Uganda Anti-Gay Law Brings Political Foes Biden, Cruz Together In Agreement

The anti-LGBTQ law will enforce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality” in the African country.

President Joe Biden and Senator Ted Cruz are on opposites of the political spectrum. But they both agree that the anti-LGBTQ law in Uganda that will enforce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" and will hand out lifetime prison sentences for citizens convicted of engaging in gay sex is deplorable, USA Today reports.

Signed on Monday (May 29), the law also states that anyone who promotes homosexuality will receive a 20-year sentence.

In response to the legislation, Biden issued a statement calling for the "immediate repeal" of Uganda's anti-gay law and warned that he may impose severe sanctions against the African nation which receives billions of dollars in foreign aid.

“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’s statement read. “I join with people around the world—including many in Uganda—in calling for its immediate repeal. No one should have to live in constant fear for their life or being subjected to violence and discrimination. It is wrong.”

“Since the Anti-Homosexuality Act was introduced, reports of violence and discrimination targeting Ugandans who are or are perceived to be LGBTQI+ are on the rise. Innocent Ugandans now fear going to hospitals, clinics, or other establishments to receive life-saving medical care lest they be targeted by hateful reprisals,” he continued. “Some have been evicted from their homes or fired from their jobs.  And the prospect of graver threats—including lengthy prison sentences, violence, abuse—threatens any number of Ugandans who want nothing more than to live their lives in safety and freedom."

Ugandan President Refuses To Sign Anti-LGBTQ Bill Without ‘Rehabilitation’ Amendment

On Twitter, Cruz harshly criticized the law as “horrific.”

“This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” is grotesque & an abomination,” Cruz tweeted. “ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse.”

Along with Biden and Cruz, several activists in Uganda have come out against the controversial law.

"The Ugandan president has today legalised state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia," said Clare Byarugaba, a Ugandan rights activist.

In April, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he would not sign the controversial anti-LGBTQ bill without an amendment for “rehabilitation,” which would serve as amnesty for anyone who renounced homosexuality.

“The President told the members that he had no objections to the punishments but on the issue of rehabilitation of the persons who have in the past been engaged in homosexuality but would like to live normal lives again,”  Senior Press Secretary Sando Walusimbi tweeted at the time. “It was agreed that the bill goes back to parliament for the issues of rehabilitation to be looked at before he can sign it into law.

In addition to Uganda, more than 30 African countries have deemed same-sex relations as illegal.

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