Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that gays are not persecuted in his country and that the real issue is “kissing in public.”
In the interview, Museveni was asked by Amanpour about his feelings towards gay people.
He replied that before Africans came into contact with Europeans there were “a few homosexuals” in Africa and that they were not killed, persecuted or discriminated against.
“However,” said Museveni, “Africans are by nature discrete people, even for heterosexuals. We never exhibit our sexual acts in public. Therefore, the problem [is] with exhibitionism.”
He went on to add: “The second problem would be trying to lure young children into homosexuality. That would be another unacceptable aspect.”
Amanpour then asked the president about the country’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill which proposes to further criminalise homosexuality, possibly with the death penalty.
Museveni responded that, “there is no discrimination, there is no persecution, certainly there is no killing. The only thing that is controversial, not only for homosexuals, but for all forms of sexual acts is exhibitionism. You don’t kiss in public, whether you are gay or not.”
Museveni also went on to deny that LGBT activist David Kato, who was murdered in January 2011, was killed because of his sexual orientation.
Sidney Nsubuga Enoch was jailed for 30 years for beating Kato to death with a hammer, apparently because the activist made sexual advances toward him.
The president was not asked by Amanpour about existing laws that already make homosexuality illegal in Uganda, with penalties including life imprisonment.