The Ugandan branch of a global Christian group has condemned throwing gay and lesbian pupils out of schools but has instead called for them to be “corrected”.
Last week, the Provincial President of Mothers’ Union Uganda, Ruth Sennyonyi, spoke out against schools that expel learners for being homosexual, reports The Observer.
“We cannot keep sending children away from schools because of lesbianism. We have to deal with the problem… Then where are they going?” she asked at a symposium marking the International Day of the Family.
Sennyonyi then went on to say that “the problem” should be dealt with in schools themselves. “Yes, we don’t want lesbianism, we don’t want homosexuality but we need to prevent it from happening rather than just chasing away”, she said.
Mothers’ Union Uganda is part of the international Mothers’ Union Christian charity affiliated with the Anglican Church. It believes that marriage “is a relationship between one man and one woman”.
Peace Mutuuzo, the State Minister for Gender and Cultural Affairs, affirmed Sennyonyi’s discredited view that homosexuality is something “learned”, rather than being a natural aspect of human sexuality.
“It is dangerous [to expel lesbian pupils] because these girls have learnt about this lesbianism from schools to begin with. It is not common for these acts to begin at home, they begin at school,” Mutuuzo said.
“So, dealing with lesbianism from school is critically important. Schools must identify [gay and lesbian pupils]. We used to have prefects, we used to have spies. They still do exist. Those structures should not break. Instead of punishing this child by sending her to go and face the wrath of the world or transfer her behaviours from one school to another, we’d rather deal with the matter from school,” Mutuuzo said.
There have been numerous reports over the years of anti-LGBT hysteria and homophobia in Ugandan schools. In 2013, a high school in the town of Iganga expelled 20 girls over claims that they “formed a society that was recruiting girls into lesbianism”.
In August 2015, an all-boys school in Mbarara was forced to close temporarily when students rioted because two male pupils were allegedly discovered having sex.
Major medical and mental health organisations around the world have condemned efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender expression, known as known as “conversion therapy”, as ineffective and harmful.