The Ugandan government has responded to the threat of possible economic sanctions by the United States government over a recently passed bill against same-sex relations and the LGBTQ+ community.
The response posted on social media platform, Twitter, comprised quotes by president Yoweri Museveni stating the country's strict opposition to same-sex relations.
The government's official Twitter handle posted a quote from Museveni's recent response on the issue when he appeared before Parliament to deliver an address.
"The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other peoples. Europeans and other groups marry cousins and near relatives.
"Here, to marry within the clan, is taboo (Omuziro). Should we impose sanctions on them for marrying relatives?" a follow-up tweet read.
In another response, the handle specifically quoted a tweet by Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State with a quotation by Museveni in a 2014 interview with CNN.
The quote read: "If the West doesn’t want to work with us because of homosexuals, then we have enough space here to live by ourselves and do business with other people.” (CNN, 2014).
White House warns of potential 'repercussions' if LGBTQ law takes effect
The United States on Wednesday, March 22, warned of sanctions if Uganda's anti-Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer legislation is signed into law.
“We would have a look at whether or not there might be repercussions that we would have to take, perhaps in an economic way, should this law actually get passed,” John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council said in a media briefing at the White House.
Lawmakers in the East African country had by a majority voted to pass the legislation a day earlier to much uproar by activists and rights groups.
Elements of the bill include:
- A person who is convicted of grooming or trafficking children to engage them in homosexual activities faces life in prison.
- Individuals and institutions which support or fund LGBT rights activities also face prosecution.
Local news channels also reported a proposed 20-year jail term for ‘any entity that funds or promotes any form of homosexuality’.
Uganda is a deeply traditional and religiously conservative country. The president is known to have harsh words for homosexuals and LGBTQ persons have routinely been raided.
The final leg of making the bill into law is the signature of president Yoweri Museveni.