President Barack Obama has warned Uganda that enacting an anti-gay law will complicate America’s valued relationship with the East African country.
U.S. – Uganda relations
Under the proposed legislation, those convicted of homosexual acts could face life imprisonment.
In a statement, Obama said the anti-gay bill that Ugandan President Yoweri Musuveni has said he will approve would mark a step backward for all Ugandans.
It will also reflect poorly on the nation’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people.
Uganda already has a law banning homosexual acts, but the proposed bill sharply tightens restrictions.
Obama says the legislation prevents everyone from getting freedom, justice, and equal rights.
“We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally,” Obama said, “with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love.”
Obama’s statement didn’t limit criticism to Uganda, though, highlighting an increase in reports of violence and harassment of gays from Russia to Nigeria.