Africa

Uganda's President: put development above gay rights

Staff Reporter

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has urged international donors not to let concerns for gay rights affect the country's need for developmental aid.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Friday urged international donors not to let concerns for gay rights affect developmental aid, saying homosexuals also needed roads, power and trains.

“Before anyone gives me a lecture about homosexuals and their rights, first talk about railways”, Museveni told delegates at the end of a regional meeting in Kampala attended by five other African presidents.

“Homosexuals also need electricity, homosexuals also need roads, homosexuals also need railways”, Museveni said to applause.

Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama ordered all government agencies, including those handing out aid, to put gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights at the centre of US foreign policy.

Homosexuality = life in prison
Homosexuality is outlawed in many African countries and discrimination against gays and lesbians is rife on the continent, with South Africa being the only country that recognises gay rights and same-sex marriage.

In Uganda, homosexuality is punishable by up to life in prison.

A controversial bill that calls for the death penalty for certain homosexual acts was recently re-introduced in the Ugandan parliament after lawmakers failed to debate it during the last session of the legislative body.

It brings in the death penalty for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for the second time as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV.—Sapa-AFP

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