Ugandan president blocks controversial Anti-Homosexuality bill
|Ugandan President Museveni|
By Brody Levesque | KAMPALA -- Ugandan President Museveni blocked the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill Friday according to leading Ugandan newspaper, the Daily Monitor. The paper quoted from an eight-page letter Museveni had sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga that was dated Dec. 28, 2013. Museveni chastised Kadaga for failure to follow proper parliamentary procedures in passage of the controversial law without quorum.
“Some elements, however, insisted and even without quorum of Parliament, passed it,” Museveni wrote. “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?”
The bill garnered global condemnation and criticism for its harsh punishment which criminalises sexual intercourse between same-sex partners. The legislation provides for a sentence of life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality, as well as contains provisions of punishment for those convicted of being supportive of LGBT people.
Ugandan LGBT activists had accused Parliament immediately after the bill's passage in December of illegally passing the bill without having a quorum or properly posting the notice on the Parliamentarian agenda.
But Parliament's spokesperson Helen Kawesa told the paper Thursday, that "if there was no quorum that can be established by the relevant bodies in Parliament.” She added that several Bills were passed between October and December last year, and with similar numbers in the House.
In the letter, Museveni wrote that homosexuality is an abnormal condition that can be cured and then observed that "nature goes wrong in a minority of cases."
Although the measure contains no provision for killing homosexuals; Museveni wrote, “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?”
Museveni 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.
Museveni also stated that women become lesbian for mercenary reasons, "there may be those that go into the practice because of “sexual starvation” when they fail to get married."
Museveni also noted that "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."
This is a developing story.