President Museveni becomes an authority on Homosexuality while saving Uganda from the Kill the Gays Bill FOR NOW!
In December 2013, The Ugandan Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which criminalizes homosexuality and its so called “promotion” with harsh punishment. The legislation provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality, which covers gays and lesbians. The Bill passed Parliament surreptitiously as it was not recorded on the Order Papers (Agenda) and without the requisite quorum. It then went to President Museveni for his assent. The Parliamentary version has yet to be seen by the media.
The Ugandan press is now reporting that President Museveni has written an 8 page letter to the Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, where he has apparently reprimanded her for passing the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) without quorum. However his letter, as reported by The Ugandan Monitor seems to be an endorsement of all that Homosexuality is not really about. He seems to rely on the belief that because homosexuality is abnormal, Gays should not be held accountable. The good news is that he has not assented to the Bill. But that does not mean its the end of the Bill because he does not have the power of veto. Read on..
In the letter to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and other Members of Parliament, apparently dated December 28, 2013, the President said he is forced to take issue with the Bill because “a small group of our MPs, led by Kadaga forced the Bill through Parliament in an irregular fashion.
It seems that Museveni indicated that he had asked Parliament to shelve the Bill pending an in depth study by the government.
“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?” (Reports the Ugandan Monitor)
According to the Monitor:
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?”
The article further notes:
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.
It seems that the President has reiterated the very myth and lie upon which the proponents sought justification for the Bill by stating that 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, it is alleged that he President said apart that 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.”
It seems that Museveni has not assented to the Bill and that he has sent it back to parliament. If this is true it could be good news. As that means it could still fail to pass next time around. Though it could pass on a two third majority vote after a debate and upon return if amendments are not made. It could pass at that point and then it will not require the Presidents signature for passage. But now there may be time to prevent it, if enough MPs can be convinced that it should not pass.
It is strange that the Bill has now been sent back to Parliament, without the Party caucus that the Government had indicated it would hold on the Bill.
So in sum, If Museveni has indeed formally returned the bill to Parliament, which I am unsure has in fact occurred, another debate must take place. Parliament is charged with making his requested amendments. If the such are not made, then Museveni can send the bill back yet again. At that point a two third majority is required to pass the bill again and then it will be law.
Whether the Bill has been formally returned to Parliament has yet to be confirmed. This is all confusing at this time and so we should wait until we receive confirmation and a better understanding of what has transpired.