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US slaps sanctions on Uganda over anti-gay laws

A protest against an anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda on November 19, 2009 in front of the Ugandan Mission to the United Nations in New YorkAngered by anti-gay laws condemned here as “vile persecution,” the United States slapped sanctions on Uganda on Thursday, cancelling a military exercise and imposing visa bans on some officials. The legislation that Uganda signed into law in February “runs counter to universal human rights and complicates our bilateral relationship,” the White House said, demanding it be repealed. The law, signed by President Yoweri Museveni, calls for “repeat homosexuals” to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges Ugandans to denounce gays to the authorities. “LGBT rights are human rights and the steps taken today make clear that the United States will take action to defend those rights,” US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said, referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

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