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Dear all, we welcome you to this blog, it is dedicated towards improving the dire situation of the lgbt persons in Uganda where discrimination, homophobia and sexism is currently at its peak. Join our cause and struggles as we make this world a better place for humanity.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ugandan President responds to Obama on Homosexuality

Absurd Statement by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni; President of the Republic of Uganda, Responding to H.E. Barack Obama’s statement on Homosexuality

I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right from the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:

1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;

2. those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and

3. exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.

The only point I disagreed on with some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Ugandans was on the persons I thought were born homosexual. According to the casual observations, there are rare deviations in nature from the normal. You witness cases like albinos (nyamagoye), barren women or men (enguumba), epa (breastless women) etc. I, therefore, thought that similarly there were people that were born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex. That is why I thought that that it was wrong to punish somebody on account of being born abnormal. That is why I refused to sign the Bill and, instead, referred it to our Party (the NRM) to debate it again.
In the meantime, I sought for scientific opinions on this matter. I am grateful to Ms. Kerry Kennedy of the USA who sent me opinions by scientists from the USA saying that there could be some indications that homosexuality could be congenital.

In our conference, I put these opinions to our scientists from the Department of Genetics, the School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health. Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic. It was learnt and could be unlearnt. I told them to put their signatures to that conclusion which they did. That is why I declared my intention to sign the Bill, which I will do. I have now received their signed document, which says there is no single gene that has been traced to cause homosexuality. What I want them to clarify is whether a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual. Then my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.

After my statement to that effect which was quoted widely around the World, I got reactions from some friends from outside Africa. Statements like: “it is a matter of choice” or “whom they love” which President Obama repeated in his statement would be most furiously rejected by almost the entirety of our people. It cannot be a matter of choice for a man to behave like a woman or vice-versa. The argument I had pushed was that there could be people who are born like that or “who they are”, according to President Obama’s statement. I, therefore, encourage the US government to help us by working with our Scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual. When that is proved, we can review this legislation. I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our Scientists.

I would like to discourage the USA government from taking the line that passing this law will “complicate our valued relationship” with the USA as President Obama said. Countries and Societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making. “Valued relationship” cannot be sustainably maintained by one Society being subservient to another society. There are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West. Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody. We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.
I thank everybody.

Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

A misconception by Ugandan Scientists about Homosexuality and genetics

This is what the so called scientists came up as an academic research findings about the being of homosexuality, its on this basis that they are urgung the president of Uganda Museveni to sign into law the Anti- Homosexuality Bill that was passed by the partliament last December 2013.
As LGBTI our resolve to be what we are shall never diminish, we shall continue to strive for the fundamental rights and our freedoms in Uganda and elsewhere -  William


A Ministerial Committee comprising of scientists from MOH and Makerere University was set up to study homosexuality and genetics in human beings and advise the President and the NRM Caucus on the subject of homosexuality.  The committee comprised of; -
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng - Director General of Health Services -
Dr. Isaac Ezati –  Director Planning and Development at MOH -
Dr. Jacinto Amandua – Commissioner Clinical Services -
Dr. Sheila Ndyanabang – Head, Mental Health Desk -
Prof. Seggane Musisi – Professor of Psychiatry at Makerere -
Assoc. Prof. Eugene Kinyanda –  Senior Research Scientist, Medical Research Council -
Dr. David Basangwa –  Director, Butabika Hospital -
Dr. Sylvester Onzivua – Senior Pathologist, Mulago Hospital -
Dr. Misaki Wayengera – Geneticist, Makerere -
Dr. Paul Bangirana –  Clinical Psychologist, Makerere
Prof. Wilson Byarugaba –  Rtd. Professor and former Head of Human and Molecular Genetics, Dept of Pathology, Makerere  Two medical Parliamentarians names; Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and Dr. Medard Bitekerezo also presented a report whose findings and conclusions concurred with that of the Ministerial Committee. 
The following were their observations;
1. There is no definitive gene responsible for homosexuality.
2. Homosexuality is not a disease but merely an abnormal behavior which may be learned through experiences in life.
3. In every society, there is a small number of people with homosexuality tendencies.
4. Homosexuality can be influenced by environmental factors e.g. culture, religion and peer pressure among others.
5. The practice needs regulation like any other human behavior especially to protect the vulnerable.
6. There is need for further studies to address sexuality in the African context. Presidential Advisor on Science Dr. Richard Tushemereirwe stated that homosexuality has serious Public Health consequences and should therefore not be tolerated. H.E. the President then made it clear that his work was done and that all he needed was for the Scientists to sign the paper they presented since it would be a historical document forming basis for the signing of the Bill. H.E. also declared that he would sign the Bill since the question of whether one can be born a homosexual or not had been answered.  The President emphasized that Promoters, exhibitionists and those who practice homosexuality for Mercenary reasons will not be tolerated and will therefore be dealt with harshly.

