The Foreign Minister of Uganda accuses Britain of his country’s anti-LGBT laws

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UNGA foreign minister Sam Kutesa of Uganda speaks during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 24, 2014. World leaders at the United Nations turn their attention on September 24 to the US-led campaign to root out Islamists in Iraq and Syria, and moves to outlaw foreign fighters. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Sam Kutesa has made a claim that the country’s anti-LGBT laws were a consequence of British colonialism. In 40 of 53 countries of the British Commonwealth homosexuality is considered to be a crime against nature which is punished with long-term imprisonment and even `death penalty.

<“Some people seem to think there is a law prohibiting LGBT people as a new act. We have previous laws that we inherited as many countries have done, that relate to sexual offences. Yes, those do exist, but it’s not a new law. Let me give you the history on this issue. There was a private members’ motion that was introduced in our Parliament to criminalise the activities of the LGBTI community. That motion was passed by Parliament and assented to – however, it was challenged in our Courts of Law, and the Courts of Law struck it out. It is not in place.,” said the Minister while making a speech for a United Nations human rights panel,

“It is true that people of that orientation, even in Africa, have been there for centuries. We have never harassed them, however, we are not entirely enthusiastic about promotion. If that’s how you are, that’s how you are, but why promote it? I am what I am, but I don’t go around promoting it. We also will not accept exhibition. It’s your private life, live it. Nobody will discriminate against you or harass you. Let me say to you, we have had cases of harassment, where perpetrators have been arrested and charged, other cases are under investigation. There is no tolerance for that.”

“It is a complicated matter and different countries are at different stages of developing with it, the acceptance, the change in cultural laws, it takes time. It hasn’t taken time in any country that I know of, it hasn’t come overnight. It will take time, but even as we go on, we do not accept and will not tolerate any discrimination because of sexual orientation. We do not accept any discrimination. We do not accept harassment of those people.”

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