US Secretary of State John Kerry
America’s largest LGBT rights group on Wednesday called on the US government to recall its ambassadors to Uganda and Nigeria over these countries’ recent anti-gay laws.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) insisted that urgent consultation is required before regular diplomacy can proceed with the two nations “that recently enacted some of the world’s most virulently anti-LGBT laws.”
“The Ugandan and Nigerian governments’ decisions to treat their LGBT citizens like criminals cannot be accepted as business as usual by the US government,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
“We urge Secretary of State John Kerry to recall both ambassadors for consultations in Washington to make clear the seriousness of the situation in both countries,” he added.
Over the weekend, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice tweeted that she had spoken to Uganda’s President Museveni to urge him not to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. President Barrack Obama also issued a statement condemning the law.
Despite this, Museveni has said that he will approve the bill, which will jail repeat offenders for life. He asserted recently: “We shall have a war with the homosexual lobby in the world.”
In January, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed his country’s law, which criminalises same-sex relationships, punishes homosexuality with jail terms of up to 14 years, and threatens any person who supports or is a member of an LGBT organisation with 10 years’ imprisonment.
Meanwhile, it’s come to light that the Canadian government has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is signed into law.
In an interview with NTV Uganda, Ugandan Ambassador Alintuma Nsambu revealed that he was summoned on Monday by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister “to explain why Canada should continue with a bilateral relationship with the government of Uganda.”
Nsambu warned that other countries may isolate Uganda over the anti-gay law.
Last month, it was reported that the Canadian government had cancelled a planned state visit by Nigeria’s President Jonathan, apparently due to his approval of the anti-gay law.
Shortly after it was revealed that the draconian legislation had been signed into law, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called on Nigeria “to repeal this law and to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Nigerians regardless of their sexual orientation.”