Uganda’s President Signs Oppressive Anti-Gay Bill Into Law
From BBC News
Uganda’s president has signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people and criminalising those who do not report them.
A government spokesman said President Yoweri Museveni wanted to assert Uganda’s “independence in the face of Western pressure”.
US President Barack Obama has cautioned the bill would be a backward step.
Mr Museveni had previously agreed to put the bill on hold pending US scientific advice.
Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda.
The new law punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail, and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”.
It also makes it a crime not to report gay people – in effect making it impossible to live as openly gay.
It criminalises the “promotion” and even the mere “recognition” of homosexual relations “through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any other non-governmental organisation inside or outside the country”.
Lesbians are covered by the bill for the first time.
Gay activists say they will challenge the new laws in court.
The bill originally proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, but that was later removed amid international criticism.
According to the Associated Press news agency, government officials clapped after Mr Museveni signed the bill at a press conference at State House.
Read more at BBC News