President of Uganda Passes Controversial ‘Jail the Gays’ Bill


President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a controversial bill which legislates against same sex relationships, in some cases punishing homosexuality with life sentences in a country where homosexuality is already criminalised.

The law has garnered widespread criticism from around the world since it was first passed by the Ugandan parliament in December 2013. President Museveni halted the bill soon afterwards, arguing that there were better ways to cure the “abnormality”, and stated that he would not sign the bill until he received scientific information proving that homosexuality was not a condition that exists from birth but a learned behaviour.

Last week President Museveni announced at his national party retreat that he would sign the bill, adding that he intended to have a “war with the homosexual lobby”.

The President’s decision was met with criticism from LGBT activists and world leaders. President Obama stated that the bill was “a step backwards” and that its legalisation would complicate Uganda’s relationship with the U.S.A.

Desmond Tutu reportedly condemned the law, comparing it to Nazism and apartheid. He said in a statement: “In South Africa, apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks. It was demeaning to those whose ‘crime’ was to love each other, it was demeaning to the policemen and it was a blot on our entire society.”

“My plea to President Museveni is to use his country’s debate around the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a catalyst to further strengthen the culture of human rights and justice in Uganda.”

Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, stated that he would support the bill regardless of whether it will cause other nations to withdraw financial aid from the country. He reportedly said that Ugandans would rather “die poor than live in an immoral nation”.

The law dictates that life sentences be implicated in instances of repeated gay sex between consenting adults, homosexual acts where a minor or disabled person is involved, as well as cases where one partner is infected with HIV. Promoting homosexuality is also punishable by law.

President Museveni spoke on his decision to pass the bill: “It is our view that we punish exhibitionism, recruiters and homosexual prostitutes,” he said.

“We don’t impose ourselves on Western culture. What is wrong with this then? Why must you show us how you kiss?
“We are sick of homosexuals exhibiting themselves. All Africans are flabbergasted by this exhibition of sexual conduct.”

He added: “I do not understand why a man can’t be attracted to a beautiful woman and instead be attracted to a fellow man.”

Sophie Joske


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