Government accuses local groups of receiving foreign funds to recruit children into homosexuality.
Wed Jun 20, 2012
'KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Wednesday it was banning 38 non-governmental organisations 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 organisations 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 channelled to (homosexuals) to recruit," the minister, a former Catholic priest, said.
He did not name which organisations 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.