FFRF condemns Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law

Screenshot 2023 05 30 at 10.52.17 AM

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is condemning the Ugandan president’s catering to the agenda of U.S. Christian groups in signing the most extreme anti-homosexuality law in Africa.

Despite an international outcry, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni gave his signature yesterday, May 29, to a measure that the Parliament passed in March including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” President Biden called the law “a tragic violation of human rights” and said that the United States is considering its response.

The new law, which builds upon Uganda’s ban on same-sex relationships, creates severe penalties for “promoting and abetting homosexuality and conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.” “Promoting homosexuality” carries a 20-year prison sentence for individuals and a 10-year ban for organizations. Same-sex conduct itself is now punishable by death, being categorized as “aggravated homosexuality” for same-sex acts with children, disabled individuals or under threat. The law also declares that any same-sex relations are inherently non-consensual, meaning that fully consenting adult relationships will now be placed in the same category as pedophiles and rapists.

More than 30 countries throughout Africa ban same-sex relationships, but Uganda is the first on the continent to ban homosexuality entirely, according to Human Rights Watch.

“These terrible laws are the direct result of centuries of Christian missionary work,” notes FFRF’s Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow Kat Grant.

Attitudes across pre-colonial African societies were much more open and accepting of homosexuality and gender fluidity, and many historians consider homophobia and transphobia to be cultural imports brought by European colonizers. The new Ugandan law is not simply the lasting echo of a bygone colonial era, however.

American evangelicals have taken up the torch of global white Christian supremacy since the past some decades, establishing a stronghold of influence in Uganda and other African nations. More than 20 Christian groups from the United States, including the Fellowship Foundation, Bethany Christian Services and Focus on the Family, have funneled more than $50 million into opposing sexual reproductive rights across Africa since 2007. The Fellowship Foundation (the recently ousted sponsor of the National Prayer Breakfast) alone has poured over $20 million into Uganda and was heavily involved in the writing of the infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, which was not passed but built the foundation for this latest bigoted iteration.

“Religion — and its ceaseless demand to dictate civil laws — is the problem in Uganda as it is today in the United States, where we’re facing a full-frontal assault on LGBTQ rights,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “It’s unconscionable that U.S. ministries are pouring their tax-exempt millions into Uganda and other African nations in order to spread hate, division and violence.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation

Send this to a friend