President of Uganda Declares War on “Homosexual Lobby”
February 16, 2014 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
Uganda President Museveni announced he will sign the country’s anti-homosexuality bill and that he is prepared to face the backlash from Western powers.
“The debate is, are you born homosexual or not. That’s not for you to answer. You should ask why you are putting yourself in trouble,” said President Museveni.
“We shall have a war with the homosexual lobby, in the world, backed by these people and you,” said Museveni.
The bill, which once even included the death penalty and was dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill, calls for gay Ugandans or anyone “promoting” homosexuality to be jailed – potentially for life. Museveni made the decision to sign the bill after consulting with a panel of “medical experts.” The co-chair of that panel has publicly claimed that being gay “is just deviant behavior. It can be learned, and it can be unlearned.”
Early today, the White House released a statement calling the soon-enacted law an “affront to the gay community.” Former President Bill Clinton also released a statement on the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda, calling it a setback for personal freedom.
He said, "I have been honored to work with and support the government and people of Uganda both when I was president and through the Clinton Foundation. But I am strongly opposed to its move to criminalize homosexuality. It is a setback for personal freedom and equal rights and a rebuke to Uganda's own commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. I want to salute and encourage the brave Ugandans committed to the fundamental dignity of all people and urge the government to reverse this decision."