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Uganda president blocks controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Thursday, January 16, 2014

KAMPALA, Uganda — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has blocked the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill and has rebuked Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for failure to follow parliamentary procedures by passing the law without a quorum, reported the Daily Monitor, the leading Ugandan newspaper.

Yoweri Museveni

Yoweri Museveni

The paper quoted from an eight-page letter Museveni sent to Kadaga on Dec. 28, 2013 — just one week after the bill’s passage — in which he described homosexuality as an abnormal condition, and wondered if it is a condition that can be cured

“Nature goes wrong in a minority of cases,” wrote Museveni. “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?”

The bill, first introduced in 2009, has garnered global condemnation and criticism for its harsh punishment which criminalizes sexual intercourse between same-sex partners. The legislation provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality, as well as punishment for those convicted of being supportive of LGBT people.

In its original form, the bill was widely referred as the “Kill the Gays Bill” for including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” — consensual same-sex acts committed by “repeat offenders,” anyone who is in a position of power, is HIV-positive, or uses intoxicating agents i.e. alcohol in the process

Capital punishment was reportedly removed from the revised version passed by Parliament, although the current version has yet to be seen by the media.

In the letter, Museveni suggested “rescuing” gays and lesbians would best be done through the economy by industrializing and improving the agriculture of Uganda, otherwise fewer jobs would provide increased motivation among students and youths to enter into homosexuality.

But, he said, he would support life in prison for anyone who lures young people into “these disgusting behaviors.”

Museveni added that women become lesbian for mercenary reasons, and that “there may be those that go into the practice because of ‘sexual starvation’ when they fail to get married.”

He also chastised Kadaga without having a quorum, and said that a “small group of MPs” forced the bill through Parliament even though he advised it should have been delayed until the government had studied it in depth.

“Some elements, however, insisted and even without quorum of Parliament, passed it,” Museveni wrote. “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?”

Ugandan LGBT activists had accused Parliament immediately after the bill’s passage in December of illegally passing the bill without having a quorum or properly posting the notice on the Parliamentarian agenda.

But Parliament spokesperson Helen Kawesa told the Monitor that several bills were passed between October and December last year, and with similar numbers in the House.

Museveni also wrote that he disagreed with the position of Western countries that homosexuality is an “alternative sexual orientation.”

“You cannot call an abnormality an alternative orientation. It could be that the Western societies, on account of random breeding, have generated many abnormal people,” he said.

Frank Mugisha, a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist, said Museveni’s characterization of gays “creates more hatred” in a country where discrimination against homosexuals is already rampant. He said there is “no celebration” over the president’s opposition to the bill.

Museveni’s rejection of the bill comes as some African countries are toughening anti-gay laws. In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan on Jan. 7 signed a law making it illegal for gay people to even hold a meeting. The Nigerian law criminalizes gay marriage, homosexual clubs, associations and organizations, with penalties of up to 14 years in jail.

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74 more reader comments:

  1. Yeahhhh

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:52am
  2. Good time someone woke the f up

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:54am
  3. OMG someone there has a brain!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:56am
  4. It's not so much about brain as it is about heart.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:02am
  5. I don't think he has much of either, he's still just a little less crazy in a sea of loonies.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:10am
  6. read the article, he doesn't

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:15am
  7. No, he has no brains. Try reading the article. You might actually get educated on his concept of homosexuality. Its very disturbing.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:49am
  8. I am glad for his leadership and his courage. May his God bless him!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:56am
  9. please do not ask god to bless him, please keep your god in america because your christians are exporting the most homofobic evil and intolerant god / stop the christian export of an american god

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:15am
  10. Hi Alexander--I am NOT Christian...I am Wiccan---we believe all faiths are paths to the higher power who made all life. We believe that each of us must honor and keep the Earth and all things on it safe, thriving, clean, happy. We worship only the Earth and its bounties. I agree that SOME (not all) of the current crop of American 'Christians' are anything but what Jesus would have approved of!

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:18am
  11. I agree with you Alexander. Christian missionaries have long been spreading homophobia. I'm Christian though.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:18am
  12. About time! These are hate filled dangerous laws that should never have been passed in the first place! You can thank American right wingers for getting Uganda to write them.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:56am
  13. read the whole article

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:05pm
  14. International pressure. This guy is not a progressive. He caved in to pressure.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:57am
  15. Caving to righteous pressure is better than going ahead with evil ideas.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:59am
  16. So… The same person who thinks homosexuals are messed up and sinful, he’s the one who blocked this bill? This is weird.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:57am
  17. his reasoning makes no sense and i for once think that he only said that to appeal to the populace... and hey, he actually address their economy so maybe when the economy is stable he might retract that statement...

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:56am
  18. hes still against homosexuality. hes upset cause it didn't go thru proper procedures

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:17pm
  19. praying it stays

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:58am
  20. Um…..he only blocked it because it wasn’t passed with proper parliamentary procedure. The attitudes he expresses are still kneejerk ‘anti-Western’ willful ignorance and narrowmindedness.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:58am
  21. Apparently most people didn't feel the need to read the article :

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:00am
  22. I'll still take it

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:14am
  23. Read that again, Randi.

