After years of international human rights wrangling against strong internal support, the African country’s legislature expects a law on the books by the end of the year that imposes increasing penalties for homosexuality. Earlier provisions to include a death penalty for repeat “offenders” has been dropped..
While we may be celebrating newly won gay rights in the USA, in Uganda gay standards of life are getting worse. European Countries have threatened to cut foreign aid to Uganda should this law pass. Uganda is a regular recipient of American foreign aid. USAID, the State Department subdivision that administers foreign aid, reports that Uganda received $431.2 million in aid in 2008; $416.9 million in 2009; and an estimated $456.8 million in 2010. Requested disbursements for 2011 total $480.3 million. In addition, we have a US military presence in Uganda.
Several international statutes prevent such discrimination against such people and international obligation requires Uganda to protect its own citizens. The USA has moral obligation to not accept this law by maintaining a normal relationship with Uganda, because when human rights are threatened anywhere in the world they put the rights everywhere at risk. In addition, Uganda has a terrible HIV prevention record. Stigma is one of the largest contributors to people not getting tested and sex education cannot be achieved when what is being taught is divorced from reality.
Help be a light to the world and prevent this senseless law and use our full diplomatic muscle to prevent it.