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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Prior and Preceding Statements on Anti-Gay Bill in Uganda


The Obama administration says :[W]e are cognizant that there are many who share our concerns about Ugandan President Museveni’s recent enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Ensuring justice and accountability for human rights violators like the LRA and protecting LGBT rights aren’t mutually exclusive. We can and must do both.
Accordingly, we have taken the following immediate steps while we continue to consider the implications of President Museveni’s decision to enact the Anti-Homosexuality Act and how to demonstrate our support for the LGBT community in Uganda, deter other countries from enacting similar laws, and reinforce our commitment to the promotion and defense of human rights for all people – including LGBT individuals – as a U.S. priority:
  • We are shifting funding away from partners whose actions don’t reflect our values, including the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU). The IRCU’s public stance on homosexuality could foster an atmosphere of discrimination that runs counter to efforts to provide an effective and non-discriminatory response to the HIV/AIDSepidemic. While the IRCU will receive $2.3 million to ensure uninterrupted delivery of treatment to the 50,000 people under its care, we will shift the remaining $6.4 million of IRCU’s funding to other partners.
  • An effective HIV strategy must reach and treat key at-risk populations. However, the act’s provisions against “promotion” and abetting homosexuality leave questions about what researchers, health workers, and others may do under the law. As a result, we are suspending the start of a survey to estimate the size of key at-risk populations that was to be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Uganda’s Makarere University. Proceeding with the survey could pose a danger to respondents and staff.
  • The act potentially threatens the safety of LGBT tourists in Uganda and the liberty of those who show support for Uganda’s LGBT community. Therefore, approximately $3 million in funding designated for tourism and biodiversity promotion will be redirected to NGOs working on biodiversity protection.
  • We will shift the Department of Defense-sponsored Africa Air Chiefs Symposium and East Africa Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer course to locations outside of Uganda. Certain near-term invitational travel for Ugandan military and police has been suspended or canceled.We continue to look at additional steps we may take, to work to protect LGBT individuals.
Uganda Muslim Supreme Council-  Kampala (Tuesday February 18th 2014)
The President’s Decision to Sign the Anti-Gay Bill is Very Welcome
I would like to commend President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his decision to sign the anti-gay bill. Once again, he has proved that he is a leader who has his country and his people at heart.

Since the passing of the bill by the parliament of Uganda, the President has been under a lot of pressure from the promoters of the homosexuality act around the world but despite the numerous threats he received, he put morality first.

It takes a courageous leader to defy all the western powers who have gone as far a threatening to cut off aid to Uganda incase the president signs the anti-gay bill. It is now the duty of all Ugandans to rally behind the President because the coming days, weeks, months and years may not be easy for the country.

Let us unite behind our leader, abide by the laws, fight corruption, give our children relevant skills, work hard and accumulate enough wealth that will make us economically more independent and therefore less dependent on aid from the western world.

I would also like to commend His Eminence the Mufti of Uganda Shk. Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje and other religious leaders who openly and consistently supported the anti-gay bill and encouraged the President to sign instead of bowing to pressure from the promoters of homosexuality.

I cannot forget to commend our parliament under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga – the no nonsense lady; for passing this very important bill. I also thank the NRM parliamentarians who attended the recent workshop in Kyankwanzi for giving our president the last bit of courage he needed to sign the anti-gay bill into law.

This however does not mean that homosexuality is now finished. The anti-gay law will only strengthen the fight against this foreign and inhuman act. The struggle continues because with this development, the so called gay activists are going to descend on Uganda with all their resources and try to turn our country into a homosexuality hub in Africa.

We should therefore be on the alert and ready to fight and defeat these perpetrators of homosexuality. If we do not act now, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will not be safe and this will put the future of this country in jeopardy.

Those who have read and still remember what happened to Sodomy and Gomora and those who believe in the true teachings of God as well as those who understand and respect nature should know what I am talking about.
Thank you very much President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for showing leadership.
 Haji Nsereko Mutumba
Public Relations Officer
Uganda Muslim Supreme Council
Tel: 0701409504 or 0772409504
Facebook page: Uganda Muslim Supreme Council/PRO’s Office

Open letter from public health clinicians, researchers, and academics regarding Uganda’s
Anti-Homosexuality Bill "

