Yoweri Museveni is now awaiting on scientists to confirm if one is born homosexual or if it is a choice before he signs a controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
On December 20, 2013 an Anti-Homosexuality Bill was passed in Uganda even though there were not enough members in attendance to establish a legal quorum. Due to the careless way the bill was passed, President Museveni declined to sign the bill originally saying that it would be wrong to punish people because they were born “abnormal”. Then, according to Government officials, he was told that homosexuality was a behavioral choice and not something one is born into from Ugandan scientists.
Last week Yoweri Museveni said that he would sign the bill. That sparked a lot of unfriendly attention from Governments around the world. The U.S., who are one of East Africa’s largest aid donors, warned Museveni that by signing the bill would harm those relations. President Obama said in a statement that it was a step in the wrong direction for Uganda and that this posed a serious danger to Uganda’s gay population.
President Museveni is now asking for help from U.S. scientists to assist them on the matter. Yoweri Museveni is not signing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill until he gets conclusive scientific evidence on if being gay is purely a choice or if one is born that way.
The Anti-Homosexual Bill, when it was first introduced into Parliament, was reportedly to include capital punishment for the crime. Death to anyone who has committed “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill which passed on December 20 is said to have removed the death penalty from it and instead is to impose life sentences for any homosexual acts. It also includes that if a person just knows someone who’s gay, if unreported to police, that person could serve up to five years in prison. It also includes life imprisonment for anyone who promotes, recruits or agrees with homosexuality.
The controversial Bill is actually supported by the majority of Uganda as politicians and Christian clerics champion the cause. Saying that they need to deter Western civilization from “recruiting” the children of Uganda into homosexuality.
Retired Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, released in a statement that President Museveni had promised not to allow the harsh Anti-Homosexual Bill to become law in Uganda. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said that there were “no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love.” While President Museveni waits for scientific conclusions on the matter, Tutu says that “there is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination ever.”
Yoweri Museveni said last week that he had reconsidered his pledge and supports the life imprisonment penalty. Though he has yet to sign the Bill and seems to change his position many times, his verbage is sending another message. He calls homosexuals “abnormal” and that they could be “cured” of all homosexual tendencies in a letter to Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda and reportedly the violence against gays and lesbians have risen since the Anti-Homosexual Bill was introduced into Parliament in 2009.
The threats of cutting the East African country off from aid by the U.S. and Sweden will surely play a part in what the dictator will do. It is uncertain what Yoweri Museveni’s final decision will be on signing the extreme Anti-Homosexuality Bill as he waits for scientists to confirm on how one “becomes” a homosexual.
By Derik L. Bradshaw