International opposition against Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s proposed anti-gay law continued to grow steadily, drawing support from such unlikely quarters as the White House.
The growing list now includes US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Anglican leader Rowan Williams, some US senators, and several newspapers.
The pressure from these and other sources was being felt in Kampala, with Ethics Minister Nsaba Buturo now saying he would remain silent about the proposed law until it has been passed or defeated.
“Overall, the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it could be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades,” Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, was quoted as saying in a recent edition of the Daily Telegraph. “Apart from invoking the death penalty, it makes pastoral care impossible – it seeks to turn pastors into informers.”
In the US, senators Russ Feingold and John Kerry spoke out against the law, saying it had the potential to hurt Uganda-US relations, while Secretary of State Clinton said in a recent speech that she opposed it. “Law should not become an instrument of oppression,” the top US diplomat said in a speech at Georgetown University on Monday.
The White House had released a statement in which it was noted that Mr Obama “strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalise homosexuality and move against the tide of history”. The Canadian and British governments have also condemned the proposed law, while Sweden has threatened to cut assistance.