The new law strengthened existing punishments for anyone
caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for
"aggravated homosexuality" - including sex with a minor or while
HIV-positive. It criminalized lesbianism for the first time and
made it a crime to help individuals engage in homosexual acts.
"Secretary Kerry expressed the United States' deep
disappointment in the Ugandan government's decision to enact the
anti-homosexuality bill," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki
said of the call, which took place on Thursday.
"The secretary noted that the decision complicates the U.S.
relationship with Uganda," the spokeswoman added in her written
statement, although she said that Kerry did not threaten any
specific sanction by the United States in response.
Homosexuality is a taboo in most African nations and illegal in
37, including Uganda, where it has been a crime since British
colonial rule. However, such laws are seldom enforced.
On Wednesday, Kerry described the new law as "atrocious" and
Museveni's signing it as "flat-out morally wrong." He also
likened it to anti-Semitic laws in Nazi Germany and racial
discrimination in South Africa during the apartheid era.
The United States gave more than $485 million in aid to Uganda
in the year ended on September 30. The bulk of the funding went
to health programs and security, including military training.
(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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