Norway has become the first country to impose consequences on Uganda for the enacting of its extremely harsh Anti-Homosexual Bill; on the grounds that the country is violating fundamental human rights, the government of Norway has announced it will withhold aid to Uganda until further notice.
Since 1986, when its current president Yoweri Museveni came to power, Uganda has been the recipient of about 400 million kroner (about $73,694,800 USD) from Norway annually; according to Norwegian news site The Local, rather than cut aid entirely, Norway will lessen the aid by 50 million kroner (about $9,211,850).
The foreign minister of Norway, Børge Brende, said in a statement on February 24, “Norway deeply regrets that Uganda’s president today signed a new and stricter law against homosexuality. It will worsen the situation of an already vulnerable group, and criminalize individuals and organizations working for the rights of sexual minorities.”
In Denmark, aid minister Mogens Jensen also indicated that they would also reduce the aid given to Ugandan government programs by 50 million kroner.
The Anti-Homosexual Bill, was previously known as the “Kill All the Gays” bill for its Inclusion of the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated” homosexuality, although that was eventually removed. The new law, which was passed in an attempt to toughen up on current anti-LGBT legislation, includes jail time for first time offenders, those who “promote” homosexuality and those who fail to report homosexuals to the police; repeat offenders can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Museveni was initially hesitant to approve the bill after Parliament passed it in December 2013, but on February 24, he signed it into law in Entebbe, at Uganda’s presidential residence.
He said at the ceremony, “We are sorry that you live as you do, but we keep quiet about it.”
According to The Local, Ugandan LGBT activist Julian Peppe Onziema said, “It is a sad day for the gay community in Uganda, because this law will affect everyone.”