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The Trump administration is going to keep sending aid to Uganda despite ‘Kill the Gays’ bill

Patrick Kelleher October 14, 2019
Uganda men hold a rainbow flag reading "Join hands to end LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Intersex - called Kuchu in Uganda) genocide" as they celebrate on August 9, 2014 during the annual gay pride in Entebbe, Uganda. Uganda's attorney general has filed an appeal against the constitutional court's decision to overturn tough new anti-gay laws, his deputy said on August 9. Branded draconian and "abominable" by rights groups but popular domestically, the six-month old law which ruled that homosexuals would be jailed for life was scrapped on a technicality by the constitutional court on August 1. AFP PHOTO/ ISAAC KASAMANI (Photo credit should read ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Ugandan men hold a rainbow flag reading "Join hands to end LGBTI genocide" (ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty)

The Trump administration has stated its opposition to a new “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda – but they will continue providing foreign aid to the country.

A US State Department spokesperson said the US government “firmly opposes criminalisation of LGBTI individuals,” Reuters reports. They said that they stand “with Uganda’s LGBTI community and Ugandans of all backgrounds and beliefs to defend the dignity of all citizens”.

However, when asked if they would consider cutting funding to put pressure on the nation, the official replied: “At this point, there has been no credible information that the government of Uganda is seriously considering introducing this bill.”

Uganda receives significant funds in international aid from countries such as the United States.

The US provides Uganda with almost $1billion per year in funding for the country’s military and development projects.

Uganda receives a significant amount of funds in foreign aid every year. According to Global Risk Insights, the country received more than $16billion between 2003 and 2012, making them the 13th biggest recipient of aid worldwide.

We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.

Five years ago, when the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill was first touted, a number of countries – including the US – said they would cut off funding if the bill was passed.

The law was later avoided on a technicality, however the country’s ethics and integrity minister Simon Lokodo told Reuters last week that the government is planning to give it another run to curb the rise of “unnatural sex”.

New bill would see gay people sentenced to death

If the bill is passed, gay people could be sentenced to death. It would also criminalise anyone involved in the “promotion and recruitment” of homosexuality.

Gay people in Uganda currently face life imprisonment if they are convicted of homosexuality.

“Homosexuality is not natural to Ugandans, but there has been a massive recruitment by gay people in schools, and especially among the youth, where they are promoting the falsehood that people are born like that,” Lokodo said.

“Our current penal law is limited. It only criminalises the act.

“We want it made clear that anyone who is even involved in promotion and recruitment has to be criminalised. Those that do grave acts will be given the death sentence.”

Lokodo confirmed that they will re-table the bill in the coming weeks and its authors want it signed into law before the end of the year.

More: foreign aide, kill the gays bill, Uganda, United States

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