Yoweri Museveni, the President of Uganda, says he’s committed to making the Anti-Homosexuality Bill law (Photo: GODL-India)
President Yoweri Museveni has told MPs that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill must include a provision to allow “psychologically disoriented” LGBTIQ+ people to be “rehabilitated”.
This is according to a report issued by Uganda’s Presidential Press Unit on Thursday about a meeting between the president and MPs this week.
It was earlier confirmed that the government had returned the draconian bill to parliament for MPs to amend certain provisions to ensure the legislation is not struck down by the courts.
At the meeting, Museveni affirmed his commitment to making the Anti-Homosexuality Bill the law of the land once it has been revised.
“It is good that you rejected the pressure from the imperialists,” he told MPs. “I congratulate you for making that stand and also the bishops, the religious people and the citizens.”
In a disturbing development, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka asked the lawmakers to accommodate gay individuals who wish to reject their sexuality. He proposed an “amnesty” provision in the bill for those gay people who come forward to ask for “help”.
“This country has issued amnesty for people who have carried out criminal activities of treasonous nature against this country. A similar provision would be provided in this law to ensure that a person who comes out on his own is not criminalised,” Kiwanuka said.
“Be ready to sacrifice to fight homosexuals.”
The president said this was also his biggest concern with the current version of the bill and argued that it should not frighten off a gay person who wants to be “rehabilitatated”.
“I totally agree with the bill, but my original problem is the psychologically disoriented person. What you are saying is that the law doesn’t recognise him as long as he does not act. But how do you provide for him to come out [come forward]?” said Museveni.
One MP told the president that homosexuals could indeed be “helped”, giving an example of some of her female colleagues “who were homosexuals but changed and are happily married with families”.
Attempting to modify a person’s sexuality or gender identity, also known as “conversion therapy”, has been discredited as ineffectual and dangerous by mental health organisations around the world, including the World Psychiatric Association.
The president warned MPs to “be ready to sacrifice to fight homosexuals”, noting that Uganda could become the target of sanctions or the withdrawal of international aid and funding when he finally signs the bill.
“One of the things they’re threatening is to kill our 1.2 million people who have been surviving on PEPFAR [US government] funds to buy drugs for HIV/AIDS, so that we don’t buy the drugs for our people, and they die,” the president said.
“If you fear to sacrifice, you cannot fight. In order for you to fight I want to first cure you of parasitism. Europe is lost and they also want us to be lost. Those who want an easy life will end up being prostitutes,” Museveni added.