In a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Uganda has justified its anti-gay policies by claiming that gay people “recruit” children into homosexuality.
The submission is for the Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism of the Human Rights Council that periodically examines the human rights performance of all 193 UN member states.
Uganda’s position reinforces the widely held misconception in Africa that homosexuality is a “practice” that can be “taught” to others rather than being a natural human sexual orientation.
In the section titled “Sexual orientation issues” Uganda’s submission notes that the country’s Constitution prohibits marriage between persons of the same sex and that Sections 145 and 146 of the Penal Code prohibit same-sex relations.
“While the Constitution, under Chapter Four, guarantees rights of persons, it also imposes duties and obligations on them to ensure that in the enjoyment of such rights, they do not infringe on the rights of others,” the submission reads.
“Those who practice and / or support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues continue to push for their recognition as a right. There is information of covert recruitment, of especially our children and youth, into such practices which we consider to be detrimental to the moral fabric of our society.
“In Uganda, there is an overwhelming consensus that such practices are untenable; and thus culturally and legally unacceptable. It is our considered opinion that such practices remain a matter of private choice. There should be no promotion of those practices,” concludes the section.
The submission fails to mention ongoing attempts, thus far unsuccessful, to pass legislation in Uganda’s parliament that would impose the death penalty in certain cases of repeated homosexual “offences”.
In its conclusion, the submission asserts that “Uganda has adequate legal, policy and institutional frameworks and measures for addressing issues pertaining to the
sustainable promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights”.
In related news, LGBT Asylum News reports that Uganda’s only LGBT bar, Sappho Islands, closed on Sunday night, apparently because the landlady believed that the “bar brings people who look strange”.