Uganda's president has signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gay people and criminalising those who do not report them. A government spokesman said President Yoweri Museveni wanted to assert Uganda's "independence in the face of Western pressure." US President Barack Obama has cautioned the bill would be a backward step. Mr Museveni had previously agreed to put the bill on hold pending US scientific advice. The new law punishes first-time offenders with 14 years in jail, and allows life imprisonment as the penalty for acts of "aggravated homosexuality." It also makes it a crime not to report gay people—in effect making it impossible to live as openly gay.
Ugandan lawmakers did make one concession to Western pressure:
The bill originally proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts, but that was later removed amid international criticism.
Scott Lively, an American anti-gay activist from the Christian right, frustrated by his inability to oppress and terrorize gay people at home, is "directly responsible" for the anti-gay law in Uganda. His message of "Christian" love: If he can't see us jailed here, he's going to see us jailed there. And it's not just Lively who wants to see gay people jailed. Lively and Peter "Americans for Truth About Homosexuality" LaBarbera announced the formation of a grand anti-gay coalition at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. The two men called for the US to adopt an anti-gay law modeled on Russia's "anti-gay propaganda" law, a law that also criminalizes being openly gay.