Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law on Monday an anti-gay bill that toughens already strict legislation against homosexuals, defying warnings from the United States that relations could be complicated by the new rules.
The bill calls for first-time offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in jail. It also sets life imprisonment as the maximum penalty for a category of offenses called “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as repeated gay sex between consenting adults as well as acts involving a minor, a disabled person or where one partner is infected with HIV.
Homosexuality is taboo in African countries and illegal in 37. Few Africans are openly gay, as they fear imprisonment, violence and loss of their jobs.