John Kerry compares Ugandan anti-gay law to apartheid and anti-Semitism

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has compared Uganda’s newly introduced anti-gay law with anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany and apartheid in South Africa.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in front of politicians and reporters on Monday at State House, his official residence in Entebbe.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

Speaking to reporters about the bill, Kerry described it as “atrocious”, and described such laws around the world as “a global problem”.

He said: “You could change the focus of this legislation to black or Jewish and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be in 1950-60s apartheid South Africa.”

“It was wrong there egregiously in both places and it is wrong here,” he continued.

Going on, he said: “What is happening in Uganda is atrocious and it presents all of us with an enormous challenge because LGBT rights are human rights and the signing of this anti-homosexuality law is flat out morally wrong,

“This anti-gay movement is obviously bubbling up in various places around the world; it is not just an African problem, it’s a global problem, and we are wrestling with it and we are going to as we go forward.”

Kerry also said his country is now reviewing its relations with Uganda, following Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation.

Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands today became the first three countries to cut their aid to Uganda following the decision to sign the bill by Museveni.

Sweden has also said it will review its aid spending.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over the law.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed”. 

A tabloid newspaper in Uganda one day after the law was enacted, published a list of the “200 top” gay people.