Uganda tells Germany it does not support Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The government of Uganda has made a commitment to Germany not to pass any additional penalties on homosexuality. The promise comes in exchange for a German aid. Here is the Earthtimes article referencing a letter from the Ugandan government.

Posted : Fri, 28 May 2010 11:57:27 GMT

Berlin – Uganda has reassured Germany it does not support a bid by one parliamentarian to outlaw homosexual acts, in order to win an extension of existing aid payments, German officials said Friday.

The German development aid ministry said in Berlin it had cleared pledges totalling 120 million euros (148 million dollars) to Uganda over the next three years.

That aid would be conditional on Uganda not passing any legislation imposing new penalties on homosexual acts.

Gay groups protested round the globe last year when a Ugandan legislator, David Bahati, proposed an anti-homosexual bill, calling for life imprisonment for homosexual acts and death for homosexual rape of children.

Uganda’s parliament has studied the bill but not passed it.

Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa sent a written assurance to Hans-Juergen Beerfeltz, state secretary at the German Aid Ministry, saying that the government in Kampala does not support Bahati’s legislation.

“We regard this letter as a positive signal and will continue to insist that the bill does not become law,” said Beerfeltz. He spoke after Ugandan and German officials conferred Wednesday and Thursday on the aid pledges.

The money will be used to fight poverty, stop water wastage and reduce carbon emissions. German Aid Minister Dirk Niebel earlier said he would halt aid to Uganda if the bill were passed.

If accurate, this report seems to be the clearest signal yet that the Ugandan government is now opposed to the Bahati bill. Sam Kutesa was one of the early voices in opposition and this makes it official policy.