Republican Congressman Tim Walberg is facing criticism on social media following support for Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill, widely called the “Kill the Gays” law.
On Wednesday, Salon, considered a liberal news organization, reported that in October, Walberg traveled to Uganda and delivered a speech where he spoke about his support for the country’s anti-LGBTQ+ law.
“Though the rest of the world is pushing back on you…though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm,” Walberg said about Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law while delivering a speech at Uganda’s National Prayer Breakfast.
According to Salon, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said that Walberg “thinks like us,” following his speech. In May, Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 which seeks to criminalize homosexuality, and includes the possibility of the death penalty for individuals found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality,” Human Rights Watch reported.
The report from Salon prompted many social media users to criticize Walberg for his trip and the comments he made. Newsweek reached out to Walberg’s press office via email for comment.
“Rep. Tim Walberg, co-chair of the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast, went to Uganda to support its Anti-Homosexuality Act, which has a death penalty. His trip was paid for by the sponsors of the Prayer Breakfast. Time to shun the National Prayer Breakfast?” Bill Kristol of Defending Democracy Together, wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
X user Juan Cole said, “Tim Walberg would execute 10% of Americans if he could.”
X user @MelissaLoGic17 wrote, “Michigan Rep Tim Walberg is a disgrace! Shame on you!!”
X user @Serps reposted a video of Walberg’s speech and said, “NBD, just Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg (@RepWalberg), supporting the death penalty for gay people.”
Similarly, X user @DGForDemocracy called for Walberg to be impeached and said he is a “#traitor.”
X user @kumaichi523 said, “HEY @TimWalberg @RepWalberg DO YOUR CONSTITUENTS KNOW YOU ARE WASTING THEIR TAX DOLLARS ON TRIPS TO UGANDA?”
“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act is a tragic violation of universal human rights—one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country,” Biden said. “Since the Anti-Homosexuality Act was introduced, reports of violence and discrimination targeting Ugandans who are or are perceived to be LGBTQI+ are on the rise. Innocent Ugandans now fear going to hospitals, clinics, or other establishments to receive life-saving medical care lest they be targeted by hateful reprisals. Some have been evicted from their homes or fired from their jobs.“
According to CNN, the recent bill passed in Uganda is similar to another law they attempted to pass in 2014, which was nicknamed the “Kill the Gays” bill. The current law is being challenged in court by those in opposition, CNN reported.
In March, Walberg sought to include a measure in the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their (PROTECT) Kids Act, requiring schools to get consent from parents before a student is allowed to change their preferred pronouns.
“After talking with concerned parents from Berrien County to Monroe County, I was proud to author the PROTECT Kids Act, which was included in H.R.5 and will safeguard parental rights by ensuring that schools do not hide important information from parents regarding the gender transitions of their own children. This is a crucial step in fighting to increase transparency and defend the rights of parents,” Walberg said in a press release at the time.