Congressman Tim Walberg Faces Backlash for Alleged Support of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law

Tipton, Michigan – Congressman Tim Walberg, a Republican from Tipton, is facing criticism after video footage emerged showing him encouraging Uganda‚Äôs leaders to stand firm against international pressure and condemnation. The lawmakers passed a law that imposes the death penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality.” Walberg made these remarks during the country’s national prayer breakfast at the president’s residence in Kampala. He clarified that he does not support the criminalization of homosexuality, according to his office.

Uganda has drawn widespread condemnation since enacting a law in May 2023 that outlaws gay marriage and imposes life imprisonment for same-sex acts. The new law even includes the possibility of capital punishment for acts of “aggravated homosexuality,” which encompasses same-sex intercourse with individuals over 75 or under 18, as well as those who are HIV-positive or disabled.

During the event in October, Walberg expressed praise for President Yoweri Museveni, an authoritarian ruler who has governed for almost three decades. The congressman urged Museveni to remain steadfast despite global pressures to change. Walberg noted that his support for the president may encounter pushback from the US media, but he vowed not to yield to them.

After receiving backlash, Walberg’s office clarified their position and distanced the congressman from the discriminatory laws. The statement emphasized that Walberg neither endorsed any Ugandan legislation nor supported the criminalization of homosexuality. However, he did call out the World Bank for applying different standards to Uganda, considering it a Christian nation.

In August, the World Bank suspended financial aid to Uganda due to the passage of the anti-gay law. However, it resumed aid in October with the inclusion of anti-discrimination safeguards, as reported by Reuters. The World Bank expressed its disapproval of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, stating that their mission to eradicate poverty could only succeed if inclusivity extended to all individuals, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality.

President Museveni expressed gratitude towards Congressman Walberg, acknowledging that their shared perspectives on issues such as homosexuality and abortion reflected similar sentiments among other Americans and Western individuals. However, Michigan Democrats criticized Walberg’s remarks. Lavora Barnes, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, condemned his statements as hateful and out of touch with Michiganders’ values. Representative Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat from Holly running for the US Senate, also criticized Walberg’s remarks, describing them as bigoted coming from a congressman.

In summary, Congressman Tim Walberg of Tipton has faced backlash after urging Ugandan leaders to stand firm in the face of international condemnation of their anti-gay legislation. Walberg’s office clarified that he does not support the criminalization of homosexuality, but he did express solidarity with President Museveni and criticized the World Bank’s different standards. Michigan Democrats criticized Walberg’s comments as out of touch and filled with bigotry. The World Bank temporarily halted financial aid to Uganda but resumed it with anti-discrimination safeguards in place.