Biden’s Reaction to ‘Anti-Gay’ Law in Uganda Exposes Uncomfortable Hypocrisy

biden uganda
The White House, CC BY 3.0 US <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/deed.en>, via Wikimedia Commons Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Biden administration sells itself as the staunchest LGBTQ supporter in the world. Thanks to a little country in Africa, President Biden can flex some of that activism muscle by stepping up for the African LGBTQ community.

The Ugandan President has signed a law criminalizing homosexuality. So naturally, Uncle Joe and his fellow left-wing cohorts are none too happy about the decision and are threatening to make Uganda feel the wrath of the United States’ economic power.

However, in typical fashion, the cries of human rights violations from the West continue to raise eyebrows. So let’s look at what this new law says and how the United States is choosing to react to it.

https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1663546661401137155?s=20

The Law

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed legislation that criminalizes citizens from identifying as LGBTQ. However, what caught the attention and ire of the President of the United States was the possible punishments laid out in this law for same-sex relations, punishments that, in some cases, can include the death penalty.

The criminalization of homosexuality is not new; it’s been illegal to be publicly gay in Uganda since the Brits controlled the country. The unique aspect is the harsh penalties for “aggravated homosexuality.”

The death penalty portion of this legislation relates to a section that touches explicitly on what the Ugandans call “aggravated homosexuality.” Aggravated homosexuality is defined by Ugandan legislation as homosexual acts carried out by those infected with HIV or homosexual acts that involve children, disabled people, or those drugged against their will.

And to be sure, these are horrific crimes regardless of sexual orientation.

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It’s important to note that this bill has overwhelming support within the country itself, given recent reports of forced sodomy in boarding schools throughout Uganda. According to UNICEF data, Ugandan children under the age of 15 make up 11% of the 1.6 million Ugandans living with HIV.

So how did the West respond to Uganda’s decision to attempt to curb sexual violence against minors and the spread of HIV in a country devastated by the disease for decades?

No More Aid For You

President Biden’s statement of the legislation becoming law was pretty typical:

“This shameful act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed this outrage stating that the State Department will:

“develop mechanisms to support the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda and to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, abusing their human rights.”

Exercising his power as the leader of the most powerful and influential country on Earth, President Biden directed his National Security Council to “evaluate the implications” of the law on “all aspects of U.S. engagement” with Uganda. Engagements include delivering services our government provides Uganda under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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He went on to threaten:

“And we are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption.”

Uganda better unfurl those pride flags if they want to continue to receive vital medicines, education, and economic aid.

Lost In Time

I was fortunate to spend a fair amount of time in the Horn of Africa while I was in the military. I found the continent to be equal parts fascinating as it was sad. The vastness of Africa lends to countries bordering one another with varying technological, social, economic, and cultural levels of evolution.

On the one hand, you could have a nation with relatively liberalized cultural practices with fancy resorts, reliable internet service, and educational advancements that lead to economic success. But across the border, you could have a country seemingly trapped in another time, struggling to make sense of a world that espouses views that seem hedonistic and downright demonic compared to the cultural state they currently reside in.

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President Museveni said of the criticism behind this new legislation:

“Europe is lost. So they also want us to be lost.”

He went on to praise his lawmakers, saying:

“It is good that you rejected the pressure from the imperialists. And this is what I told them. Whenever they come to me I say, ‘You, please shut up.'”

Besides my appreciation for President Musevini’s bluntness, his remark raises an interesting point, should the West ‘shut up’ about some of these cultural issues around the world?

Too Bad For Africa

Interestingly, the Biden administration would threaten sanctions against Uganda over enacting a law that imposes the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. Currently, the below countries have no U.S sanctions imposed on them yet have death as an acceptable punishment for homosexuality:

  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar

Additionally, Disney, which is seen as the poor victims of Governor Ron DeSantis’ crusade against woke culture, offers a 9-night cruise trip that goes to Antigua and Dominica. Both islands have criminalized homosexuality to the tune of 15 years in prison and ten years in prison, respectively.

It would seem that as long as you have something to offer the United States, we don’t mind if you kill your homosexuals. It would also appear that, in general, our government has no problem with criminalizing homosexuality, provided your island is lovely to visit and Mickey Mouse can come with.

The United Nations Human Rights Office said they were:

“appalled that the draconian and discriminatory anti-gay bill is now law.”

Below is a list of some of the current members of the UN Human Rights Council:

  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates

They are not exactly shining beacons of human rights.

In a joint statement from the UN AIDS program and U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the following threat was lobbed:

“Uganda’s progress on its HIV response is now in grave jeopardy.”

With disease running rampant in the 23rd poorest country in the world, perhaps we should follow the time-honored adage of crawling before we walk. Let’s get countries in Africa like Uganda healthy and stable before we worry about the vast Ugandan LGBTQI+ community.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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