US President Joe Biden denounced Uganda's new Anti-Homosexuality Act, demanding its immediate repeal and warning of potential sanctions due to its "tragic violation of universal human rights." Representational image. Westend61/Gettyimages

U.S. President Joe Biden called for the immediate repeal of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, labeling it a "tragic violation of universal human rights."

He further warned of potential sanctions against the African country as a response to the controversial law.

"I join with people around the world – including many in Uganda – in calling for its immediate repeal. No one should have to live in constant fear for their life or being subjected to violence and discrimination," Biden said in a statement.

"We are considering additional steps, including the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the United States against anyone involved in serious human rights abuses or corruption," the president warned.

President Biden has instructed the National Security Council to evaluate the impact of Uganda's anti-LGBT+ law on various aspects of U.S. engagement with the country, such as the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and other aid and investments.

"I am announcing today that the Department of State will develop mechanisms to support the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in Uganda and to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, abusing their human rights," he said.

The rights of LGBT+ individuals are included in the definition of universal human rights, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

He instructed the State Department to update travel advice for American persons and businesses and to "consider deploying existing visa restrictions tools against Ugandan officials and other individuals for abuse of universal human rights."

One of the strongest laws in the world targeting the LGBT+ population, Museveni adopted the Anti-Homosexuality Act on Monday. This law contains lengthy jail sentences and the death penalty for certain offenses.

According to Biden, following the law's passage, "reports of violence and discrimination targeting Ugandans who are or are perceived to be LGBTQI+ are on the rise."

Joe Biden
“Innocent Ugandans now fear going to hospitals, clinics, or other establishments to receive life-saving medical care lest they be targeted by hateful reprisals,” the U.S. president denounced. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

"Innocent Ugandans now fear going to hospitals, clinics, or other establishments to receive life-saving medical care lest they be targeted by hateful reprisals," the U.S. president denounced, La Prensa Latina reported.

Some have been evicted from their homes or fired from their jobs and the prospect of "graver" threats such as "lengthy prison sentences, violence, abuse (...) threatens any number of Ugandans who want nothing more than to live their lives in safety and freedom," he added.

"This shameful Act is the latest development in an alarming trend of human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda," said Biden.

President Biden expressed concern that Uganda's "democratic backsliding" and the anti-LGBT+ law pose a threat to everyone in the country, including U.S. government personnel and tourists.

He emphasized that U.S. programs in Uganda have contributed to economic growth, agricultural productivity, investments in local businesses, and trade cooperation. The U.S. government annually invests close to $1 billion in Uganda to advance their shared goals.

"The scale of our commitments speaks to the value we place on this partnership – and our faith in the people of Uganda to build for themselves a better future. It is my sincere hope that we can continue to build on this progress, together, and strengthen protections for the human rights of people everywhere," the president concluded.

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