Uganda on Thursday defended its
recently-approved anti-gay law.
The law, signed last month by Ugandan
President Yoweri Museveni, increases the penalties for homosexuality
in a nation where gay sex was already illegal. As approved, the law
calls for life imprisonment for the crime of “aggravated
homosexuality.” A previous version of the bill called for the
Western nations, including the United
States, have condemned the law.
In addressing the United Nations Human
Rights Council, Ambassador Christopher Onyanga Aparr insisted that
sexual orientation was “not a fundamental human right” as defined
in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Reuters
“It is important to underscore the
fact that the law is not intended to discriminate, persecute or
punish homosexuals by the sheer fact of their sexual orientation,”
Aparr said. “Rather the law is aimed at protecting and defending
Ugandan society from social disorientation.”
Secretary of State John Kerry last week
likened the law to anti-Semitism and apartheid.
Kerry speaks to Uganda's Yoweri Museveni about anti-gay law.)
Sweden on Wednesday joined three other
donors – World Bank, Norway and Denmark – in suspending part of
its financial aid to the nation.
Aparr dismissed the criticisms,
insisting that the law was needed “to protect our children from
those engaged in acts of recruiting them into homosexuality and
“The law also aims at discouraging
homosexuals from publicly exhibiting their sexuality and sexual acts
or practices,” he added.