In an excellent display of how US foreign policy can be used as a means of pandering to domestic interest groups, the Biden administration has threatened to impose sanctions on Uganda as punishment for that regime’s adoption of new laws criminalizing some types of homosexual behaviour.
While it is abundantly clear that this move from the Ugandan state presents absolutely no threat to any vital US interest, the Biden administration apparently believes the situation requires immediate action by the US regime.
According to sources, the Biden Administration’s proposed actions include whether the U.S. will continue to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other forms of assistance and investments. … Biden administration officials will also review Uganda’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for hundreds of products.
What exactly are these new laws that require the State Department to get involved in the internal affairs of a country 8,000 miles away? According to sources, The new anti-gay law would impose the death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality” and would set a life sentence for engaging in gay sex. The state defines “aggravated homosexuality” as homosexual acts carried out by those infected with H.I.V. or homosexual acts that involve children, disabled people, or those drugged against their will.
Or put another way, the death penalty will be imposed in many cases on those found guilty of engaging in sex with children and people unable to consent. Even in those cases, these are pretty harsh penalties, and certainly, few Americans—from any part of the political spectrum—would support such measures.
The proposed method of punishing Ugandans is rather curious, however. Note that the sanctions being discussed include—ironically—cutting off AIDS relief dollars, plus dollars that the regime has long insisted are absolutely vital to economic development and poverty relief in the developing world. If that’s true, then the US regime proposes trying to impoverish ordinary Ugandans as punishment for acts of the Ugandan regime.
It is also notable that the US regime appears to be now fixated on such laws in Uganda when similar laws already exist on the books of several US allies. For example, the death penalty can be imposed for various homosexual acts in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. “Death by stoning” is also inflicted on alleged homosexuals in US ally Pakistan. Moreover, after 20 years of US occupation, Afghanistan imposes similar punishments. Those are just the places where the death penalty is potentially imposed. Homosexual acts are criminalized in a variety of countries that retain friendly relations with the US including Egypt—the top recipient of US foreign aid—plus Iraq, Jordan, South Sudan, and Nigeria. Homosexual sex between males can bring life imprisonment in Tanzania.