Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial anti-gay bill into law earlier this week, sparking outrage and condemnation around the world.
The law makes gay sex acts illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
President Obama and U.S. Ambassador condemned the bill last week. And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the law “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights” and warned that Washington could cut aid to Uganda.
But undeterred by the U.S. protests, a Ugandan newspaper on Tuesday published a list of what it said was the country’s ‘Top 200’ homosexuals.
The list was published by Ugandan tabloid “Red Pepper” in Kampala, Uganda, outing some Ugandans who had not publicly proclaimed their homosexuality.
“The media witch hunt is back,” tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a well-known Ugandan lesbian activist who is among those listed in the Red Pepper story.
President Museveni was initially hesitant to sign the bill into law in January due to reports from his medical staff that homosexuality was caused by a genetic flaw. Museveni said he will ask American scientists to provide scientific proof that homosexuals are born that way.
“I therefore encourage the U.S. government to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual,” Museveni said in a statement. “When that is proved, we can review this legislation.”
Museveni said the new law was needed because the West (the United States) is “promoting homosexuality in Africa”. Museveni accused “arrogant and careless Western groups” of trying to recruit Ugandan children into homosexuality.
Russian President Valdimir Putin also signed a bill into law prohibiting the promotion of gay propaganda to children.