Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Uganda Government Backtracks on Anti-Gay Law

In February this year, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill against homosexuality practices that was meant to protect Ugandans against 'foreign practices'. Now, 7th July, four months later, after most donors have cut aid and the US has vowed to deny visas to some government officials, and government to government relations have been severed, it says the whole Anti Homosexuality Act was misunderstood by especially its development partners. Below is a statement from the government on the misunderstanding;

Statement by the Government of Uganda on the Anti Homosexuality Act, 2014
Following a democratic Parliamentary process, the Government of the Republic of Uganda enacted the Anti Homosexuality Act on 24th February this year, with a view to curbing open promotion of homosexuality, especially among children and other vulnerable groups.

However, its enactment has been misinterpreted as a piece of legislation intended to punish and discriminate against people of a 'homosexual orientation', especially by our development partners. The Government of the Republic of Uganda reaffirms that no activities of individuals, groups, companies or organisations will be affected by the Act.
The intention of the Act is to stop promotion and exhibition of homosexual practices.This is also to reaffirm that the Government of Uganda:
• remains committed to the protection of the rights of all individuals on the territory of Uganda and to ensure that nobody takes the law into their hands;
• remains committed to guarantee full access to social services, including health and HIV/AIDS services, for all persons in Uganda without discrimination;
• will continue to guarantee equal treatment of all persons on the territory of Uganda, and respect the constitutional provisions on the right to privacy; 
will continue to enable civil society and NGOs to operate freely, in accordance with the laws of Uganda, including relevant NGO legislation; and
• undertakes to expedite finalisation of the guidelines and regulations for the implementation of the Act.

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