Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recently spoke out against his country’s controversial anti-homosexuality law that mandates life imprisonment for homosexual acts and those who do not report gay citizens. In a sprawling eight-page letter which also discussed East Africa’s fight for independence and solidarity, President Museveni admitted that he had not “concentrated his mind” on the issue of homosexuality and “who is homosexual” until the law was passed by “a small group of MPs, led by Hon Kadaga.”
President Museveni wonders: “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?”
In the rambling missive, Museveni says “a homosexual is one who is abnormal because the normal person was created to be attracted to the opposite sex,” but goes on to wonder, “What do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Do we contain him/her?”
While some argue God did not create gays and lesbians, President Museveni compares gay folks to albinos, epileptics, “barren women,” and others who have “disabilities.” Museveni goes on to assert that in the old days homosexuality could be “contained” through arranged marriages, but “this has been interfered with by the modern concept of ‘falling in love at first sight’ grabbed by our ‘modern’ women and men…. I suspect this has been the problem in Europe and the West.”
Museveni concedes that there are a certain number of “abnormal” people who are born gay, but feels that the largest group of LGBT people in his country are those who are “homosexual for mercenary reasons” and get “recruited on account of financial inducements.” When speaking of Uganda’s lesbian women, Museveni says a small number of women are born “abnormal,” but others turn to lesbianism to make ends meet, or because they are “sexually starved” because they are unmarried.
“Women are normally more than men for reasons I do not know. In the past this imbalance could have been addressed by polygamy. Some religions de-campaign this traditional practice. What, then, happens to these surplus women?”
President Museveni argues leaders can cure Uganda of its “mercenary deviants” by improving economic conditions in the country and approving legislation that would fast-track infrastructure expansion and put young people to work. He also argues that lawmakers should craft legislation that responds harshly, including life sentences, to those who “lure [people] into abnormal and deviant behaviors” for financial reasons.
President Museveni criticized Uganda’s parliament for pasting the anti-gay law, arguing gays should be “rescued,” rather than punished. He concludes homosexuals (except those who do so for “mercenary” reasons) are simply “abnormal” and should be treated as such.