Hon. Anite Evelyn
NRM Caucus Spokes person

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ugandan LGBT Press Statement on the AHB recently passed.

We shall not abuse power like the Parliament but we shall overcome using our inherent rights to expression, life, dignity and respect amongst so many.
Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender persons remind Ugandan leaders of their duty to protect its citizens. Making citizens live in fear is against human Rights instruments i.e International, regional and the constitution of Uganda to which you are a signatory. We also want to remind Uganda that during the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva March 2012, you are on records of the Human Rights Council that you will protect the LGBT community. You will be held accountable should this Act become law. This Act is a threat to the economic and social development of this country. We want to inform all Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender tourists and all friends and allies coming to Uganda that this is now a no go area as the Parliament has made it very clear that you are not welcome here. It is unfortunate to see that we have to raise this alarm, instead of being part of the campaign to promote the Ugandan tourism industry. This is not our making however Ugandan law makers have decided to make Uganda unsafe. The same fate awaits expatriates who come to work or invest in Uganda! Where is the spirit of patriotism when our leaders want their own, sentenced to life in prisons? This act /law would take Uganda back 50 Years. Issues of cutting Donor AID have arisen.
We want to make this very clear. We don’t support AID cut because of the detrimental effects this will have on our national budget that supports all Ugandans.
However we cannot influence foreign policies of donor countries whose citizen’s demand that tax payer’s money not be sent to countries that don’t respect Human Rights in general.
 We are calling on all Civil Society, Members of Parliament and all Ugandans who respect Human rights to strongly oppose the passage of this draconian Act. This Act, if passed into law will and is already affecting our present and future generations. We have to bear in mind that the Act is not only affecting the LGBT community but a majority of Ugandans. We call for calm within our community and allies and everyone who might be affected in the wake of the passage of this bill by parliament, be very vigilant during this trying time but don’t lose hope. God will make a way. We want to take this opportunity to thank the world for standing with us all these years and the years to come. Your undying support and solidarity to this community keeps us strong. Please continue. Finally we want to assure you that despite this setback we are not broken AND never will, in fact we are stronger than before and we shall not leave any stone unturned to challenge this Act and parliament’s actions. This is our country and you SHALL not determine for consented adults who they should love. We refuse to be marginalized!
Some Ugandans are GAY, get over it.
Merry Xmas and a prosperous New Year

