Uganda's President Museveni has signed the country's anti-gay bill into law, despite warnings from US President Barack Obama that it would “complicate our valued relationship” and will mark a “step backward” for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on the country’s commitment to protect the human rights of its people.”
The bill states that first-time offenders will be sentenced to 14 years in jail. Then life imprisonment for repeat
offenders, as well as acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV.
The bill originally proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, but that was later removed amid international criticism.
In December last year, Uganda’s Parliament passed the bill but President Yoweri Museveni said he would only sign the bill into law if he had proof that gay people are ‘made’ and ‘not born’ into their sexuality. And last week he changed his stand, saying a team of Ugandan scientists had reported that there is no evidence that homosexuality is caused by genetics.
However, over the weekend in South Africa, former archbishop Desmond Tutu had criticised President Museveni for supporting the bill, describing it as “evil”.