Barack Obama | News | Uganda

Ugandan Official Accuses Obama of 'Blackmail' for Warnings About Anti-Gay Law

Over the weekend, President Obama released a statement condemning the planned signing of Uganda's anti-gay law, warning that it would strain relations with the U.S..

Troops_obamaSaid Obama, in part:

As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.

Read his full statement here.

LokodoNow, Ugandan officials are reacting to the statement, Reuters reports:

Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said aid should not be tied to Uganda's stand on homosexuality.

"We don't like to blackmail others. It's very dishonest, very irresponsible and unfriendly of persons to attach behavior of another community to their sharing resources," Lokodo told Reuters TV in Kampala...

...Lokodo said that were he to meet Obama, he would tell him that he had made the right choice in marrying a woman.

"I would tell him point-blank that he chose the right direction and this direction was to marry Michelle," he said.

"They have produced children, why does he encourage and promote others, men and women of same sex, to live together and have no offspring like him?"

Ugandan lawmakers at a retreat over the weekend cheered as President Museveni said he would sign the bill, which penalizes anyone who aids or abets a known homosexual, and punishes homosexuality with life imprisonment.

The anti-gay activity in Uganda inspired protests by pro-gay activists in Kenya, and lawmakers in that country reacted by announcing that they would call on Kenyan officials to ask them why their anti-gay laws are not being enforced. Kenya's penal code criminalizes homosexuality, yet it is rarely discharged.

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh also appears to be increasing his anti-gay rhetoric. This week he called homosexuals “vermin” and pledged his government will fight them much the same way it fights malaria-infected mosquitoes, "if not more aggressively."

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  1. These people are so heartless. Nauseating how anti-gay hysteria is gripping the world !

    Posted by: toomi | Feb 19, 2014 8:10:02 AM

  2. When we rescued those people to bring them to America to work, we should have just burned down the rest of the continent. Nothing good can come of it.

    Posted by: P | Feb 19, 2014 8:10:58 AM

  3. So you feel blackmailed because you are killing others and we won't tolerate that.... Interesting

    Oh, and you don't have to be gay to support the cause.

    Posted by: CC | Feb 19, 2014 8:18:26 AM

  4. damn he's stupid. and the face absolutely betrays the vacuum inside.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 19, 2014 8:23:15 AM

  5. Why should my tax money be used to support a group of people whose behavior is highly offensive to me and who would prefer me that I be killed?

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Feb 19, 2014 8:27:10 AM

  6. "It's unfriendly"? Wow. Gay people are being dragged into the streets and killed, but please, let's keep things friendly.

    @AGGIECOWBOY totally nailed it. I don't know how these Ugandan 'politicians' lived so long without being run over on the street because they didnt look both ways.

    Posted by: Tristram | Feb 19, 2014 8:36:48 AM

  7. Seriously - Obama needs to stop the money to Uganda immediately.

    Until this law is suspended and homosexuality is fully decriminalise not a single dime in aid should go to the brutal dump that is Uganda.

    Posted by: MaryM | Feb 19, 2014 8:37:24 AM

  8. It appears that with regard to civil and equal rights for its citizens that Africa is becoming a lost continent. It's history of European colonization followed by "freedom", as interpreted by dictators-for-life running (and ruining) these now independent nations, has not been good for most Africans. It's important that Western nations put the clamp on support for these heinous governments. I don't care if it's called bullying, blackmailing or instructive criticism, financial and moral support of these dictatorial African regimes must end.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Feb 19, 2014 8:43:50 AM

  9. And still no word from South Africa.

    All aid to these countries should be suspended for their deplorable human rights violations. Evil has truly settled in for these people treat fellow human beings in such a way. That's what that look on that lawmakers face is, not stupidity. Evil.

    P, what a truly racist and misinformed notion.

    Posted by: whitneyisadude | Feb 19, 2014 8:47:44 AM

  10. Uganda has always been insane.....

    Posted by: Ankerich | Feb 19, 2014 9:20:09 AM

  11. If we dig deeper, I wonder how much he's saying comes from Scott Lively and his ilk.

    Posted by: Latebrosus | Feb 19, 2014 9:32:16 AM

  12. Uganda's cynical politician deserve condemnation. Sanction may be needed if the legislation is passed.

    That said, why do many Towleroad commenters have to fall into casual racism to show their dismay? These are cynical politicians doing what cynical politicians do all around the world. Divide and conquer. Misdirect the majority from larger issues by fomenting hate for a minority group.

