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 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 10:57 AM EST, Wed November 26, 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