Posted by News Express | 25 February 2014 | 3,782 times
Celebrations have greeted the signing, yesterday by President Yoweri Museveni, of a law recently passed by parliament banning gay relations in Uganda. Shrugging off international pressure, the Ugandan President signed the law allowing those convicted of homosexuality to be imprisoned for life.
At a public ceremony in a packed room at the State House in Entebbe, Museveni formally initialled the anti-homosexuality act, which also outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires citizens to denounce to the police anyone suspected of being gay. “No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature. That’s why I have agreed to sign the bill,” he said in a speech at the presidential palace near the capital, Kampala, adding:
“Outsiders cannot dictate to us. This is our country. I advise friends from the west not to make this an issue, because if they make it an issue the more they will lose. If the west does not want to work with us because of homosexuals, then we have enough space to ourselves here.”
Supporters clapped during the press conference. People openly celebrated elsewhere across the religious country.
David Bahati, the MP who introduced the bill, said: "This is a victory for the family of Uganda, a victory for the future of our children…”
The anti-homosexuality bill passed through parliament in December after its architects agreed to drop a death penalty clause. The legislation requires those found guilty of repeat homosexuality to be jailed for life.
A coalition of UK gay rights groups and charities has written to the Foreign Office calling on Britain to withdraw its high commissioner in Kampala.
Jonathan Cooper, chief executive of the Human Dignity Trust and one of those who signed the letter, said: “[This] law promises to tyrannise the lives of the Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. This is a huge blow for anyone who values basic human rights. This bleak situation will have an immediate effect on countries like the UK, the rest of the EU, Canada and US, as people flee and seek sanctuary.”
•Photo shows Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
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