Ugandan president lashes out at West for promoting LGBTQ rights in Africa

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Western countries should stop “wasting humanity’s time” by attempting to impose their beliefs and practises, including homosexuality, on others, according to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

The remarks were made by the president of the East African country during a parliamentary address on March 16, as lawmakers prepared to vote on an anti-LGBTQ bill.

Although homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, a bill introduced in early March and scheduled for debate this week, with a vote as early as Tuesday, proposes harsher penalties for advocating for LGBTQ rights and activities.

Western threats of sanctions against African countries that oppose homosexuality, according to Museveni, are hypocritical. “Cousins and close relatives are married by Europeans and other groups. Marriage within one’s clan is frowned upon here. Should we penalise them for marrying relatives? “This isn’t our job,” he explained.

In response to a law that imposes prison terms of up to life for “aggravated homosexuality,” which includes homosexual sex with a minor or while HIV-positive, the US cut off aid to Uganda in 2014 and cancelled a military exercise. Funding for a $2.4 million Ugandan community policing programme was halted following a police raid on a US-funded health programme at Makerere University, according to Reuters.

Uganda is far from the only African country with anti-LGBTQ policies. In August 2021, a bill titled “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values” was introduced in Ghana’s parliament.

The proposed legislation seeks to limit LGBTQ communities and “activities” while also promoting “legitimate” sexual rights and Ghanaian family values. It toughens the penalties for cross-dressing, public displays of affection, and other offences, and it makes advocating for LGBTQ rights on social media or other online platforms illegal.

Sexual relations between people of the same sex can result in the death penalty in Nigeria, Sudan, and Mauritania.