President Biden Condemns Uganda’s Gay Death Penalty Law

Even Ted Cruz said something.

President Joe Biden called for the immediate repeal of Uganda’s Gay Death Penalty law on Monday and the discussed possibility of implementing sanctions.

“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights — one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country,” Biden said in a statement.

The law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, orders the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as same-sex relations involving HIV-positive people, children, or other vulnerable people. (And so, if two consenting HIV positive men have sex or if consenting teens have sex, the death penalty could apply.) The vague language apples to those who use “misrepresentation” or “undue influence” to engage in gay sex. Additionally, anyone found guilty of “promoting homosexuality” in the country could face up to 20 years in prison. Gay sex and same-sex relationships were already illegal in Uganda prior to the “aggravated homosexuality” law. So, consenting adults can be imprisoned for gay sex, to be clear.

“This shameful Act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda,” Biden continued. “And we are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption.”

Only 22 of 54 African nations allow homosexuality and this legislation is one of the myriad anti-LGBTQ laws that have been passed on the continent.

Although it is widely understood that American Evangelist Groups played a role in getting this Ugandan law passed, two famed members of the right-wing have unexpectedly fought against it. Under the Trump administration, a global campaign was launched to end the criminalization of homosexuality in multiple nations.

Even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the new Uganda law “horrific and wrong.”

“Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination,” Cruz said on Twitter. “ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse.”

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