Report: Uganda president blocks anti-gay bill

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has blocked the harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill that the Ugandan parliament approved last month and sent to him for his signature, the Ugandan Monitor newspaper reports.

In an article dated Jan. 17, the newspaper implied that Museveni had refused to sign the bill in its current form. Instead he sent a letter on Dec. 28 to parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, criticizing the passage of the bill when a quorum was not present.

The article, titled “Museveni blocks Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” quoted the president as stating in his letter that “a small group of our MPs, led by Hon Kadaga” had “forced through the Bill even after he had advised to shelve it until the government had studied it in depth.” He added:

“Some elements, however, insisted and even without quorum of Parliament, passed it,” the President said. “How can you pass law without the quorum of Parliament after it has been pointed out? What sort of Parliament is this? How can Parliament be the one to break the Constitution and the Law repeatedly?”

Museveni’s letter also included a confused discussion of homosexuality. For example: “The question at the core of the debate of homosexuality is; what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or we do contain him/her?”

He also stated that improved economic development in Uganda would reduce incentives for homosexuality, which he believes some men and women embrace for financial reasons:

By delaying government projects needed to create jobs for the unemployed youth, the President said the MPs are exposing the unemployed youth or “impecunious students” to the risks of homosexuality and other temptations.

“Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons,” he said.

Museveni said the caucus of his party, the National Resistance Movement, or NRM, would “find a scientifically correct position on the proposed anti-gay legislation,” in the words of the Monitor article.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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