U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken to homophobic Ugandan President Museveni about his Anti-Homosexuality Act, and Museveni has committed to a meeting with scientific experts in sexuality.
The Ugandan president had previously said:
“I… encourage the US government to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual.
When that is proved, we can review this legislation.”
The internationally controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act can impose a life sentence for same-sex relations or same sex-marriage, with seven years for “attempting to commit.”
Kerry said on Tuesday during a forum at the State Department, moderated by BuzzFeed:
“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.
He welcomed that and said that he was happy to receive them and we can engage in that kind of conversation… maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration.”
President Obama reacted strongly against news of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, saying that it could “complicate” the USA’s relationship with Uganda, which receives a reported $400 million in aid each year.
He described it as: “more than an affront, and a danger to, Uganda’s gay community. It will be a step backwards for all Ugandans.”
Africa has some of the worst records for gay rights in the world, with imprisonment for ‘committing’ homosexuality common in many states, and the death penalty currently being proposed by politicians in many African countries. In some states of Nigeria, the death penalty (by stoning) is already law.