Biden Weighs Sanctions Against Uganda After Enacting Anti-Gay Law
This week, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed one of the world’s toughest anti-gay laws that orders the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”
“Aggravated homosexuality” is defined as same-sex acts with children, disabled individuals, HIV-positive people, or anyone else deemed under threat. Anyone convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” could face up to 14 years in prison. Anyone who attempts to have same-sex relations face up to 10 years, and those who engage in gay sex could receive life in prison.
On a continent where only 22 of the 54 nations have legalized homosexuality, this legislation adds to the litany of anti-LGBTQ laws that have been enacted.
Upon the signing of this bill, President Joe Biden called for its immediate repeal and publicly condemned it as a “violation of universal human rights.”
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“I have directed my National Security Council to evaluate the implications of this law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda,” said Biden in a statement, “Including our ability to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investments.”
The new law has been denounced by national and international offices, including the United Nations Human Rights Office.
“It is a recipe for systematic violations of the rights of the LGBT people and the wider population,” the office tweeted. “It conflicts with the Constitution and international treaties and requires urgent judicial review.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also took to Twitter to speak out against the new Uganda law.
“Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque and an abomination,” Cruz wrote. “All civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse.”
The Biden administration is considering taking steps toward sanctioning those who are involved in any human rights abuses towards the LGBTQ community. This could involve restriction of entry into the United States.
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