Uganda’s new anti-gay law has elicited mixed reactions in the east African country. President Yoweri approved the revised bill on Monday, prompting threats of sanctions and aid cuts from the United States and European countries.
A section of Ugandans say the anti-homosexuality legislation is the least of the country’s priorities.
“It is not what we need right now. The kind of rights, we cannot be talking about such rights when fundamental rights like human rights, rights to access to education, access to health services we have not fought for such rights and we go for that other right,” said Shem Luyombya, a Kampala resident.
The version of the bill signed by President Yoweri Museveni doesn’t criminalise those who identify as gay.
But some Ugandans said the law is an unnecessary provocation against donor countries.
“If sanctions can affect a country like Russia then who are we to say that we are not going to be affected by it? The world is a global village so if they cut you off you are actually going to suffer some repercussions but then again it comes to the point of how far can someone else influence how you run your country?,” wondered Jonathan Owot, a Kampala resident.
LGBTQ rights campaigners say the new legislation is unnecessary in a country where homosexuality has long been illegal under a colonial-era law criminalising sexual activity “against the order of nature.”
The punishment for that offense is life imprisonment.