President of Uganda: Polygamy is part of African life – homosexuality is not

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Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has accused the West of double standards for criminalising polygamy whilst approving of homosexuality.

“In the West they criminalise polygamy by law, while in Africa it is, and has always been, part of our way of life. Yet we do not complain. When we legislate [against] homosexuality, in response to the western sponsored non-governmental organisations vis-a-vis traditional values, we are threatened with sanctions. This is contempt,” Mr Museveni said yesterday at the Pan-African Parliament 10-year anniversary celebrations in South Africa.

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Parliament (ACP), which represents African nations, this week criticised the European Parliament’s decision to recommend sanctions against Uganda and Nigeria for recently strengthening laws against same-sex sexual activity.

The European Parliament voted last week to recommend heavy economic penalties, the denial of travel visas, the withdrawal of foreign aid and other sanctions against the two countries.

Nigeria strengthened its laws against same-sex sexual activity in January.

Anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be jailed for up to 14 years

President Yoweri Museveni gave assent to a law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity in Uganda last month.

The World Bank, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, all halted aid to the Ugandan Government as a result of the decision of President Museveni.

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.

President Museveni defended the legislation by saying that gay people give each other worms through sex.

He also described gay people as “disgusting”.