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:40am
  24. damn straight

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:59am
  25. What exactly are we “liking” here? It sure sounds to me like he still supports the bill, just that he doesn’t like the way it was passed. I’d recommend reading the article before we start celebrating too much.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 4:59am
  26. It takes a big Man too turn down American $$$$$$ and do the right thing .. Thank you .. :)

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:00am
  27. the guy is a waste of space and a pile of shit

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:21pm
  28. Still, he thinks homosexuals are abnormal. Education really beeds to be implanted to their brins.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:02am
  29. brines

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:42am
  30. Well… It’s something.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:04am
  31. This comments section proves that most people only read headlines and not the actual articles. And you people wonder why you aren’t truly educated about world events?

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:07am
  32. Asshole!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:10am
  33. Right move.. BUT STILL FOR THE WRONG REASONS.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:15am
  34. I guess it’s too much to hope that the bill stays blocked :(

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:18am
  35. Burn him on a rotisserie!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:26am
  36. Great news

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:29am
  37. its not great read the article

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:20pm
  38. I am thankful for this and I dont question it.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:32am
  39. This man’s views on gays being “abnormal” are quite chilling…. This kind of thinking is why we have regional dissention on marriage equality here in the states..

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:32am
  40. Poor baby …he need money from Occident………..

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:41am
  41. Well! Well! The neighbor in Uganda! Most places in my African continent, leaders are just a bunch of schlampes! Being gay is worse than being a rapist! Stupid!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:45am
  42. I’m Christian…and gay…and true Christian respect all ….gay..lesbian,,Black.White ..True Christian respect our Mother Earth..and all people…True Christian are out of all religious dogme …True Christian accept with love all people…WITHOUT judgment

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:47am
  43. Who goes to Uganda anyway?

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:54am
  44. He blocked it because the West, i.e., the u.s. and Great Britain has threatened to block further aid, including military aid. But he’ll eventually get his guns vis a vis AFRICOM and to “stop terrorism in Africa.” But we must also ask, what is Uganda doing in the Congo? :(

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:04am
  45. we are a product of our environment so its going to take many generations before its accepted in all nations…programming trumps…

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:24am
  46. When I first saw this post I was thinking, FINALLY, an African country that is ready to stand against homophobia. And then I read the article!! It has nothing to do with the fact that the bill is an abomination. Its because it didn’t go through the proper channels before it was passed!! Give it another year and it will be there :( Its so awful what our African LGBT brothers and sisters are being put through in this day and age

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:53am
  47. I don’t understand why people think it’s ok to make a group of people fear for their lives all because of who they are and who they are attracted to and fall in love with? These people are cruel and evil! They wish hurt and scrutiny, death to people they don’t even know! It’s so heart breaking to see! My advice to all LGBTs in Uganda… Just get the hell out of that country I understand your family may be there but from the looks of it… I’ve heard of a lot of parents turning on their own children for being gay. Letting strangers murder and assault their own flesh and blood on the streets! It’s sick!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 7:02am
  48. He’s a homophobic loon who thinks nature has gone wrong which is his stupid belief as he’s homophobic

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 8:43am
  49. I look at it is if they don’t know any better.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 9:14am
  50. He is still against us.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 9:17am
  51. There is hope for reality education…I personally think it narrows down to $$

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 9:49am
  52. Read the article people, he blocked it because the procedure was improper, not because he didn’t support it.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:30am
  53. The bible contradicts itself, constantly. It says very little about homosexuality being wrong, but that everyone is equal, and God is the reason behind who we are. If that’s the case, Christians are going against God’s wishes by discriminating homosexuals!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:47am
  54. i could careless about the reason behind him refusing to sign the law… we all know that they need to spout homophobic statements to appeal to their populace and him refusing to sign for WHATEVER reason is good enough for me… After the fall out in Nigeria, this is a bit of “good” news…

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 11:47am
  55. A step in the right direction atleast…

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:04pm
  56. no its not. read the article

    Replied on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:20pm
  57. this entire government needs to be removed from the face of the earth. Please read the article – the headline alone is exceptionally misleading. This man is an ignorant fool in a position of power.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:04pm
  58. “random breeding”….interesting concept and terminology…

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:13pm
  59. This guy has some seriously twisted ideas. Apparently he wants to sign the bill but procedures must be followed.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:20pm
  60. omg.. does getting into a position of power make everyone stupid??

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:28pm
  61. Right action, terrible reason.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:32pm
  62. Wtf… I’m speechless.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:12pm
  63. I say drop a bomb on this guys house

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 1:13pm
  64. For whatever reason he did it, good.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:35pm
  65. lol my o my …. U have to stop and think, “is this real?” I guess that’s what happens when ignorance rules

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:48pm
  66. Homosexuals are ok in my book so burn to death you dumb fuck

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:52pm
  67. the only reason he has truly given for blocking this bill is that it was passed by violating parliamentary procedure and because it undermined his authority.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:52pm
  68. He has these beliefs, based on our very own religious conservatives! Their aim is to do the same here in the US! Scott Lively is a horrible little monster!

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:57pm
  69. hmmm

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 3:03pm
  70. I’m so proud of being a South African, where our constitution protects homosexuality at every corner. I hope that we can be a safe-haven for the downtrodden.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 3:08pm
  71. It’s clear to me he does not understand that people are born LGBTQ+.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 3:24pm
  72. So… he thinks young people try homosexuality because they are poor? How does that make sense? And of course that lame old nonsense about how we are only lesbians because we can’t get sex from a man. Seriously, get some education and join the 21st century.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 3:25pm
  73. Glad to see he has more sense than bigotry.

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:31pm
  74. Right decision for the wrong reasons…

    Posted on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:55pm