President Yoweri Museveni
President Museveni says that he will review Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill if American scientists can prove to him that people are born gay.
Museveni issued a statement on Friday in reaction to President Obama’s condemnation of the pending law in which Obama warned that it could “complicate” America’s relationship with Uganda.
The Ugandan president said that what convinced him to sign the bill was that his belief that there are people “born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex” was challenged by a report by a group of Ugandan scientists.
“Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic,” said Museveni. (Curiously, the report appears to actually conclude that homosexuality is due to a combination of factors, including possibly genetic. Read it here.)
Museveni encouraged the US government “to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual.”
He added that “when that is proved, we can review this legislation. I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our scientists.”
Museveni discouraged the US government from taking the position that his enacting the bill will “complicate our valued relationship” because “countries and societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making.”
He argued that “there are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West.”
The president went on to claim that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was “provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality.”
There are reports that Museveni will sign the bill today (Monday 24 February). Reuters quoted Ugandan Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo as saying: “The president is signing the anti-homosexuality bill today at 11:00. He wants to sign it with the full witness of the international media to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation.”