4 steps U.S. is taking to counter Uganda’s anti-gay law

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2007 photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2007 photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

BuzzFeed reports that the United States will take these four measures in response to Uganda’s new Anti-Homosexuality Act:

1. Money will be shifted away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some $2.3 million will continue to go to the IRCU to continue treatment for some 50,000 current patients, but an additional $6.4 million intended for the IRCU will go to other organizations.

2. Because the law makes “promoting homosexuality” illegal, a U.S. funded study to help identify populations at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS has been suspended. The study, which was going to be conducted by a Ugandan university and the Center for Disease Control, has been suspended out of fear that both staff and survey respondents could be put in danger.

3. Because any LGBT person or LGBT ally who now enters Uganda is at risk, money intended for tourism programs will be redirected.

“Therefore, approximately $3 million in funding designated for tourism and biodiversity promotion will be redirected to NGOs working on biodiversity protection,” [National Security Council spokesman Jonathan] Lalley said.

4. The Department of Defense had several events scheduled in the country later this spring and those will be moved to other locations. “Certain near-term invitational travel” for Ugandan military and police personnel has also been suspended or canceled.

These are the most forceful steps the Obama administration has taken since it began reviewing U.S. aid to Uganda.

Also:

Additionally, Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that the United States was sending a team of American “experts” to meet with President Museveni about homosexuality. Museveni had claimed he signed the law in part because he became convinced that no one is “born gay.”

“I talked personally to President Museveni just a few weeks ago, and he committed to meet with some of our experts so that we could engage him in a dialogue as to why what he did could not be based on any kind of science or fact, which is what he was alleging,” Kerry said.

Kerry also said that the review is broad and will include how to deal with the 80 countries that “have laws of one kind or another that discriminate.”

For more information, read the full article on BuzzFeed: via “Obama Administration To Take Action In Response To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law.”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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