The Ugandan press reports tonight that President Yoweri Museveni has blocked last month’s bill which calls for a life sentence for homosexuals. Musveni says that the legislature lacked a quorum when the bill was approved.
“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?” But Parliament spokesperson Helen Kawesa yesterday said if there was no quorum, “that can be established by the relevant bodies in Parliament,” adding that several Bills were passed between October and December last year, and with similar numbers in the House.
Musceveni went on to ponder the “proper” punishment for homosexuality.
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?” 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.
The President said 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, the President said apart 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.
Musceveni said he would support a life sentence for those that “lure normal youth into these disgusting behaviours.” The future of the bill as written is unclear.