The United States on Wednesday expressed concerns about Uganda’s law criminalizing identification as LGBTQ and said that it represents one of the most extreme actions taken against the LGBTQ community in the world.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby warned Uganda that imposing the controversial law could invite possible economic “repercussions.”
Speaking to the press, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said that if the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) is enacted, it would threaten Uganda’s fight against HIV-AIDS, and deter tourism, and investment in Uganda.
Financial repercussions “Would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide is health assistance,” remarked Kirby. He added that Washington was closely watching “real closely” the Uganda LGBT law and that implementation of the law remains a “big if.”
Uganda on Tuesday passed legislation making it illegal to identify as LGBTQ. The legislation’s implementation is pending final approval by the country’s President Yoweri Museveni.
“The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world. Human rights are universal. No one should be attacked, imprisoned, or killed simply because of who they are or whom they love,” said White House spokesperson Jean-Pierre.
The new law targets gay Ugandans who already face legal discrimination and mob violence.
In more than 30 African nations, including Uganda, there exists a ban on same-sex relations. However, as per Human Rights Watch, the Ugandan law appears to be the first to outlaw merely identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by the Ugandan Parliament yesterday would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ugandan Government to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.