President Joe Biden condemned Uganda’s new anti-gay law on Monday (May 29), and said the United States may impose sanctions and will evaluate the implications of the law “on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda.”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” drawing Western condemnations and risking sanctions from aid donors.
“This shameful act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden said he has directed the White House National Security Council to evaluate the implications of the law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda, including U.S. ability to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other forms of assistance and investments.
Biden said his government will consider the impacts of the law as part of its review of Uganda’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated sub-Saharan African countries.
“And we are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption,” said Biden.
Same-sex relations were already illegal in Uganda, as in more than 30 African countries, but the new law goes further.