Scotland offers asylum to Uganda’s persecuted gaysAround the World, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, February 28th, 2014
Despite threats of a backlash and international condemnation, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni still went on to sign one of Africa’s, and the world’s, most punishing anti-gay laws to date. Citing his sickness with “homosexuals exhibiting themselves,” Museveni’s law, at its most severe, will sentence members of the LGBT community to life in prison for certain ‘crimes.’
Shortly after, the media hopped on the anti-gay bandwagon and posted the names, pictures and, where available, addresses of 200 of the country’s “top homos” and the witch hunt effectively began.
But Scotland, which recently signed their own same-sex marriage bill into law, has now offered members of the LGBT community in Uganda who are being persecuted by the law an opportunity to flee their oppressors and go there. According to Scotland’s The Herald, “Humza Yousaf, Minister For External Affairs, has written to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague detailing the Scottish government’s gesture to welcome “any Ugandan” persecuted by the new laws.” Mr Yousaf continued: “The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda is a huge step back for equality and I have written to the U.K. government asking it to make the strongest possible representations to the government of Uganda.
The Foreign Office said it had not yet received Mr. Yousaf’s request. On Monday, PinkNews.co.uk had reported that William Hague said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill” had been signed into law.
Scotland is the host of this year’s Commonwealth Games and, according to press releases from the Herald and others, “no one from any part of the Commonwealth who visits Scotland will be under any doubt about our values as a welcoming, open and tolerant society”.
Currently 41 of the 54 nations that participate in the Commonwealth Games have laws that punish homosexuality to one degree or another.
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