Uganda is pushing back on international pressure to repeal its harsh laws that criminalize same-sex relations. President Yoweri Museveni is criticizing the United States and Great Britain for threatening to withhold foreign aid over the issue, reports AFP.
"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.
Meanwhile: China has announced that it "wants to build roads and railways in Uganda" ... with no conditions on human rights.
Thirty-eighty African nations have laws criminalizing homosexuality. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles boasts the continent's only protections of LGBT rights. African's anti-LGBT laws were a key focus at several sessions at the recent International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Homosexuality is punishable by up to life in prison in Uganda, which has been condemned by the international community for its state-sponsored anti-gay terror campaign. Parliament has revived the extreme Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which seeks the death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for a second time—as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or is HIV positive.
In January 2011, Uganda's opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye said police should not waste resources investigating homosexuality and said that he would decriminalize the practice if elected. Museveni was later re-elected, extending his 25 years in power by another five-year term.