To His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda:
We, the undersigned, are writing out of grave concern regarding the likely implications of Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Bill(“the Bill”) should it be passed into law. We are clinicians, researchers and academics working in the field of public health.
Many of us have extensive experience providing physical and mental health services and doing public health-focused research in sub-Saharan Africa.
We note that Ugandan experts, including Uganda’s Human Rights Commission and the Uganda Law Society, have studied this Bill and found that it violates obligations under Uganda’s Constitution to protect and uphold fundamental freedoms of its people. This Bill also contradicts scientific evidence regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
 In your letter sent on December 28 to the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, you have expressed an interest in deliberating over evidence and science regarding sexual orientation and arriving at a “scientifically correct position” on the Bill. The purpose of this open letter is to focus on areas of particular concern to us as public health 1 experts, beyond our fundamental support for the human rights and human dignity of all Ugandans: 1) the overwhelming evidence about homosexuality and the myths perpetuated by the Bill and 2) the likely public health implications of this Bill, should it become law in Uganda.
1. Myths and Facts About Homosexuality
Your December 28 letter questions: a) whether homosexuality is an abnormality and b) whether homosexuality is a condition of which a person can be “cured” or “rescued.”
Evidence from independent technical normative agencies and respected medical and sociological professional bodies around the world could not be more clear in response to both questions: Homosexuality is not a pathology, an abnormality, a mental disorder, or an illness—it is a variant of sexual behavior found in people around the world.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are normal. According to Uganda’s national diagnostics and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM), homosexuality is not classified as a mental disorder. Neither is homosexuality a condition from which a person can be “converted.” Despite claims to the contrary, there is no rigorous and peer reviewed scientific evidence that a person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered can be “cured.”
The Bill’s claim to protect children and families in Uganda appears to be derived from the harmful myth that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people pose a graver risk to children and families than people of other sexual orientations.
There is no such evidence—lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people pose no greater risk to children than heterosexuals. In fact, sexual and physical violence experienced all too routinely by children and adolescents in Uganda would be unaddressed by this Bill. Implementation of this Bill would likely deplete the already limited resources invested in Uganda into robust investigations and prosecutions of cases of violence against children. Rather, the limited funds would be wasted on hunts by police for consenting adults suspected or accused of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. !
2. Undermining public health and human rights
This Bill would further exacerbate the marginalization, discrimination and exclusion of people known to or suspected of being homosexual. Research shows that laws and policies that increase stigma and discrimination among groups of people mean those people are less able to access health services because of fear of arrest, intimidation, violence, and discrimination. ( examples edited out-ED)
Ironically, the Bill’s clause prohibiting the “promotion of homosexuality” as well as “aiding and abetting homosexuality” would criminalize urgently needed service delivery for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The Government of Uganda recently announced plans to implement government funded clinics designed to reach men who have sex with men and sex workers. 7 This Bill, if passed into law, would sabotage such efforts by criminalizing them. This will have a disastrous impact on the response of the nation as a whole to HIV as well as other public health priorities. This clause would also put international and national health service providers funded by international donors at risk of criminal prosecution if they discuss homosexuality in the course of their work.
The Bill conflicts with a health worker’s basic ethical obligation not to discriminate in the provision of medical services and would create a culture of fear of arrest and imprisonment among service providers. While a clause in earlier versions of the Bill that anyone suspected of being homosexual be reported to police might have been removed from the Bill that Parliament passed, the clause prohibiting promotion, aiding and abetting homosexuality would still force health workers to discriminate.
 Contrary to recent claims that health workers in Uganda do not engage in discrimination when providing services, Ugandans seeking health services in the public and private sectors frequently report being questioned by health workers about their sexual activities and marital status—creating for LGBT populations a legitimate fear of retaliation and discrimination if they are honest about their sexual orientation. This climate of fear would be markedly increased should the Bill become law.
Scientific research also shows a powerful association between homophobic abuse and violence and increased vulnerability to HIV. This is not due to an intrinsic condition of homosexuality, but a harmful effect of homophobia. For example, men who have sex with men in Kampala who have experienced verbal or physical homophobic abuse are five times more likely to be HIV positive than men who have sex with men who have not experienced such abuse, 8 indicating a strong association between stigma and intolerance and HIV infection risk. Hatred and stigma drives vulnerable and isolated communities such as men who have sex with men further from essential preventative and curative health services.
We believe this Bill should not be passed into law—it blatantly defies highly corroborated scientific evidence and it would have a harmful impact on public health, human rights, and the freedom of all people to enjoy freedom from discrimination in Uganda. We implore that you veto this Bill in all forms. We note that Ugandan politicians and policymakers will meet February 6 in Kyankwanzi, Uganda where this issue will be discussed amongst the National Resistance Movement Caucus.
Representatives of our group of signatories request the opportunity to join you in Kyankwanzi to share scientific evidence face-to-face, given the intense interest this topic has generated, apparent misinformation among decision makers, and the Bill’s serious consequences for Ugandans should it be passed into law.   
Organizations and individuals edited out -ED:
A statement from Dr. Vanessa Kerry, MD, MSc, CEO of Seed Global Health , responding to Ugandan President Museveni signing anti-gay legislation :
“News of Ugandan President Museveni signing into law legislation criminalizing homosexuality has attracted the outcry of many, including the Obama Administration, and I - along with our team at Seed Global Health - loudly join this chorus calling for repeal.
This issue is especially important to Seed Global Health, and me personally, because of our mission. We strive to help improve the health of all where we work by supporting US doctors and nurses to help train a new generation of medical and nursing providers in Uganda and other countries. We and our Ugandan partners can’t do this if patients are at risk disclosing their sexual orientation and doctors and nurses are put in harm’s way for treating gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) Ugandans. Furthermore, we are restricted from safely sending volunteers to Uganda who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender themselves.
Any effort to outlaw or push LGBT Ugandans out of sight is wrong. It hurts Uganda, the health of all its population, and the ability to treat all its citizens with the fundamental rights and dignity they and we all deserve. We believe Ugandans and the world deserve better. Please join us in calling for repeal and condemning this law."
This statement has been posted on Seed Global Health’s Facebook page .
Please email Bridget DeSimone at bdesimone@burnesscommunications.com or call 301-280-5735 if you would like to speak to someone withSeed Global Health .

