Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird denounces Uganda’s anti-gay legislation

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      Uganda's president has signed legislation that provides for life imprisonment as a punishment for gay sex.

      John Baird, Canada's foreign affairs minister, has responded by criticizing the move.

      Baird also said it will affect relations between the two countries.

      “Canada is extremely disappointed that President Museveni has signed this piece of legislation, which will make homosexuality punishable with life imprisonment. We strongly urge the President to protect the human rights of all Ugandans regardless of their sexual orientation, in accordance with Uganda’s constitution," Baird said in a statement.

      “This act is a serious setback for human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms and deserves to be widely condemned. Regrettably, this discriminatory law will serve as an impediment in our relationship with the Ugandan government.

      “Canada has repeatedly raised our concerns with the Government of Uganda, and we have done so again. Our engagement on human rights issues will only become more persistent. We will continue to support efforts to decriminalize homosexuality and combat violence against people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

      The anti-gay bill approved today (February 24) by Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni calls for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison.

      Life in prison would be the maximum penalty for "repeated gay sex between consenting adults and acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV", CBC News reported.




      Feb 24, 2014 at 6:54pm

      The law is so abhorrent as to defy description or even rational analysis but ultimately that doesn't matter. The belief that "human rights" are somehow universal is flawed as they are largely conceptions of western philosophy alien to other cultures. The idea that they can and must be applied to cultures outside that tradition is intellectual colonialism/imperialism. Believing otherwise is simply another excuse to justify "intervention" into what is a local issue. Most people dedicated to one of the ideological herds decry the justifications provided by "the other" for intervention in local affairs but are willing to support intervention framed within their range of acceptable excuses.

      What are people going to demand? Sanctions? Like the ones that worked so well in Zimbabwe perhaps? Or how about UN intervention? Somalia is doing really well. Perhaps the African Union could get involved? The situation in CAR is pretty stable and no other country would consider such homophobic laws. Besides outrage and demands that Uganda comply with "western" morality what is actually going to change things?

      bela the bug

      Feb 25, 2014 at 9:22am

      Of course you'll not hear one word out of Baird's stupid mouth about the fact that rabid hate spewing evangelical xian groups in the US and Canada continue to give comfort and support to the Ugandan government. These are the same groups that back the Harper government and the Republican Party.

      Baird is only marginally less irritating and ignorant than Rob Ford.