KAMPALA, Uganda (LifeSiteNews) — The President of Uganda on Thursday returned the country’s anti-homosexuality bill to parliament for changes before signing the measure into law. Lawmakers tasked with updating the bill have been asked to create legal safeguards to ensure that homosexuals are not penalized for revealing their struggles in an effort to seek rehabilitation.
Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement, announced the delay in a Thursday press release, noting that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni plans to approve the measure once the changes are made.
Uganda’s parliament passed the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” last month with broad support, scoring 389 votes in favor with only two lawmakers not voting to approve it. The controversial measure, decried by proponents of the LGBT agenda, would provide strict penalties for homosexual behavior and identification, up to and including the death penalty in certain instances of rape and child molestation.
In comments to parliament on Thursday, Museveni congratulated “the bishops, the religious people and the citizens” for standing up for traditional sexual morality. He also praised lawmakers for having “rejected the pressure from the imperialists” who “have been messing up the world for 600 years causing so much damage.”
Museveni has strongly condemned liberal western countries for pushing his majority-Christian nation to celebrate LGBT ideology. Last month, he argued that “western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by imposing their social practices on us,” adding that since it’s not the business of Uganda to police western attitudes and behaviors, the west also should not tell Uganda how to deal with its own culture.
Before he signs the new law, Museveni wants lawmakers to craft a provision that would protect “psychologically disoriented” Ugandans who want to “come out” about their disordered sexuality in order to seek help.
The African country’s Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka had brought the matter to Museveni’s attention, calling for a provision “to ensure that a person who comes out on his own is not criminalized.”
Agreeing with Kiwanuka, the president asked lawmakers to make the necessary changes. According to the press release, Museveni said he would meet with the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament “and other interested parties next week to finalize the bill.”
“Since we have agreed now, I’m going to return that bill, and you quickly deal with those issues and we sign it,” Museveni said.
The Ugandan president also urged lawmakers to remain strong in the face of pressure from western “imperialists” who are expected to retaliate against the country for its stance on homosexuality. One way they could do that, Museveni suggested, would be stripping out funds for HIV/AIDS drugs received from the U.S. government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
“This is a simple matter which we can fight but parasites can’t fight,” Museveni said. “If you fear to sacrifice, you cannot fight. In order for you to fight, I want to first cure you of parasitism. Europe is lost and they also want us to be lost. Those who want an easy life will end up being prostitutes.”
The U.S. government under the radically pro-LGBT Biden administration has not been shy about voicing strong opposition to Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law.
Last month, National Security Council (NSC) coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said the furtherance of “LGBTQ+ rights” is “a core part of” U.S. “foreign policy and will remain so. In 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden, a self-professed Catholic, declared it the policy of the U.S. “to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons around the world.”
“President Biden has been nothing but consistent about his belief, foundational belief, in human rights – and LGBTQ+ rights are human rights,” Kirby said last month.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also argued Uganda’s law “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” explicitly calling on Uganda’s leaders “to strongly reconsider the implementation of this legislation.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre weighed in too, alleging the law “would impinge upon universal human rights” and “damage Uganda’s international reputation” among other accusations.
Similarly, Voller Turk, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, called< the bill’s passage “a deeply troubling development” and urged the country’s president not to sign it.
Despite complaints from the U.S. and the U.N., however, Uganda has stood firm in resisting radical pro-abortion and LGBT ideology pushed by leftist western nations and intergovernmental organizations. Moreover, its legislative opposition to homosexuality is nothing new.
Homosexual activities have explicitly carried criminal penalties under the law since at least Uganda’s time as a British protectorate, which ranged from the late 19th century until 1962. Life imprisonment is already a possible consequence of violating the country’s prohibition of “unnatural acts” in the country’s Penal Code Act of 1950, though the section has been rarely enforced in practice.