Uganda's latest anti-gay law: Why should we care?

There is no end to the opportunities for us to wonder at what goes on in the mind of President Biden regarding the policies of our government.

Just a look at daily headlines and you are constantly surprised at what is going on. Who knew?

Now we find out that what the country of Uganda – that’s in Africa in case you are geographically deficient – is doing concerning the treatment of gay people and how it relates to us.

After years of debate and discussion, a parliamentary vote was taken last week in Uganda, on a bill that calls for a life sentence for anyone engaging in gay sex in that majority-Christian country.

The law includes a provision that if someone just tries to engage in gay sex, they would face a prison term of seven years. The Guardian reported that there were 389 votes in favor and 2 opposed.

Ecweru Musa Francis, the Minister for Works, spoke in favor of the bill, calling it a means to safeguard the morals of the country and to protect the children. He said, “This country will stand firm – homosexuals have no space in Uganda.”

There are already laws on the books there calling for prison terms for people involved in homosexual acts, but this new provision adds the death penalty in certain instances of rape and child molestation. In addition to that, there is a massive financial penalty for anyone found guilty of such acts. The laws against homosexual acts date back to the late 19th century with life imprisonment a major part of the available penalties.

The vote in Uganda drew a strong response from the Biden administration. John Kirby, the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, had comments about it during a daily news briefing. He referenced Biden’s position supporting the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons around the world and denounced what Uganda had done.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined in, saying the act undermined fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called on Western nations to cease promoting the LGBT agenda in his country. Speaking to Parliament, he said, “The Western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by imposing their social practices on us.”

This new law was introduced recently by lawmaker Asuman Basalirwa, who said that homosexuality threatens family values and the safety of Ugandan children.

Where does the U.S. fit in all of this? Biden has declared that it’s the policy of this country “to lead by the power of example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons around the world.”

“Around the world”??

As I said earlier, “Who knew?!”

Kirby referenced the Ugandan vote and said, “We’re never going to shy away or be bashful about speaking up for those rights and for individuals to live as they deem fit, as they want to live. And that’s something that’s a core part of our foreign policy and that will remain so.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, also had an opinion on the issue, saying the law “would impinge on universal human rights” and “damage Uganda’s international reputation.”

Americans are probably not aware that Uganda is a close Western ally and in fact receives almost $1 billion a year in U.S. development aid.

Over time, the issue of gay rights has been raised with Uganda, with the West threatening a cut in aid if the African nation’s strict laws are not relaxed. So far, that has not happened, and, as evidenced this week, the laws are becoming more strict.

Not unexpectedly, the United Nations called the anti-gay law, “probably among the worst of its kind in the world” and that it would “serve to incite people against each other.”

It remains to be seen what the outcome of this will be. What will Biden do. if anything? What will the U.N. do, if anything? Essentially, does anyone care – and if so, what will happen?

The reality is that Africa is a long distance away, and most Americans don’t pay any attention to what happens there. The politicians care only about their world image and, of course, the money involved in our relations with them.

If we go by what Joe Biden has done so far, we are being kept in the dark about why we should care about what is happening in Africa, Uganda specifically.

What worries me is what the ramifications will be when we DO find out.

Follow Barbara Simpson on Facebook.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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