'Jail the Gays' Law Costs Uganda $10 Million in U.S. Aid

By: Sunnivie Brydum
3.24.2014

The U.S. will immediately take four concrete steps penalizing the government of Uganda for enacting the Anti-Homosexuality Act, known commonly as the "jail the gays" law.

BuzzFeed reports the Obama administration will redirect millions in funding in an effort to show support for LGBT people and to deter other countries from following suit.

That includes $6.4 million granted to the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that came out in strong support of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and which has historically received millions in U.S. grants to fight HIV and AIDS. The council will still receive $2.3 million to maintain treatment for an estimated 50,000 patients, according to BuzzFeed.

Additionally, approximately $3 million slated to go to Uganda's tourism and biodiversity promotion programs will be redirected to nongovernmental organizations promoting those causes, according to BuzzFeed

A medical study aimed at identifying populations at risk for contracting HIV and AIDS has also been suspended. It was intended to be carried out at a Ugandan university with funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it has been indefinitely postponed, citing concerns for the safety of the study's researchers and participants. It appears this may be the unspecified cuts to a CDC program first reported by Reuters last week.

Finally, several events scheduled in Uganda later this spring by the U.S. Department of Defense will be relocated, and certain Ugandan military and police officials who had been invited to the U.S. will see those invitations suspended or rescinded.

These actions are the strongest and most direct taken by the Obama administration since Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. was launching an "internal review" of its relationship with the Ugandan government the day president Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act on February 24.

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