Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his stand against homosexuality, saying that the act is unnatural and a deviation from normal. He also accused the west of imposing its beliefs and values on the rest of the world.
Museveni made the statement while addressing parliament on Thursday in a sitting held at Kololo Independence Grounds. In a brief statement about the issue that continues to dominate public debate, Museveni told MPs that they will get time and discuss the matter thoroughly.
“Is it by nature or by nurture?…we need to answer those questions," Museveni said. "This deviant, is he deviant by nature or by nurture? We need a medical opinion on that. We shall discuss it thoroughly.”
“The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other people...Europeans and other groups marry cousins and near relatives, here to marry within a clan is taboo…should we impose sanctions on them for marrying relations? So, we should put sanctions on people who are marrying their cousins in other parts of the world. This is not our job, if they are marrying their cousins that is their problem.”
The president noted that sex in Uganda and maybe in other parts of Africa is confidential.
“Even heterosexuality, even the heterosexuals, they do it confidentially, otherwise how do we come to know that you are a homosexual unless you publicize it? We shall discuss all this,” the president assured the MPs.
Museveni's statement comes at a time the legal and parliamentary affairs committee is scrutinizing the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 recently tabled before the House by Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa.
In his bill, Basalirwa emphasized the need to improve the Penal Code Act, which was enacted by British colonialists to prohibit recruitment, promotion, and funding of same-sex practices because the vice threatens the continuity of the family and the safety of children. This is the second attempt by Uganda to have a stand-alone legislation against homosexuality.
On December 20, 2013, parliament passed the first Anti Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, David Bahati and assented to by Museveni on February 24, 2014. However, the Constitutional court annulled the law on August 1, 2014, on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.
Early last month, the president assured the public that Uganda will not embrace homosexuality and that the west should stop seeking to impose its views to compel dissenting countries to normalize what he called deviations.
Museveni was then speaking at the national celebrations to mark Janani Luwum Day at Wii-Gweng village in Mucwini sub-county, Kitgum district. The celebrations were presided over by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Archbishop, Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu days after he denounced a move by the Church of England to allow clergy to bless same-sex marriages.
“We have been telling them, please, this problem of homosexuality is not something that you should normalize and celebrate," Museveni then said. "They don’t listen, they don’t respect other people’s views and they want to turn the abnormal into normal and force it on others. We shall not agree.”
According to the United Nations (UN), Uganda is among the 77 countries across the globe that criminalize homosexual practices.