Friday, 20 December 2013

Bad Day for LGBTI community as Ugandan parliament passes draconian anti-gay bill

Kampala — Uganda's parliament on Friday adopted an anti-homosexuality bill that will see repeat offenders jailed for life, with lawmakers hailing it as a victory against "evil" for the deeply religious nation.
Deputies voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text, which has been widely condemned by rights activists and Western leaders -- with US President Barack Obama describing it as "odious".
The lawmaker behind the bill, David Bahati, said a death penalty clause was dropped from the final version of the bill, which must now go to President Yoweri Museveni for approval.
"This is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil," Bahati told AFP.
"Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks," he said.
First proposed in 2009, the bill had been shelved following international condemnation, but parliamentary spokeswoman Hellen Kaweesa said the changes meant that it had secured "majority support" among MPs.
The initially proposed bill would have introduced the death sentence for anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for a second time, as well as for gay sex where one partner is a minor or has HIV.
Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise. Gay men and women in the country face frequent harassment and threats of violence. Rights activists have also reported cases of lesbians being subjected to "corrective" rapes.
In 2011, prominent Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on the front page along with a yellow banner reading "Hang Them".
While homosexuality was already illegal, the new bill stiffens penalties and also criminalises the public promotion of homosexuality -- including discussions by rights groups.
The bill sparked a strong reaction from activists.
"I am officially illegal," Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha said after the vote.
Leslie Lefkow of Human Rights Watch said that President Yoweri Museveni "should not sign the abhorrent anti-homosexuality law just passed".
The vote also comes a day after parliament passed an anti-pornography law that bans anything that "shows sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks", according to the Monitor newspaper.
It also outlaws "any erotic behaviour intended to cause sexual excitement or any indecent act or behaviour tending to corrupt morals".
In 2008, former ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba Buturo tried to pass similar legislation claiming a woman wearing provocative clothing risked causing traffic accidents by distracting drivers.
President Museveni called an uproar in 2012 when he told female school students to "keep a padlock on your private parts until the time comes to open them when you have a husband".
In addition to outlawing "provocative" clothing, the anti-pornography bill will result in scantily dressed performers being banned from Ugandan television. It will also closely monitor what individuals watch on the Internet.http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hGIAcRFCWWsNpSD-g3tPc4yQ2Eqw?docId=6ba408e1-4adc-4408-a6fc-8ce5e0d92ce6

Sunday, 18 August 2013

2nd Annual Uganda Gay Pride Parade.

Beyondy, who performed on August. 3, 2013, says she was beaten up by police at last year's gay pride parade. (Hilary Heuler/for VOA) 
Beyondy who performed on August. 3, 2013, says she was beaten up by police at last year's gay pride parade.
Saturday’s march was sheltered in the leafy recesses of a botanical garden about 20 miles from Kampala. But this year, police were informed in advance and the authorities did not intervene. Some revelers felt it was only a matter of time before they are able to march through the streets of the capital.

“Guys, it’s baby steps," said one marcher. "Today, we are here, miles away from Kampala. Baby steps. Soon we shall be on Kampala Road.”

Grim history

Uganda has a grim track record when it comes to gay rights.

The country grabbed headlines in 2009 with the introduction of a draconian anti-homosexuality bill which proposed the death penalty for acts of so-called “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill has yet to be debated by parliament.

The proposed legislation whipped up homophobia in Uganda and drove some homosexuals out of the country. But, according to Sandra Ntebi, who handles security for the gay and lesbian community, the number of activists has also been growing.

“We have more energy than three or five years back when the bill had just been tabled and everyone was running," Ntebi said. "We were not feeling that we really deserved to stay in our own country. But most of us have decided to come back on the ground and we fight for our rights from home.”

There is no question that being homosexual in Uganda is still difficult. Police regularly break up events held by the gay and lesbian community, and homosexuals are often disowned by their families and shunned by friends. Violence and intimidation occur on a regular basis.

Improving conditions

But Mukwano insists that the situation in Uganda has been exaggerated in the international media, and that there are plenty of countries that are worse.

“People are dying in Ethiopia," Mukwano said. "People are dying elsewhere in the world. In Jamaica, people are being beaten all the time because they are gay. So I think that was over-exaggerating that Uganda is the worst place to be gay.”

One brightly dressed transsexual, who goes by the name Beyondy, says that Saturday’s event just made her feel free.

“Last year, I was one of the people who were beaten up by the police," Beyondy said. "So today I’m happy that we are free. No one is staring and stopping our marching.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

UK Deported Ugandan lesbian asylum seeker dies

Campaigners are blaming the UK Border Agency for deporting an asylum seeker who has reportedly died in Uganda after she claimed she was at risk of homophobic persecution.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) deported Jackie Nanyonjo to the African country on 12 January.

