Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni this week gave LGBT activists a glimmer of hope that he will prevent enactment of the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill, which would toughen the country’s laws against homosexual activities.
In a meeting with several European Union ambassadors on Wednesday, March 28, Museveni praised the work of homosexuals in Uganda’s past.
As described by The Observer website in Uganda:
Museveni … gave a long history of homosexual practices in Uganda, saying that many years ago there were four prominent homosexuals, three of them chiefs and one who did great work for the country.
“Those people were not killed, not discriminated against and not persecuted,” he said.
The delegation included ambassadors and other official representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Museveni’s remarks were reportedly in response to questions from the European ambassadors about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and an LGBT meeting in Entebbe that was broken up in February by Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s minister of Ethics and Integrity. Lokodo reportedly told the delegation that the meeting was “aimed at promoting and luring young people into the practice of homosexuality.”
Museveni’s remarks contrasted with what he said two years ago, when he seemed to support Uganda’s proposed anti-LGBT bill.
The Guardian reported then that Museveni warned Ugandan youths that “European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa” and said that gay relationships are against God’s will.
“We used to say Mr and Mrs, but now it is Mr and Mr. What is that now?” he said in late 2009.
At this week’s meeting, Museveni said black Africans tend to keep sexual matters private.
“I have been married to a beautiful lady called Janet for 38 years, but I have never kissed her in public or in front of my children. Sexual matters, heterosexual or homosexual, must be confidential,” he said.
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- U.S. Deputy Sec. of State talks Human Rights to Uganda’s President Museveni (oblogdeeoblogda.wordpress.com)
- Ugandan President Museveni Warns of ‘Promotion of Homosexuality’ from Western Countries (towleroad.com)