Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni
US officials have said that they have been assured by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni that he intends to block that country’s draconian anti-gay bill.
According to DC Agenda, Jon Tollefson, a State Department spokesperson, said that Museveni has told US officials a number of times that he does not personally support the proposed law.
This included a face to face meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson on 24 October, in which Museveni apparently pledged to stop the bill.
“And the president understood the concerns and said that he would do what he could to make sure the bill was not passed. He would not sign the bill. … He made a commitment to the secretary that he would work to make sure it wasn’t signed into law,” Tollefson said.
The anti-homosexuality bill 2009 was introduced as a private member’s bill into the Uganda parliament by David Bahati, an MP from Museveni’s ruling party.
The president has to date not made any public statements on the proposed legislation, but he has previously denounced homosexuality and recently claimed that European homosexuals are “recruiting” young people in Africa.
The bill would impose the death penalty on anyone who has gay sex with an HIV positive person; even between consenting adults. It would also maintain the current life sentence for gay sex as well as making it illegal to lobby for LGBT equality, provide any support for LGBT people or even write about LGBT rights. People will face jail time if they do not turn in gays and lesbians to the authorities.