Spokesman Says Uganda ‘Won’t Be Blackmailed’ by U.S. Over Anti-Gay Law

Following yesterday's White House announcement of new U.S. sanctions, Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo has claimed that the country’s tougher new anti-gay laws will not be derailed by threats of cuts to aid.

OpondoSaid Opondo to Reuters:

"Uganda is a sovereign country and can never bow to anybody or be blackmailed by anybody on a decision it took in its interests, even if it involves threats to cut off all financial assistance."

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014, prohibits same-sex relations as well as their promotion or recognition. The act provides for a prison term of seven years for those successfully prosecuted. Some acts are punishable with life in prison.

As punishment for President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign the law, Ugandan government institutions will lose U.S. funding, a planned military exercise with Uganda will be cancelled and Ugandan citizens involved in human rights abuses will be banned from entering the United States.

However, Opondo has claimed that Uganda has not been notified regarding any sanctions.


  1. Mikey M says

    “We’re our own independent nation who just so happens to need a bunch of aid.”

  2. Marc says

    This is fantastic. Keep cutting their aid. I encourage all countries giving these barbarians money to also cut ties. They’ll learn.

  3. Derrick from Philly says

    Fine. But it is important that the Ugandan people KNOW why their aid is being cut–it’s because of the cruel injustices against Ugandan LGBT citizens.

    Now, good luck with China adopting the same sanctions against anti-Gay nations.

  4. kdknyc says

    It will be interesting to see how their tune will change when we do indeed cut aid.

  5. Castle says

    It’s not blackmail to say “Stop wasting our money or we’ll stop giving it.”

    Blackmail is, “If you don’t pay me x dollars at y intervals, I’ll out you as a ‘homosexual’ and you’ll suffer.”

  6. jaron says

    All these comments here are completely ignorant to any situation in Uganda minus the LGBT-centric one. Who here can even find Uganda on a damn map? What is their society like? Who controls the financial sector and/or government? Hell, can anyone tell me who their President is?

    Before we begin casting stones at other countries or administrations, we should probably try to understand their basic beliefs. Sorry that their way of life doesn’t parallel ours, but should it have to in the first place? Human rights are extremely important, and I do not agree with aiding African nations (not necessarily because of the narrative supplied here by LGBT groups, but for other reasons as well) but in general, cutting off aid and placing sanctions on weak countries only hurts the poverty stricken population. It does nothing to stop those in power.

  7. Gregory in Seattle says

    The United States is a sovereign nation, too, and we are under no obligation to give aid to any other nation.

  8. JackFknTwist says

    We should exercise discretion when supporting this place with aid.
    It is obviously not a democracy nor sovereign but is in thrall to some evangelical/religious delusion of righteousness.

    @ JARON :
    Yes, I can answer all your trivial pursuit questions.
    However, it is nonsense to suggest that aid should be given to countries without any judgment on our part. And as for ‘understanding their basic beliefs’ ….that is precisely the reason for isolating Uganda – their basic beliefs are pure bigotry supported and enforced by a denial of human rights.
    Don’t tell me we don’t understand Uganda; we know all too well the hue and cry that those bigots have raised against us.

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    I have a question. Should states within the United States be penalized by the federal government (hopefully dominated by Democrats) for not supporting civil rights for Gay people? I’m talking about Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas…and oh, don’t let me forget Oklahoma.

    Should there be some internal sanctions agains internal anti-Gay states? I know that the passage of the federal ENDA would help, but should there more drastic penalties for persecution of LGBT folks in the Bible Belt? Could we cut federal aid?

  10. barney says

    Great, no money for you. But my GOP christian congresswomen will vote to give all away to Ungada. She’ll get to sit at the high table at the next prayer breakfast.

  11. JeffNYC says

    The sanctions against Uganda are not for “not supporting civil rights for day people.”

    The sanctions against Uganda are for criminalizing homosexuality.

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “The sanctions against Uganda are not for “not supporting civil rights for day people.”

    The sanctions against Uganda are for criminalizing homosexuality.”

    No, darlin’, you don’t have to actually commit homosexuality. You just have to look LGT or be accused of being such (the “B” bisexuals can hide).

    My point is we’re not guilt-free in parts of the Western world. I don’t want African, Muslim, Eastern European nations to get off the hook, but there is still very anti-LGBT sentiment in this part of the world.

  13. Anon says

    @JARON, I believe JackFknTwist addressed you pretty thoroughly, however there is a little more I’d like to add.

    Given your comfort for quizzing readers, I’ll ask you specifically a rhetorical question. Are you aware of where aid is being cut? Because it doesn’t sound like you do.

    There is no reason to fund anti-gay police task forces. And there is no reason to fund their so called anti-HIV efforts given the way Uganda has decided to run things. The way Uganda is currently running their anti-HIV program, HIV will fester in their country. It doesn’t make sense to p*** money away like that.

  14. Rowan says


    Please not only can I find that damn place but I have relatives from there and my late father worked with many Ugandan associates whilst dealing with aid.


    Africa was never this rabid crazy super religous state before the Europeans came to colonise them. Now they’ve done it again with Evangelism.

    Corruption, a severe lack of education is what is the problem with Africa-as well as the whole dodgy Aid thing.

    Do you think the Aid goes to the country? Lol, silly boy.

    Again homosexuality which Africans NEVER had an issue with is being used to control the dumb whilst their govt continues to RAPE the country financially.

  15. Rich says

    So don’t take our money, that is really hurting us. Unfortunately Ugandan LGBT citizens will continue to suffer.

  16. Richard says

    I’m looking forward to hearing his tune when the U.S. gravy train stops making deliveries.

  17. khan Rogers says

    hahaa..funny..Is Aid supposed to be given under conditions? if it is so then call it another word but not aid

    Uganda has all rights to penalise anything that dis respects their culture…Now ..u may cut off your godamn aid and lets see if ugandans will die coz of that ill intentional aid..!! yuck

    If Obama thinks its normal to legalise gay marriage…then..let him divorce mitchelle and he marries Clinton or any of you silly idiots posting here


  18. Anon says

    @KHAN ROGERS You blithering idiot. You’re so stupid you’re not worth defragmenting. You would just need to be reimaged. But that can’t happen because you’re not a computer.

    Shouldn’t you be working on african phishing scams etc?

    Ahh what the hell I’ll take a stab at you:
    1 Aid CAN have conditions. What word would you suggest you inarticulate turd?!
    2 Ugandans have no right to persecute in the name of bigotry and prejudice. Spare us your pathetic cultural relativism.
    3 Cutting off aid wasn’t supposed to kill Ugandans, but Ugandans ARE busy killing themselves.
    4 You don’t have to be gay to be in favor of equality for gays, moron.
    There. Better now?

  19. Rick says

    Correction – The UN’s president of general assembly is Ugandan.

    As a Towleroad troll and general purveyor of misinformation, I can’t be trusted to speak the truth about anything.