July 16, 2024
After Uganda’s anti-gay law: US imposes visa restrictions for some

KAMPALA, Uganda –

Washington on Friday announced it was imposing visa restrictions for Ugandans that accuse of “undermining the democratic process” in Uganda after the enactment of an anti-gay law in the East African country.

A statement from the State Department did not name any targeted individuals.

It said the US will consider other possible actions “to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, abusing human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ persons, or engaging in corrupt practices.”

Uganda’s new law, adopted last month, punishes homosexuality, including with the death penalty in some cases. The legislation has been widely condemned by rights activists and others abroad, but it has wide support in Uganda, including among religious leaders and lawmakers.

LGBTQ rights campaigners note homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law criminalizing sexual activity “against the order of nature.” The punishment for that offense is life imprisonment.

Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries. Some Africans see it as behavior imported from abroad and not a sexual orientation.