The State Department is considering imposing sanctions on Uganda over recently signed legislation making homosexual marriages punishable by 20 years of imprisonment and imposing the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” according to a Monday memo.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the legislation on Monday, considered to be some of the harshest laws against homosexuality in the world, making same-sex marriages punishable by up to 20 years in prison and permitting the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” which is defined as homosexual acts with children, disabled individuals or others under duress, according to CBS News. In response, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on Monday evening warning that the U.S. was considering visa restrictions as well as other sanctions to prevent Uganda from “implementing laws that undermine human rights.”
“In the context of the serious concerns conveyed by President Biden, I am announcing today that the Department of State will develop mechanisms to support the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda and to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, abusing their human rights,” Blinken wrote. “I have also directed the Department to update our travel guidance to American citizens and to U.S. businesses as well as to consider deploying existing visa restrictions tools against Ugandan officials and other individuals for abuse of universal human rights, including the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.”
Blinken said, “The United States is deeply troubled by Uganda’s passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, a law that undermines the human rights, prosperity, and welfare of all Ugandans.” He further argued that the country’s decision would damage Uganda’s “reputation” for tourism, refugees and further “development,” according to the statement. President Joe Biden also released a statement on Monday, shortly after the law was signed, calling the legislation a “tragic violation of universal human rights.”
Uganda’s law also would make the transmission of HIV/AIDS punishable by death. Biden also said in his statement that the U.S. National Security Council would be evaluating how to continue “safely deliver services” to the country through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The State Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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