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Breaking: Uganda President Signs Far-Reaching Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

by David Badash on February 24, 2014

in Bigotry Watch,Discrimination,News,Politics

Post image for Breaking: Uganda President Signs Far-Reaching Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

After years on controversy and pleas from many western governments — including the U.S. — for a veto, president Yoweri Museveni a few hours ago just signed Uganda‘s Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) into law. The legislation, formerly known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, reportedly removes the death penalty but mandates life in prison for acts of “aggravated homosexuality” and provides for long prison sentences for anyone who supports the civil rights of LGBT people or offers them aid. It even calls for jail time for those who suspect someone of being gay and does not report them to authorities within hours.

“Our scientists should meet homosexuals and study them and rehabilitate them,” Museveni, as he signed the bill today, said, according to one Ugandan tabloid. “I could not understand why a man can’t be attracted to a beautiful woman and instead get attracted to a fellow man.” He reportedly also said that the “mouth is for eating not sex, the mouth is not engineered for that thing.”

Claiming the “homosexuality is not genetic,” Musevei at today’s signing in Entebbe also reportedly stated, “We don’t impose ourselves on Western culture. What is wrong with this Western culture? Why must you show us how you kiss?”

The Uganda government’s official Media Centre reports Museveni also claimed, “My original thesis that someone can be born a homosexual has been proved wrong,” adding, “Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality then society can do something about it.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu strongly condemned the signing of the bill. “Tutu equated discrimination against gay people with the horrors of Nazi Germany and apartheid-era South Africa,” the Guardian reports:

“We must be entirely clear about this: the history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste, and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God. There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts.”

The retired archbishop recalled apartheid-era police raids: “In South Africa, apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks. They would feel if the bed sheets were warm, crucial evidence to be used in the criminal case to follow. It was demeaning to those whose ‘crime’ was to love each other, it was demeaning to the policemen – and it was a blot on our entire society.”

The well-known Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha offered these tweets this morning in response to the signing:

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SeanLiberty13 February 24, 2014 at 9:40 am

The Nazi barbarian will hang.

benjaminjoel February 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

No, he'll probably be re-elected.

D.Henderson-Rinehart February 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Looking at section 5.1 of the bill, "A victim of homosexuality shall not be penalized for any crime committed as a direct result of his or her involvement in homosexuality.", it reads to me like any person could use this section as a defense for killing a gay person. "Your honor, this man touched me with the intent to have sex with me, so I beat him until he stopped breathing." "Case dismissed."

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