Study on Anti-Homosexuality in the World
This study of gay brothers, reported elsewhere in the world, is relevant to Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill but has not received any coverage there. 
This study as well as many others is a reason why over 200 scientists and researchers from around the world wrote a letter to President Museveni regarding scientific consensus on homosexuality. (see attached letter)
The simple facts are that choice has nothing to do with experiencing attractions to the same sex. The Anti-gay law will not change anyone from gay to straight and will be fundamentally unfair as a result. 
Warren Throckmorton, PhD
Professor Psychology
Grove City College
President Yoweri Museveni’s speech on signing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

It seems the topic of homosexuals was provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism, just as they carelessly handle other issues concerning Africa.  Initially, I did not pay much attention to it because I was busy with the immediate issues of defence, security, electricity, the roads, the railways, factories, modernization of agriculture, etc.
When, eventually, I concentrated my mind on it, I distilled three problems: those who were promoting homo-sexuality and recruiting normal people into it; as a consequence of No. 1 above, many of those recruited were doing so for mercenary reasons – to get money – in effect homosexual prostitutes; these mercenary homosexual prostitutes had to be punished; homosexuals exhibiting themselves; Africans are flabbergasted by exhibitionism of sexual acts – whether heterosexual or otherwise and for good reason.  Why do you exhibit your sexual conduct? Are you short of opportunity for privacy - where you can kiss, fondle (kukirigiita, kwagaaga) etc.?  Are we interested in seeing your sexual acts – we the Public?  I am not able to understand the logic of the Western Culture.  However, we Africans always keep our opinions to ourselves and never seek to impose our point of view on the others.  If only they could let us alone.
It was my view that the above three should be punished harshly in order to defend our society from disorientation.  Therefore, on these three I was in total accord with the MPs and other Ugandans. I had, however, a problem with Category 4 or what I thought was category 4 – those “born” homosexual.  I thought there were such people – those who are either genetic or congenital homosexuals.  The reason I thought so was because I could not understand why a man could fail to be attracted to the beauties of a woman and, instead, be attracted to a fellow man.  It meant, according to me, that there was something wrong with that man – he was born a homosexual – abnormal.
I, therefore, thought that it would be wrong to punish somebody because of how he was created, disgusting though it may be to us.  That is why I refused to sign the Bill.  In order to get to the truth, we involved Uganda Scientists as well as consulting Scientists from outside Uganda.  My question to them was: “Are there people that are homosexual right from birth?”. 
After exhaustive studies, it has been found that homosexuality is in two categories:  there are those who engage in homosexuality for mercenary reasons on account of the under – developed sectors of our economy that cause people to remain in poverty, the great opportunities that abound not withstanding; and then there are those that become homosexual by both nature (genetic) and nurture (up-bringing). 
The studies that were done on identical twins in Sweden showed that 34% - 39% were homosexual on account of nature and 66% were homosexual on account of nurture.  Therefore, even in those studies, nurture was more significant than nature.  Can somebody be homosexual purely by nature without nurture?  The answer is: “No”.  No study has shown that.  Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality, then society can do something about it to discourage the trends.  That is why I have agreed to sign the Bill.
Since Western societies do not appreciate politeness, let me take this opportunity to warn our people publicly about the wrong practices indulged in and promoted by some of the outsiders.  One of them is “oral sex”.  Our youth should reject this because God designed the human being most appropriately for pleasurable, sustainable and healthy sex.  Some of the traditional styles are very pleasurable and healthy.
The mouth is not engineered for that purpose except kissing.  Besides, it is very unhealthy.  People can even contract gonorrhea of the mouth and throat on account of so-called “oral sex”, not to mention worms, hepatitis E, etc.
The Ministry of Gender and Youth should de-campaign this buyayism imported from outside and sensitize the youth about the healthy life style that is abundant in our cultures.  We reject the notion that somebody can be homosexual by choice; that a man can choose to love a fellow man; that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.
Since my original thesis that there may be people who are born homosexual has been disproved by science, then the homosexuals have lost the argument in Uganda.  They should rehabilitate themselves and society should assist them to do so.
Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)
P R E S I D E N T
24th February, 2014.

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