US Revokes Among’s Visas Over Anti-Homosexuality Act- Says Basalirwa

The US government has revoked speaker of Parliament, Anitah Among’s VISA until further notice following her involvement in the Anti-Homosexuality act.

This was revealed by Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, who is also the mover of the bill. He said Anita Among is the first victim to face sanctions and that it was confirmed by email.

“The speaker’s visa to America has been cancelled. This has been confirmed in an email from the American Embassy,” he said.

Quoting the email from the American embassy, Basalirwa said: “Dear Madam Speaker, the United States Government has revoked your current visa based on information that became available after your last issuance. As of May 12, 2023, you do not possess a valid travel visa to the US, though you are welcome to apply again. Please forward your passport to the Embassy through the Minister of Finance so that we can make necessary modifications to your visa.”

The Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament criticised the US government for single-picking who to punish because of the law.

“I have no problem with the way a country manages its affairs. If, in their wisdom and democracy, they don’t want us in their country, it is their right. I don’t want anyone to complain about cancelling people’s visas. My only problem with these people is single-picking who to punish. This law was signed by the president. May I invite the UK, Canada, and the US to cancel the visas of the President and all MPs that passed it?”

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) have since issued a statement saying that the bill poses a public health threat to people living with HIV/AIDS.

“Uganda’s progress on its HIV response is now in grave jeopardy. The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 will obstruct health education and the outreach that can help end AIDS as a public health threat. The stigma and discrimination associated with the passage of the Act has already led to reduced access to prevention as well as treatment services. Trust, confidentiality, and stigma-free engagement are essential for anyone seeking health care. LGBTQI+ people in Uganda increasingly fear for their safety and security, and increasing numbers of people are being discouraged from seeking vital health services for fear of attack, punishment and further marginalization,” read the statement.

They added, “Uganda has repeatedly demonstrated leadership and commitment to ending AIDS – and has achieved great success – by leaving no one behind. Together as one, we call for the Act to be reconsidered so that Uganda may continue on its path to ensure equitable access to health services and end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.”

Earlier in the day, Among confirmed that President Museveni had assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act that has been a subject of intense discussion both within and outside Uganda.

“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Uganda, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has executed his constitutional mandate as prescribed by Article 91 (3) (a) of the Constitution. He has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act,” Speaker Among said in a statement on twitter.

“As the Parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people. We have legislated to protect the sanctity of family as per Article 31 of the Constitutionof Uganda. We have stood strong to defend our culture and aspirations of our people as per objectives 19 & 24 of natinal objectives and directiveprinciples of state policy.”

She noted that the Parliament of Uganda believes that the law safeguards the sanctity of the family, in accordance with Article 31 of the Ugandan Constitution. Additionally, she stated that the legislation aligns with the cultural values and aspirations of the Ugandan people, as outlined in objectives 19 and 24 of the national objectives and directive principles of state policy.

She further commended the Members of Parliament for standing strong against external pressure and criticisms, attributing their resilience to the commitment to upholding Uganda’s motto, “For God and our Country.”

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