Obama’s openly gay envoy for LGBT rights is going to Uganda

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Barack Obama’s recently-appointed special envoy for LGBT rights is heading to Uganda – where homosexuality is illegal.

The President appointed gay diplomat Randy Berry to the newly-created role earlier this year, to allow him to dedicate his time to fighting anti-LGBT legislation around the world.

One of his first assignments will not be easy, however – as Mr Berry is heading to Uganda this summer, where homosexuality can lead to life behind bars.

A representative of the State Department confirmed to Buzzfeed that the out diplomat will visit Uganda in July, where he is expected to meet with politicians and the local LGBT community.

The country passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act last year, which increased the already-harsh penalties for gay sex in the country.

The law was later struck down by the country’s Constitutional Court, who found that Parliamentary procedures had been abused to pass it illegally – but lawmakers are still planning an even harsher anti-gay law to replace it.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has vigorously defended his country’s laws, but recently warned: “We want to protect our children from homosexuality, but we do not want to kill our trade opportunities.”


Museveni has previously claimed that Uganda is a “better destination” for tourists than Spain, that “Uganda is so rich, we should be the ones to give aid”, and that oral sex is a Western invention that is “more terrible” than homosexuality.