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Uganda Accuses Western Nations of “Coercing” Acceptance of Same-Sex Relationships

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ugandas constitutional court to review anti homosexuality law
ugandas constitutional court to review anti homosexuality law
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Uganda has accused Western nations, particularly the United States, of attempting to pressure Africa into accepting same-sex relationships. This comes after the U.S. imposed visa restrictions on Ugandan officials for their stringent anti-gay laws, including the enactment of one of the world’s harshest laws against homosexuality in May.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, criticized the U.S. decision, asserting that certain groups in the U.S. and the West are pursuing an agenda to coerce Uganda into accepting same-sex relationships using aid and loans. He emphasized that Uganda, guided by its parliament and president, would not compromise its development program regardless of external pressure.

The U.S. had previously imposed visa restrictions on Ugandan officials in June, and last month, it announced the removal of Uganda from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade pact starting January 2024.

Despite international criticism and warnings from leaders like U.S. President Joe Biden, the European Union, and UN Chief Antonio Guterres, Uganda has maintained its staunch anti-gay stance. The controversial law enacted in May includes provisions that make “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offense and imposes severe penalties for consensual same-sex relations.

Henry Okello Oryem emphasized that Uganda has other international partners and countries that respect its development agenda without attaching conditions to travel and trade relations. The anti-LGBTQ law in Uganda has led to various consequences, including the suspension of new loans by the World Bank in August, citing a contradiction of values.

The constitutional court in Kampala is set to hear a case against the legislation, raising concerns about the ongoing tension between Uganda’s conservative values and international calls for LGBTQ rights.