Campaigners are blaming the UK Border
She had fought strongly against the deportation order and continued to resist the decision, becoming ill in the process, during her transit to Uganda’s Entebbe Airport.
According to the human rights group, Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ), Jackie Nanyonjo died in Uganda on Friday 8 March. It said in a statement: “When Jackie arrived at Entebbe Airport the ‘escort’ party handed her over to the Ugandan authorities, who held her for many more hours without any medical attention.
“When family members finally met her, long after the flight had landed, Jackie was in terrible pain and vomiting blood; they rushed her to a clinic, but in a country with widespread poverty and limited medical facilities they were unable to get the medical attention Jackie needed.
“Since Jackie was in hiding as a known lesbian, protected by relatives, every trip to a doctor or hospital involved a risk to her life and to the safety of her family. They were condemned to watch the agonising decline of Jackie’s health and strength over the next two months.”
MFJ paid tribute to Jackie Nanyonjo and said: “In Britain she had been able for the first time to live and love openly as a lesbian; she was much-loved by a wide circle of friends who kept in touch with her after she was deported and who miss her deeply.”
The group has arranged for a protest to take place outside the Home Office in Westminster, central London, from 12.30pm on Thursday 14 March.
MFJ has repeatedly accused the UK Border Agency of trying to deport LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face homophobic persecution – the claims have always been denied by the Home Office and UKBA.
Gay people continue to face physical attacks and social rejection in Uganda.
In 2011, activist David Kato was beaten to death but police denied this was related to his sexuality.
The Ugandan Parliament is considering legislation aimed at increasing penalties for homosexual acts.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Controversial Journalist Andrew Mwenda on educating Ugandans to counter homophobia

