Uganda to ban NGOs accused of promoting gay rights
By Jocelyn Edwards
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Wednesday it was banning 38 non-governmental organizations it accuses of promoting homosexuality and recruiting children.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, along with more than 30 other countries in Africa, and activists say few Africans are openly gay, fearing imprisonment, violence and losing their jobs.
Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo told Reuters the organizations being targeted were receiving support from abroad for Uganda's homosexuals and accused gays and lesbians of "recruiting" young children in the country into homosexuality.
"The NGOs are channels through which monies are channeled to (homosexuals) to recruit," the minister, a former Catholic priest, said.
He did not name which organizations were on the list.
A bill calling for harsh penalties against homosexuals and outlawing the "promotion" of homosexuality, including providing financial support to gays and lesbians, is pending in the east African country's parliament.
A previous bill called for the death penalty for repeat offenders, although the new version is expected to drop this clause, as well as calls for life imprisonment, after international condemnation of the proposal and threats to cut off aid.
Lokodo said the local and international nongovernmental organizations would be de-registered for promoting homosexuality. Continued...