Vatican official against Uganda's anti-gay law
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - A Vatican cardinal has criticized Uganda's anti-gay law and called for the repeal of its severe penalties.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Tuesday that "homosexuals are not criminals" and shouldn't be sentenced for up to life in prison.
Speaking to reporters in Bratislava where he attended a conference on the Catholic Church and human rights, Turkson said the Vatican also calls on the international community to keep providing aid.
Uganda has been hit with substantial aid cuts in reaction to the law. The World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan for Uganda's health systems.
Pope Francis has made a point of reaching out to gays, famously saying: "Who am I to judge?"
Homosexuality is criminalised in more than 70 countries, with severe implications for the health and wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Recent developments in several countries such as India, Uganda, and Nigeria, where HIV/AIDS remains a pressing public health issue, to reintroduce or strengthen criminalisation of homosexuality holds deep ramifications for patients and health-care workers tackling HIV/AIDS. In Uganda, criminalising a failure to “report” gay persons adds to the alarm.