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Vatican slams Uganda anti-gay law

Vatican slams Uganda anti-gay law

A Vatican cardinal slammed the Uganda anti-gay law today (4 March).

Cardinal Peter Turkson, of Ghana, has said ‘homosexuals are not criminals’ and do not deserve to be sentenced for up to life in prison.

The new anti-gay Act, signed by the president last month, is one of the most homophobic in the world.

Speaking to reporters in Bratislava, Slovakia, Turkson has said the Vatican has called on the international community to keep providing aid.

The World Bank postponed $90 million in loans for Uganda’s health systems, forcing the government to cut expenses and make reductions in other areas.

Turkson’s comments are surprising considering he has defended anti-gay laws in the past.

Speaking last year to CNN, Turkson said: ‘In several communities, in several cultures in Africa, homosexuality or for that matter any affair between two sexes of the same kind, are not countenanced in our society.

‘So that cultural taboo, that tradition has been there…It has served to keep it out.’

In 2012, Turkson responded to a speech by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who urged Church leaders to do more for gay rights in Africa.

Calling the outrage to the laws an ‘exaggeration’, he said: ‘Just as there’s a sense of a call for rights, there’s also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people.’

Pope Francis will be flying to Uganda later this year in order to praise the Ugandan Martyrs, Catholic servants of a gay king who were killed for rejecting his advances.

Last year, the head of the Catholic Church famously said about gay people: ‘Who am I to judge?’