By Melanie Nathan, February 09, 2013.
Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 2.53.46 PMAndrew Mwenda is one of the few straight and reasonable  voices to speak to the issues surrounding the Anti- homosexuality Bill in Uganda. He is an outspoken journalist who provides this video recording below as an explanation, with his reasoning, why the West should not cut AID to Uganda as a solution to the Anti-homosexuality Bill - and he provides a controversial desensitization suggestion.
The otherwise known " The Kill the Gays Bill," has been languishing in the political arena in Uganda, with a few Parliamentary introductions since 2009.  It is currently poised for passage at #6 on last Week's Parliamentary Agenda.
In this video Mwenda notes that 90% of Ugandans are homophobic and so he believes that cutting AID by the West is a counterproductive and antagonist approach which will not serve to educate Ugandans about homosexuality. He believes that a discussion of the issue and engagement over time will help to change attitudes in Uganda. He also suggests that the tabloid red pepper exposure of the gay sex act, could help desensitize Ugandans.
While I applaud Mr. Mwenda's stance and fully understand his reasoning, especially on the issue of sovereignty, it brings up a few issues for me, some which I think he may have missed.
Firstly he makes the cardinal mistake of equating homosexuality with the act of sex, by suggesting that if people see more images of the actual sex act between two men, they will become desensitized.  I am sorry to inform Mr. Mwenda that such an idea demonstrates that he is falling into the very trap that exacerbates homophobia in the first place.   Homosexuality is not about the act of sex or sodomy. That is how it has been sold as a negative concept in Uganda.  You have people like crazy Rev. Martin Ssemba ranting on and on about the act of sodomy. You have David Bahati the author of the Kill the Gays Bill, justifying death to homosexuals with his interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah.
So all Mwenda is really doing in this video discussion is perpetuating myth. Homosexuality is not about the act of sex. It is about two people of the same gender being attracted to each other and having a loving relationship, in respect of which sex is incidental.  Surely heterosexual people should understand that sex does not define their entire relationship?
Indeed one cannot force cultural change over night. But it is myth and lies that need to be countered and then maybe Ugandans will understand that homosexuality is not a cultural issue. It is a human issue. Sexuality is a human right. Ugandans do not understand this - that all humans - regardless of culture have the same innate sexuality experiences.  Thinking otherwise is like saying your brains and blood is different. It is the lack of understanding that is cultural and that can be remedied with truthful debate and a strategic re-education. The latter needs to be a mission, at the very least,  of the Christian colonialists and Evangelicals who started the lies in the first place.
1.  The issue of Sovereignty: - Indeed all countries must make their own laws unfettred. But now Uganda is seeking to make a law based upn a belief system supported only by myth and lies, as injected by white colonialists and Evangelical zealots.  Surely Mr. Mwenda a much more effective dialogue than one of mere infusion ought to be called for. Surely some worthy leadership from the straight community such as your good self is called for. This would need to be much more proactive before you can expect the world to simply accept that Ugandans can so legislate.
Take South Africa as an example.  How many more years would the South Africans have had to wait for the Afrikaner Government to get the message.,. It was sanctions that brought them to their knees on the issue. And it matters not whether a majority or minority of the population was impacted. it is all the same when you speak about sovereignty.
2. The issue of global participation: I agree, AID ought not be cut for the reason of homophobia.  However if it  is cut it should be because of Uganda's huge incidence of corruption - and not because of the Anti-homosexuality Bill. The latter will just cause a backlash and further scapegoating gays. So I agree in principle.  However what Mwenda does not seem to realize or simply omits is that some international corporations  have  a presence in Uganda, such as Barclays Bank and Hilton hotels. These companies have all inclusive hiring diversity policies on their website, and purposefully reach out to LGBTI people.  Does Uganda expect these companies to stay in Uganda and conform to their homophobia or do Ugandans respect their independence and right to their views too?
So while different to cutting AID, I have no doubt many businesses will be forced to stop doing business with Uganda and will be forced to stop operating in Uganda, because the new Anti-gay law will make it operationally impossible. remember the new law requires that an employer turn over a known gay within 24 hours or that employer can face three years in prison. no western busines in its right mind will continue to operate under such threat.
Mr. Mwenda you are a great voice for reason- however stop being an apologist and look at more productive ways to have this conversation at this time.  Using the issue of  asking that AID not be cute and the suggestion of more visual gay sex is hardly a strategy.  There is no time to waste for those whose lives will be dramatically impacted by the Bill.  There is no time to spend - for an entire generation to go by before education by infusion works; certainly not in a climate where there has been active promotion of the hate.
Andrew Mwenda is still a great ally and an important voice and I do not purport to understand Ugandans better than he does, however I believe strongly that it is time for people in his capacity to introduce a much more productive and proactive route toward the truth about homosexuality for presentation to Ugandans.
About Andrew Mwenda:
A Ugandan journalist, founder and owner of The Independent, Uganda's premier current affair's news magazine, he attended Busoga College Mwiri in eastern Uganda before attending Makerere University. He was arrested and released on bail by the Ugandan government for "being in possession of seditious material and of publishing inflammatory articles". He earned a master's degree in Development Studies at the University of London in the UK. He was previously the political editor of The Monitor newspaper and presenter of Andrew Mwenda Live on the KFM radio station. In 2005, he was among sixteen senior journalists invited by the British government to meet prime minister Tony Blair to discuss the forthcoming report of the Commission for Africa.
In August 2005 he was charged with sedition for broadcasting a discussion of the cause of death of Sudanese vice-president John Garang.
In July 2006, Mwenda appeared before the British House of Commons committee on Global Poverty to testify against aid to Africa. He has written widely on the effects of aid on the development process in Africa and been published in such prestigious newspapers as the International Herald Tribune and Der Spiegel and done radio and television documentaries for the BBC on this subject. Mr. Mwenda has also been widely quoted in international media - BBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, The Times, The Economist, and many other newspapers, radio and television networks in Europe and North America.
He has assiduously criticised aid agencies and charities for what he says is their ineffectiveness and collusion with corruption. He believes that western aid has been largely unhelpful for African development, since it encourages dependency, sustains wars and fuels corrupt states. He argues that aid goes to the least deserving states, those that have failed their people, rather than those that have reformed. In June 2007, he gave a speech about these issues at the TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania.
In 2008, he won an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. The award is given for journalists who show courage in defending press freedom in the face of attacks, threats or imprisonment.