WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Economic sanctions by the United States against Uganda are the latest measures in global protest against Uganda's harsh anti-homosexuality laws.
The White House announced the sanctions Thursday, calling Uganda's laws "counter to universal human rights." The restrictions include cutting funds to ongoing programs involving Uganda's police force and public health ministry, canceling a military aviation exercise, and a ban on entry to the United States of Ugandans involved in human rights abuses against gay people.
A Ugandan law, in force since February, permits life imprisonment for acts of "aggravated homosexuality" and criminalizes "promotion of homosexuality." The government has stated it will not be influenced by western countries to change its law.
The World Bank postponed a $90 million loan to Uganda after the law was approved, and over 9,000 people signed an online petition, protesting the law, after Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was nominated to the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly. Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands have also cut ties with Uganda over the law.