US imposes visa restrictions for some Ugandans following adoption of anti-gay law

FILE - A gay Ugandan man covers himself with a pride flag as he poses for a photograph in Uganda on March 25, 2023. Washington is imposing visa restrictions for some targeted Ugandans accused of "undermining the democratic process" after the enactment of an anti-gay law in the East African country, a statement said Friday, June 16, 2023. (AP Photo, File)

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Washington on Friday announced it is imposing visa restrictions for Ugandans it accuses of “undermining the democratic process” in Uganda after the enactment of an anti-gay law in the East African country.

A statement from the State Department did not name any targeted individuals.

It said the U.S. will consider other possible actions “to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, abusing human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ persons, or engaging in corrupt practices.”

Uganda’s new law, adopted last month, punishes homosexuality, including with the death penalty in some cases. The legislation has been widely condemned by rights activists and others abroad, but it has wide support in Uganda, including among religious leaders and lawmakers.

LGBTQ rights campaigners note homosexuality already was illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law criminalizing sexual activity “against the order of nature.” The punishment for that offense is life imprisonment.

Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries. Some Africans see it as behavior imported from abroad and not a sexual orientation.

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