Richard Branson: “Boycott Uganda Over Anti-LGBT Law”

British billionaire Richard Branson called for a boycott of Uganda. The African nation’s parliament passed a bill that proposes a life sentence for certain homosexual acts. The bill also makes it a crime punishable by a prison sentence not to report gay people to the police.

The bill is awaiting the signature of Ugandan president President Yoweri Museveni, it was opposed by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi on the grounds that there was no quorum.

Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group (travel, telecom, entertainment) and a philanthropist who supported charities set up by South Africa’s first black President, Nelson Mandela, says he was seriously considering investing in Uganda and had been courted by officials there.

But the passing of this bill because of its

witch hunt

of LGBT people. (He declined to mention the witch hunts of alleged witches which result in the torture and death of both children and adults, and how this fear of witches and LGBT is fueled by evangelical fundamentalist missionaries, but hey…)

Branson went on to say:

I would urge other companies worldwide to follow suit. Uganda must reconsider or find it being ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide.Governments must realise that people should be able to love whoever they want.

Yes, governments should realize this. Will a boycott help Uganda figure things out more quickly? Or will progressives stranding the country in poverty make Uganda more vulnerable to more repressive investors? Will the government not pass this bill to get investment funds, and then turn a blind eye to the treatment of LGBT and other human rights abuses?

 

Photo by David Shankbone.

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