WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Barack Obama has elevated the right to have sex with a member of the same sex to the level of universal “fundamental freedoms” in a new presidential statement criticizing Uganda. But critics say his promotion of homosexuality in a continent that overwhelmingly opposes that behavior amounts to a form of liberal “cultural imperialism.”
Obama wrote on Sunday that he opposed a proposed bill in Uganda that would criminalize same-sex “marriages” and impose life imprisonment for repeated homosexual acts, among other provisions, because “as a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.”
Obama said the bill represents “a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice, and equal rights.”
He added that he had “conveyed” the message that “enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda.”
His reaction came after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said last Friday that, after nearly two months deliberation, he would sign legislation that makes conducting a same-sex “wedding” punishable with seven years in prison. Infecting others with AIDS, having sex with minors, or repeated homosexual acts may earn life imprisonment. An earlier version of the bill called for the death penalty, but the provision was removed.
According to a spokesman, Museveni decided to sign the bill after scientists told him “there is no definitive gene responsible for homosexuality.” He added that homosexual prostitution is “what the president wants to prevent,” especially after Presidential Adviser on Science Dr. Richard Tushemereirwe said that all homosexuality had “serious public health consequences.”
American observers said, while they may take a different approach than Museveni, President Obama's remarks are an act of cultural hubris.
“His arrogance is breathtaking,” Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, director and senior fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, told LifeSiteNews. The “president repeatedly insists that his personal values and beliefs are equated with the nation's values and beliefs. When he insists that those controversial ideas constitute a human right, the president is saying that the deeply-held religious beliefs of many Americans are irrelevant.”
He is also disregarding the views of most Africans, they say. An estimated 72 percent of all African nations have passed or are in the process of passing laws restricting public homosexual behavior.
Crouse told LifeSiteNews that President Obama's actions are a form of “cultural imperialism – exporting the sexual crusade of a very small minority of Americans with outsized influence,” who have tried “to tear down the moral foundations of our nation as well as the rest of the world.”
Museveni's spokesman, Ofwono Opondo, said, “This bill is very popular both within the parliament and Ugandan society,” something they see “as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants.” Opposition to homosexuality is a pan-African concept held by Christians and Muslims.
“Obama of all people should realize how offensive his position on homosexuality is to devout Muslims,” Dr. Crouse told LifeSiteNews.
President Obama has frayed relations with African leaders before. During his $100 million African trip last summer, President Obama provoked a clash with the president of Senegal, Macky Sall, over whether gay “marriage” should be legal. In August, Obama told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that nations like Russia, which forbid same-sex “marriage,” “are violating the basic morality,” adding that he had “no patience for countries” that do not affirm “gays or lesbians or transgender persons.”
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Just last month Secretary of State John Kerry condemned Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for signing a bill that imposes a 14-year prison sentence on anyone involved in a same-sex “wedding,” as well as prohibiting public displays of homosexual behavior.
President Obama put his bully pulpit, and the full weight of the U.S. government, behind promoting the homosexual agenda worldwide. In 2011, Western nations withheld nearly $350 million from Malawi because the nation banned homosexual activity. Wikileaks revealed the Obama administration coordinated with homosexual activists to promote the LGBT agenda in Sierra Leone.
African leaders have responded with sometimes pointed criticism of the president and, sometimes, the United States.
In April 2012, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said that his people would “rather eat grass than accept this ungodly evil attitude,” even if it meant foregoing Western aid.
Last summer the deputy president of Kenya, William Ruto, rebuffed Obama by saying his nation is “sovereign and God-fearing,” and Obama's promotion of homosexuality “goes against our customs and traditions.” Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi, said that those, like President Obama, “who have already ruined their society … let them not become our teachers.”
“It is unseemly for an American president to dictate to other countries what their cultural, moral and religious traditions ought to be,” Dr. Crouse told LifeSiteNews. “And it is hypocritical for him on the one hand to say America is unexceptional and bow to other national leaders and then on the other hand, seemingly from a position of moral superiority, tell other nations that their beliefs are inferior to his supposedly enlightened, exalted views.”
“The homosexual activists are not content with acceptance and respect as human beings,” she said. “They, and now our president, are forcing the world to approve and mainstream their homosexuality.”