Ugandan parliamentary speaker blasts Canada over gay rights criticism
The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament claims that Canada has refused to grant visas for several of the country’s politicians due to its ban on same-sex marriage.
According to the Daily Trust, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga made the statement on Tuesday as an international summit took place in Quebec.
She reportedly said most of her colleagues who had sought visas to come to Canada for the conference were denied entry due to their stance on same-sex marriage.
Speaker Kadaga claimed that she was prevented from making a presentation by the organisers, along with another member of Uganda’s delegation.
Delegates from Mali and Syria were also denied visas by Canadian officials.
Earlier in the week, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird criticised the human rights record of both Uganda and Iran.
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Delegates from the two countries responded by accusing Canada of interfering in their internal affairs.
Mr Baird cited Uganda’s recent violent history of homophobic persecution and mentioned the 2011 murder of Ugandan gay rights campaigner David Kato.
In response, Speaker Kadaga said:
“Ignorance and arrogance, that is how I would describe Mr Baird,” adding that her government does not promote homophobic violence. “This is a very high level of arrogance for him to attack my country.”
Speaker Kadaga also said that Uganda does not “share the same values” as Canada.
“To say that we would invite the President of Uganda to officiate the wedding of two gays that would not happen in Uganda,” reported the Globe and Mail.