US Government taking ‘additional steps’ over Uganda’s anti-gay law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The US Government is looking at taking “additional steps” in protecting LGBT citizens facing persecution from Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Key members of Congress were briefed on the Obama administration’s plans on Sunday afternoon, BuzzFeed reports.

The administration has settled on four steps to be taken immediately in response to Uganda’s anti-gay law, officials stated.

National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Lalley said the US would continue “to look at additional steps we may take, to work to protect LGBT individuals from violence and discrimination, and to urge Uganda to repeal this abhorrent law.”

Mr Lalley added: “As we continue to consider the implications of President Museveni’s decision to enact the Anti-Homosexuality Act, the United States has taken certain immediate steps to demonstrate our support for the LGBT community in Uganda, deter other countries from enacting similar laws, and reinforce our commitment to the promotion and defence of human rights for all people — including LGBT individuals — as a US priority”.

Earlier this month, the US Government suspended some of its aid to Uganda’s Ministry of Health, without saying how much, as a response to President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Further measures to be taken by the Obama administration include shifting money away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Some $2.3 million (£1.39m) will continue to go to the IRCU to continue treatment for some 50,000 current patients, but an additional $6.4 million (£3.8m) intended for the IRCU will go to other organisations.

The US is also set to reduce funding for tourism projects in Uganda. A government-funded study to help identify populations at risk of contracting HIV has been suspended, amid fears those taking part could be subject to reprisals in the wake of the law.

Several US Department of Defence events planned to take place in the spring were now being moved to other locations. “Certain near-term invitational travel” for Ugandan military and police personnel has also been suspended or cancelled,” he added.