    Look at the US: The GOP has led with anti-black racist policies to gain votes since the 1967. They backed up that hateful divide and conquer strategy with anti-gay and anti-Latino policies. In Russia, Vladimir Putin instituted anti-gay legislation.

    Cynical politicians happily persecute and vilify a minority group to win favor. It's evil. It's terrible. It's likely murderous. But it's also human.

    Why pretend that things are so great in the USA for gays? How long ago was it that the news was filled with stories of gay kids committing suicide because of bullying, bullying that often took place at schools with the tacit approval of teachers and administrators and community leaders?

    Posted by: Marshall | Feb 19, 2014 9:34:45 AM

  13. You could pretty much nuke the entire continent and the world wouldn't notice (and the world would actually be a much better place). Most of Africa (and Uganda in particular) is just such a worthless's so far beyond saving.

    Posted by: Fartbongo | Feb 19, 2014 9:56:37 AM

  14. And what is Uganda's position on the embargo of Cuba?

    Posted by: Qj201 | Feb 19, 2014 9:58:12 AM

  15. This situation in Uganda requires action, not endless discussion.

    Sanction now.
    Cease all aid now.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 19, 2014 10:29:57 AM

  16. Cynical politicians, yes--working in a social situation polluted by extremely reactionary and crazy evangelical "Christianity" encouraged and bankrolled by American funnymentalists of vicious kinds. Add to that the radical Islamists. African religious climates were healthier in some ways when people were animists and followed shamans instead of megachurch cultists in expensive suits and mullahs with absolutely no notion of Allah as a loving as well as stern god.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Feb 19, 2014 10:32:04 AM

  17. @Latebrosus It has been reported on Towleroad and elsewhere (eg )that U.S. christianist conservatives have strong connections to Uganda's law as well as other similar African legislation.

    Seems to me, if the U.S. government would reduce / stop foreign aid to these African governments, then private U.S. organizations could make up the lost funds. On the American side, less christianist funds to be spent at home
    while forcing obvious associations between U.S. conservatives and foreign tyrants.

    Posted by: Roger | Feb 19, 2014 10:38:33 AM

  18. It can't be blackmail if you don't take the money. Don't be too proud on our account.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Feb 19, 2014 10:43:41 AM

  19. Fartbongo,

    Thank you for your racist genocidal thoughts and over all stupidity.

    Posted by: Marshall | Feb 19, 2014 11:36:15 AM

  20. @ MARSHALL,

    Fartbongo is just a thing called Rick.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 19, 2014 11:42:46 AM

  21. @P: What does "when we rescued those people to bring them to America to work" mean? Are you saying that the African Diaspora, the Middle Passage, slavery, were benign events of "rescue" so that Africans could come to America "to work"?

    And, what's with the anti-African vitriol I read here? It's disgusting.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 19, 2014 12:23:22 PM

  22. We have to protect our nation's dignity and our children who are being screwed on a daily basis
    and you should remember Uganda lived even before the so called Americans stepped here so leave us alone

    Posted by: NB | Feb 19, 2014 12:36:07 PM

  23. Not heartless ... Fascist. Heil Lokodo! Heil Museveni!

    Posted by: SFRowGuy | Feb 19, 2014 1:24:26 PM

  24. He's an Ethics and Integrity Minister?! Where did he get his ethics education?! The Church?!

    "aid should not be tied to Uganda's stand on homosexuality." Right, because it's perfectly fine to harm the people we intend to save with the money we give you. Disgusting.

    Don't talk about dishonesty, unfriendliness, and irresponsibility when you LIE, speading hate and known falsehoods about gays, and oppress them for NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER.

    Let's criminalize barren women and sterile men heterosexuals. They are a blight on the world and and affront to god for not bringing more hatemongerers into the world!

    Posted by: SmokingMirror | Feb 19, 2014 2:25:54 PM

  25. You're confusing "blackmail" with "biting the hand that feeds you," f uckwit.

    Posted by: FFS | Feb 19, 2014 3:30:09 PM

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