A Uganda government official on Tuesday
defended recent passage of an anti-gay law.
The measure, approved by lawmakers on
December 20, was first introduced in 2009 and drew international
condemnation for including the death penalty. The bill as passed
replaces capital punishment with life imprisonment for people
repeatedly convicted of having consensual sex with a member of the
same sex. The sentence can also be imposed in cases where one of the
partners is HIV-positive, a minor or disabled. The bill also seeks
to outlaw the promotion of homosexuality, effectively silencing
opponents of the measure.
President Yoweri Museveni over the
weekend announced that he would sign the bill into law, a move
criticized by President Barack Obama.
on Uganda anti-gay bill: “Will complicate our valued relationship
“We shall not care losing the
financial support from our partners if only we are left alone,”
Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo reportedly
told reporters. Ugandans would rather “die poor than live in
an immoral nation.”
He added that to withhold financial aid
would be blackmail.
In comments to the AFP, Lokodo insisted
that the government is “tolerant” of gays because they are not
“We are tolerant,” Lokodo said.
“That's why we say we are not slaughtering them. That's why we say
let them come and we help them come out of this unfortunate
situation. It's like a drug addict.” (The video is embedded on
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