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Museveni blocks Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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By  Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Friday, January 17   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

President accuses Parliament of breaking the law by passing the Bill without quorum.

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Parliament- President Museveni has confronted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for passing the controversial Anti-gays Bill without quorum and described homosexuals as “abnormal” beings who can be “rescued” through economic empowerment.
In an eight-page letter to Speaker and MPs dated December 28, 2013, the President said he was forced to contrite on the issue by “a small group of our MPs, led by Hon Kadaga” who forced through the Bill even after he had advised to shelve it until the government had studied it in depth.

“Some elements, however, insisted and even without quorum of Parliament, passed it,” the President said. “How can you pass law without the quorum of Parliament after it has been pointed out? What sort of Parliament is this? How can Parliament be the one to break the Constitution and the Law repeatedly?”

But Parliament spokesperson Helen Kawesa yesterday said if there was no quorum, “that can be established by the relevant bodies in Parliament,” adding that several Bills were passed between October and December last year, and with similar numbers in the House.

The President said a homosexual is somebody who is abnormal because the normal person was created to be attracted to the opposite sex in order to procreate and perpetuate the human race. He said, nature goes wrong in a minority of cases.

While in the Bill passed by Parliament there is no provision for killing homosexuals; the President said, “The question at the core of the debate of homosexuality is; what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or we do contain him/her?”
While the President said homosexuality is an abnormal condition that can be cured, he disagreed with the position of Western countries that homosexuality is an “alternative sexual orientation”. “You cannot call an abnormality an alternative orientation. It could be that the Western societies, on account of random breeding, have generated many abnormal people,” he said, adding that his acid test for rejecting Western position is that nature is purposeful.

The President said apart from the people who are abnormal, it seems there is a group of those that become homosexual for “mercenary reasons”—they get recruited on account of financial inducements. He said this is a group that can be rescued and that many of the youth fall in this category.

As for lesbians, the President said apart from those born abnormal and those ones that may become lesbian for mercenary reasons, there may be those that go into the practice because of “sexual starvation” when they fail to get married.

The President said the rescue for homosexuals is first and foremost, economic, focusing on rapidly industrialised Uganda, modernisation of agriculture etc. By delaying government projects needed to create jobs for the unemployed youth, the President said the MPs are exposing the unemployed youth or “impecunious students” to the risks of homosexuality and other temptations.

“Even with legislation, they will simply go underground and continue practicing homosexuality or lesbianism for mercenary reasons,” he said.
The President said he would support a life sentence for one who lures normal youth into “these disgusting behaviours” – especially homosexuality. He said the NRM Caucus will find a scientifically correct position on the proposed anti-gay legislation.

Background

In December 2013, Parliament passed the Bill which criminalises sexual intercourse between same-sex partners. The legislation provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality, which covers gays and lesbians.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com