Uganda anti-gay bill author David Bahati says Western aid cuts are a small price to pay
Lawmaker David Bahati said aid cuts were worth it because the bill 'will protect our values'
The author of Uganda's anti-gay bill, which criminalises homosexuality, has said aid cuts by Western donors totalling millions are a price worth paying to protect the nation’s moral values.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the anti-gay bill last Monday, citing a report by Ugandan scientists, which said there is no proven genetic basis for homosexuality, as his reason for backing the bill.
The World Bank, Norway and Denmark have withheld or diverted aid totalling about $110m (£658m). The United States, the biggest Western donor, says it is currently reviewing its ties with the country.
The law, which builds on a colonial-era anti-homosexuality law, will see those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” sentenced to 14 years in jail.
Lawmaker David Bahati, who first sought the death penalty for some acts when he introduced the law in 2009, said aid suspensions were tantamount to blackmail, but that he expected more to follow.
“[The law] is very much worth it because it will protect our values. I think a society that has no moral values is a contradiction to development,” Mr Bahati told the Reuters news agency.
“It's also unfortunate that the World Bank would take such a decision ... and create an impression that accepting homosexuality is a condition for World Bank money when it is not,” Mr Bahati said, referring to the bank's decision to freeze aid worth $900m (£538m).
Uganda's leading Red Pepper tabloid last week began outing those it called the country's “top homos” and some gay-rights campaigners say a small number have fled the country.
Mr Bahati said Uganda could cope with the aid blocks, seeking loans from less interfering countries in order to resist what he called the "social imperialism" of traditional Western donors. Russia, China and India backed Uganda's stance, he said.
"This blackmail will go on," Mr Bahati said. "It might get worse before it gets better but at the end of the day, the sovereignty of our nation will triumph."
READ MORE: LGBT UGANDANS ARE FACING A CRISIS - WHAT ACTION WILL THE UK TAKE?
THE WEST'S OUTCRY OVER UGANDA'S HATEFUL ANTI-GAY LAW MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Additional reporting by Reuters
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...