U.S. Secretary of State Blinken Cites Homosexuality as Basis for Sanctions on Ugandan Officials

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For the first time, a high-ranking U.S. government official has confirmed that recent sanctions against Ugandan government officials were imposed in response to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality law, which criminalizes homosexuality, rather than the previously cited corruption allegations.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Washington sanctioned Ugandan officials over this controversial law. “Where human rights abuses are carried out against LGBTQI+ persons, we hold the perpetrators accountable,” Blinken stated during the 2024 Pride Month Convening on U.S. Foreign Policy in Washington, DC, this past Thursday.
In May 2024, the U.S. government declared sanctions against several senior Ugandan officials, including Speaker of Parliament Anita Among and other lawmakers, citing corruption. However, Blinken clarified that the sanctions specifically targeted those involved in gross human rights violations related to the Anti-Homosexuality Act. He said, “We sanctioned Ugandan officials who were involved in gross human rights violations. We ended Uganda’s eligibility for beneficial trade status under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act until it repeals the legislation and addresses its human rights situation.”
Blinken further explained the U.S. response to Uganda’s enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act: “We redirected U.S. Government assistance so that it doesn’t go to those carrying out this abusive policy, while at the same time increasing aid to Ugandan people who need it more than ever before in the LGBTQI+ community.”
Several other Ugandan MPs also reported being barred from traveling to the United States by the U.S. Mission.
The Washington event was held under the theme, “National Security, Inclusive Development, and the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons.” Blinken emphasized the United States’ ongoing commitment to partnering with the Ugandan people, highlighting longstanding investments in healthcare, education, economic opportunity, and the rule of law. He assured, “We will make sure that our resources continue to lift up the Ugandan people – not enable their repression.”
In response to these developments, there have been attacks on various government officials and members of parliament opposed to homosexuality, with the public labeling some leaders and activists as collaborators whose agenda is to propagate homosexuality in Uganda.

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