Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was elected President of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the AP reports:
"I have never been found corrupt," Kutesa told reporters immediately after the election. "I'm not homophobic, and I believe that I'm (the right) person to lead this organization for the next session."
Two Democratic senators from New York criticized Kutesa's appointment, and more than 9,000 people signed an online petition urging U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. member states to block him from taking up the post. It cites his implication in corruption scandals at home and his alleged role in the enactment of the anti-gay law.
The US-based Human Rights Campaign, which promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights, has called his tenure "a black mark on the United Nations' commitment to protect the human rights of all individuals.
"It's deeply disturbing that a man who calls LGBT people 'disgusting' and played such a critical role in the promotion and passage of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act is assuming this post," the group said on its website.
The bill, signed by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni in February, calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges citizens to denounce gay individuals to the authorities.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...