A statement from President Barack Obama said: “The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, justice and equal rights.”
Obama’s sentiments were shared by his Ambassador in Uganda Scot DeLisi who said: “Our position remains clear: all nations need to respect the fundamental rights of their citizens. The right to live in peace, to be protected equally under the law, and to have the same opportunities to be respected, contributing partners in the future of the nation. This law, undercuts these core values for a segment of Ugandan society.”
The terse reaction to Museveni’s announcement came a day after the Ugandan president told Members of Parliament from the ruling NRM that he was convinced by Ugandan scientists that there is no scientific explanation that some people are born gay.
“There is no scientific proof yet that people are homosexuals by genetics. It is on the strength of that I am going to sign the bill. I know we are going to have a big battle with the outside groups about this, but I will tell them what our scientists have to say,” Museveni said.
Obama added: “As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.”
Obama’s is the first in an expected influx of condemnations from western countries that are expected to target Uganda’s decision to criminalise homosexuality.
However, the law is likely to boost support for Museveni since majority of the population are strongly opposed to the habit.
However, even if it becomes law, activists and some members of Parliament have vowed to appeal it citing the lack of quorum when it was passed back in December.