The British Medical Association (BMA) has described Uganda’s “scientific” justification for its anti-gay law as “bad science.”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he was persuaded to sign the bill last week after he consulted scientists and medical experts who said homosexuality was behavioural, not genetic “and could be unlearnt.”
At the signing of the bill, he asserted: “Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality, then society can do something about it to discourage the trends.”
Now, Vivienne Nathanson, BMA director of professional activities, has written to Museveni in protest, questioning the science and alleged medical expertise used to support the legislation.
“It is deeply disturbing that any country should pass legislation enacting discrimination against any group — in this case homosexuals,” she said.
“It is equally disturbing that the legislature was aided by so-called medical experts who reinforced bad science and prejudice,” Nathanson added.
She went on to “request that you give every consideration to the withdrawal of this piece of legislation at the earliest opportunity.”
In January, Museveni said that he would only sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill if scientists could prove to him that homosexuality is “unnatural.” He was later given a contradictory “scientific” report, compiled by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, that convinced him that “homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour.”
Museveni’s conclusions go against growing research from around the world that indicates that homosexuality is at least partly genetic or hereditary and partly caused by factors in the mother’s womb.