See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Uganda: President Says He Will Block Anti-Gay Bill

Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 still awaits a final decision by the country's Parliament, but the country's Daily Monitor newspaper reported Wednesday that President Yoweri Museveni has “assured the US State Department of his willingness to block the Bill”:

President Museveni has reportedly assured American authorities that he will veto Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s proposed anti-gay law, a position that breaks with his recent stance and the statements of officials in his government.

Activists gathered outside the Ugandan Mission to the United Nations in New York City in November to protest the bill.  Photo courtesy of riekhavoc on Flickr.

Activists gathered outside the Ugandan Mission to the United Nations in New York City in November to protest the bill.
Photo courtesy of riekhavoc on Flickr.

Blogger Gay Uganda points out the contradictions in the Ugandan government's messages to the West and to Ugandans themselves:

You remember the article about the President confirming to the Americans State dept that this bill will not become law?

Well, he says that to Americans. This is what the Govt in Uganda says to Ugandans.

Government’s anti-gay stand stays, says minister
In a statement issued yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa said the government does not support the promotion of homosexuality “just like we cannot promote prostitution.”

AfroGay speculates that the Ugandan government believed it could get away with the bill because world leaders have other things on their minds:

As in 1999 when Museveni himself ordered that gays be arrested and jailed in what was clearly an ill-thought-out throwaway [again the donors intervened and Museveni beat a hasty retreat], MU7 thought that the Bahati bill would be a side issue in these times when Obama is engrossed with the Taliban, Gordon Brown is a lame duck and there is no one else taking Africa that seriously apart from the barracuda-like Chinese. But the truth is that Obama and Europe are happy to take Uganda on because it is an easy target compared to, say, China. Hillary Clinton said it the other day that you don't handle China the way you do a third world country and that was her way of indicating indirectly where exactly she puts Uganda in the pecking order.

In another post, AfroGay discusses what might be happening behind the scenes:

So, even if they are now being deliberately vague about it, the government has a view about the bill. And their view is that it is terrible for their international standing and funding. The convulsions are not over yet. Bahati has been emboldened by the attention he has received, and he is clearly reveling in his fifteen minutes of fame. So, he will likely not acquiesce easily. But twist his arm the government is going to. Look out for a new clinic in Bahati’s constituency, promises of this and that to the people of Ndorwa and he might even be promised direct funding of his campaign for reelection. What Museveni wants in Uganda, Museveni gets and I predict that the bill will be a shadow of its former self by the time it reaches the floor of Parliament – if it ever gets there.

  • Pingback: GV Uganda: President Says He Will Block Anti-Gay Bill

  • Logikal1

    I work in medicine and learned the truth about gays a long time ago. I cannot believe how much anger, hate and prejudice has been foisted on society all because of one line in a religious document that wasn’t even written down for hundreds of years after it was made ‘law’. It’s the same nonsense that made women (and keeps them even today) second class citizens (or even property) in our modern world.

    One of these days the rabid anti-gays will stop listening to religious zealots and start learning a little biology. Nobody chooses to be gay and it’s not something caused by a bad date, seeing your mother naked, or any of the other nonsense one hears from the ‘gays can be cured’ crowd. Homosexuality is decided in utero.

    First off, ALL babies start off as female. At about the 4-5th week of gestation – if the DNA is male – the baby is suddenly flooded with testosterone, which soaks the tissues – especially those of the brain – and causes the male sex characteristics to develop and the female ones to be held in abeyance. Males are actually incomplete females: women have 100% of every body part in one form or another – men lack a few, which quashes the ‘men are superior’ crowd. The boys’ brains develop differently than the girls’ – and that’s where an important change may not take place.

    If the baby does not get a powerful enough rush of testosterone, or if it doesn’t ‘soak’ into the brain the baby is born physically male – but has a female brain. That’s why virtually all cross-dressers are males and why over 95% of the sex changes are male to female. They think like women, feel emotions like women, and are drawn to men like women – they truly are women trapped in men’s bodies!

    I’ve known a few men who were homosexual and none could even envision having sex with a woman. The one said he was impotent around women – it felt terribly wrong to him to engage in any sexual behaviors with girls, but he felt normal when he was with a man. (he was one of those trapped women’s brains).

    Unfortunately, since the beginning of (man’s) time there has been this sick need to have scapegoats to blame for all the troubles politicians get us into. At least in the Bible they were told to use real goats. Hitler used Jews. Today it’s gays. Tomorrow, it maybe people with blue eyes.

  • Manzoor H. Sarkar

    The problem with all these African nations & developing countries that they put their all energy to religious superstitions and so-called populist social narrow mindedness rather than solving economic problems and democratic building institutions so that the elite can be on power lifelong and carry on corruptions and illegal money building . I feel sorry for these poor & ignorant people & society . Nevertheless, I hope one day the people will overcome all these problems through mass education at large.

  • Pingback: Global Voices Online » Uganda: On the screening of gay porn in church

  • Pingback: Global Voices en Català/Valencià » Uganda: sobre la projecció de porno gai a l’església

  • Pingback: Citizen Media in Uganda « Jackfruity

  • Pingback: Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2010 » Citizen Media in Uganda

  • Pingback: Global Voices in English » Africa: International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia comes to Africa

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site