KAMPALA - Accusing foreign countries of using money to promote gay rights in the African country, Uganda banned several non-governmental organizations on Wednesday, July 20, for promoting homosexuality.
"I have got a record of meetings that they have held to empower, enhance and recruit (homosexuals)," Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo told Reuters.
He said that 38 NGOs were banned for promoting homosexuality in recruiting children in Uganda.
The minister, however, did not name which organizations were on the list.
Lokodo said the banned NGOs would be de-registered for promoting homosexuality.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and most African countries.
The Ugandan parliament is currently debating a bill calling for harsh penalties against homosexuals.
The bill also calls for outlawing the promotion of homosexuality, including providing financial support to gays.
A previous bill that called for the death penalty for homosexuals was scrapped after an international outcry and threats to cut off aid.
African leaders have been under mounting pressures from Western countries to recognize gay rights.
Last November, British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to cut aid to countries that deny gay rights.
African leaders say that homosexuality is alien to their culture.
Money for Gays
The Ugandan minister accused the NGOs of receiving money from abroad to promote homosexuality in the east African country.
"The NGOs are channels through which monies are channeled to (homosexuals) to recruit," Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, told Reuters.
On Monday, the ethics minister ordered the breakup of a gay rights conference being held at a hotel just outside the capital Kampala.
Police officers sealed off the venue for several hours, detaining gay activists from around the region.
Around 15 activists from Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania were questioned and later released without charge.
"They were questioned on what exactly they were up to and the assembly they were involved in," Kampala Metropolitan police spokesman Idi Senkumbi said.
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and all divine religions.
Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.