musira wears clothing with anti-LGBTQ messages as he enters parliament to vote on a tough new anti-gay bill on March 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ronald Kaboobi, File)

“The enactment of Uganda’s anti-gay legislation is a tragic violation of universal human rights, unworthy of the people of Uganda, and jeopardizes vital economic growth prospects for the nation as a whole,” President Biden said in a statement. Stated. published on monday. “I join with people around the world, including many in Uganda, to call for its immediate abolition.”

Biden warned that Uganda could lose a significant portion of the $1 billion a year in aid that American taxpayers send to the country if it does not repeal the law.

I advocate to the National Security Council on all aspects of the United States’ engagement in Uganda, including our ability to safely provide services under the President’s AIDS Relief Emergency Plan (PEPFAR) and other forms of assistance and investment. to assess the impact of this law on My Administration will also incorporate the impact of this Act into the review of Uganda’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Biden also said the US government is considering sanctioning Uganda and expelling lawmakers responsible for the law from the country.

“Our program has boosted economic growth and agricultural productivity, increased investment in Ugandan businesses and strengthened trade cooperation,” Biden said. “The U.S. government invests nearly $1 billion annually in Uganda’s people, businesses, institutions and military to advance our common cause.”

Biden’s written statement was clear, Asked Biden made little explicit about Uganda in public on Monday.

Q Does the US have anything (inaudible) against Uganda?

President: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.

Q About Uganda, sir — do you have any message for the people of Uganda?

President: Not now. I think I heard the question.

Don’t get your feet dirty, hey.

have understood?

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued In a separate statement about the law, he said he was “deeply troubled” by the law and said his agency would develop “a mechanism to support the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda.”

Ugandan parliamentary speaker Anita Amon lost She obtained a US visa on Monday after being suspected of being the first individual to face sanctions against the “anti-gay bill.”

Ugandan MP Asman Basarilwa, who led the bill-making process, announced the revocation of Amon’s US visa, declaring him the “first victim” of the US response to the bill.

“You will cancel our visas and by the way, that is your right,” Mr Basarilwa said. “For me, there is nothing wrong with the way the state manages matters.”

He called on Washington to move to revoke the visas of all Ugandan parliament members except Museveni and two lawmakers who voted against the bill.He also Prompted Ugandans demanded that they withdraw money from international banks if they were anti-gay and asked President Museveni to cut spending to avoid the consequences of international sanctions. Because “our peers in the Western world have threatened and materialized the threat of sanctions against the country.”

Responding to Biden’s call to reassess the viability of programs such as PEPFAR in Uganda, the country’s doctors said losing these funds could have a devastating impact on the country’s community living with HIV. warned of potential

Steven Watiti, President of the National Forum for People Living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda (NAFOPHANU) said: Said Uganda monitor:

If funding stops for even a week, there will be problems. You may lose someone you know, but it may not happen overnight. Because over 90 percent of the drugs in this country come from these people. [donors like PEPFAR].The U.S. government isn’t gay, but it has lobbyists who make a fuss and make your life difficult [Ugandans with HIV/AIDS].

Watiti also argued that anti-gay laws do not prevent people living with HIV from receiving care.

“No one stops someone from getting care. People who come to the hospital may not even know they are from an LGBTQ+ group,” the doctor insisted.

“Americans are trying to frame us as if we are against certain groups. There is no relationship,” Daniel Cabinze, a Museveni official and public health director at the Ministry of Health, told the newspaper.

But after Congress first passed the bill in March, gay rights activists on the ground said LGBT people were already avoiding health centers, fearing they would lose their jobs, apartments and even their lives. said there is.

“LGBTQ people will be afraid to go to health centers for services … there will be more cases of trauma and mental health that lead to many suicides,” said Ugandan gay rights activist Frank Mugisha. talk Said Reuters communication in March.

Activists say landlords won’t rent to people who might be considered LGBT, doctors may not treat them, and other service providers do as well by being in the same area. He warned that he would keep them out of society for fear of being accused of “promoting homosexuality.” as those individuals.

Activists hold placards during a picket against Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill at the Uganda High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, file)

Uganda’s parliament first passed the bill in March, but Museveni refused to sign it, saying it did not allow “reform” for suspected LGBT people.

“The country has granted amnesty to those who have committed criminal acts of treason against this country,” Museveni explained. “There will be similar provisions in this law to ensure that people who come out themselves are not criminalized.”

“I fully agree with this bill,” he continued in March. What you are saying is that the law will not recognize him unless he acts. But how do you make him come out? ”

Interview with Yoweri Museveni, Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. Photographer: Guillem Sartorio/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Museveni Bill signed The law states that individuals who publicly identify as “homosexual” cannot be criminally prosecuted unless they are suspected of engaging in same-sex romantic relationships.

of Uganda Observer The newspaper explained on Monday:

The new law does not criminalize people who identify as homosexuals, but it does impose life imprisonment for those who engage in homosexual acts, imprisonment for up to 20 years for those who promote homosexuality, and It mandates three years in prison for children convicted of certain acts. Sex can be punishable by death.

Eleven individuals and groups, including two legislators who voted against the law, It has been submitted It filed a complaint with the Uganda Constitutional Court on Tuesday, arguing that the law does not comply with the constitution or common legal standards.of monitor They reported that their petition denounced the law as “institutional.”[zing] The parliamentary process that led to the passage of the bill was a “culture of hate” and because “the actions of the President of the Eleventh Congress (Anita Amon) during the deliberation and passage of the bill amounted to prejudice and contradiction”. claimed to be illegal. If it violates Article 20, Article 89 (1) and (2) of the Constitution. ”

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