Skip to main content

U.S. reduces money to Uganda over harsh anti-gay laws

By Tricia Escobedo, CNN
updated 5:12 PM EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. pulls funding from Uganda's government
  • Move is in response to Uganda's anti-gay law
  • Washington also cancels a planned military exercise
  • Uganda's President signed measure earlier this year

(CNN) -- Uganda's government institutions will lose U.S. funding as punishment for a law signed earlier this year by President Yoweri Museveni that makes some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison.

In addition, the White House said Thursday that Washington will cancel a planned military exercise with Uganda and deny entry to certain Ugandan citizens, including those "involved in serious human rights abuses, including against LGBT individuals."

The United States will not end its humanitarian support for Uganda or its cooperation to stamp out the Lord's Resistance Army, led by the elusive Joseph Kony.

"We will seek to advance these interests even as we continue -- in Uganda and around the world -- to oppose discriminatory practices and champion human rights for all," read the statement by White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

Gay Ugandan speaks out about new law
Branson to boycott Uganda over law
Gay Ugandans committing suicide

Uganda's anti-homosexuality act, first introduced in 2009, originally included a death penalty clause for some such acts. It was briefly shelved when Britain and other European nations threatened to withdraw aid to Uganda, which relies on millions of dollars from the international community.

Museveni signed the bill into law in February, two months after Uganda's Parliament passed it after replacing a death penalty provision with a proposal of life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality." This includes acts in which one person is infected with HIV, "serial offenders" and sex with minors, according to Amnesty International.

The law calls for the imprisonment of those who counsel or reach out to gays and lesbians -- a provision that would ensnare rights groups and others providing services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Museveni's position on the law changed several times before he signed it.

At one point, he said he wouldn't sign the bill, describing homosexuals as "sick" people who needed help, not imprisonment.

He said he changed his mind after scientists had determined that there is no gene for homosexuality and that it is merely a choice to embrace abnormal behavior.

Museveni told CNN in February that he believes sexual behavior is a matter of choice and gay people are "disgusting."

Ugandan granted bail in first gay sex trial since tough new law

Ugandan tabloid prints list of 'homosexuals'

CNN's Faith Karimi and Nick Thompson contributed to this report

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:20 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Groping, lewd comments, and that's not the worst of it.
updated 9:33 PM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
British hostage John Cantlie appears from the battle city of Kobani.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:06 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT