United Nations chief urges Uganda to repeal anti-gay law

UNITED NATIONS Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:11pm EST

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives his speech during the annual Munich Security Conference February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Lukas Barth

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives his speech during the annual Munich Security Conference February 1, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Lukas Barth

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Uganda on Tuesday to repeal a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality, warning it could fuel prejudice and encourage harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Ban also conveyed his concerns to Uganda's U.N. envoy Monday, just hours after Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signed the law in the face of protests from rights groups and criticism from Western donors.

"The Secretary-General urges the Government to protect all persons from violence and discrimination, and hopes that the law can be revised or repealed at the earliest opportunity," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Tuesday.

"He offers the support of the United Nations for constructive dialogue to achieve change on this matter," he said. "Everyone is entitled to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination."

Ban agreed with an assessment by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that imposing life sentences for homosexuality and same-sex marriage "could fuel prejudice as well as encourage harassment and violence."

Homosexuality is taboo in almost all African countries and illegal in 37 - including Uganda, where rights groups say gay people have long risked jail. Fear of violence, imprisonment and loss of jobs means few gays in Africa come out.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Comments (11)
james1611king wrote:
The Uganda leaders have some common sense. They know “gays” cannot reproduce; therefore, there will be no future for their country if everyone chooses this lifestyle. All “gays” are fortunate their parents did not solely practice their perversion.

Feb 25, 2014 4:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
crod526 wrote:
Actually James it shows how misinform you really are. All it will do is make gays in those countries hide, marry and have kids to hide being gay which will then be passed on to a new generation.
I guess you are also attracted to other guys and decided not to act on the attraction because that’s what being a choice is.
If there is any perversion is the millions of dollars being passed on to African countries by so called Christian agencies to propped up these laws.

Feb 25, 2014 5:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
RexMax46 wrote:
That is like saying we should oppress women because their would be no future for a country if everyone chose to be female. A statement full of false assumptions that reveals you utter ignorance of what sexuality is.

Feb 25, 2014 5:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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