It was already a crime to be gay in Uganda. Adults found to have had same-sex relationships used to face seven years in prison. But this new law builds on the existing laws and goes even further to criminalise LGBT individuals - lengthening sentences for adults found 'guilty' of same-sex relationships, and extending punishments to people involved in 'promoting' homosexuality. Under the Anti-Homosexual Bill, anyone found guilty of same-sex relations would automatically be sentenced to a lifetime behind bars. It also includes prison sentences for anyone who does not report homosexual colleagues or family members to the authorities.
It is a dangerous and draconian piece of legislation and an affront to the human rights of all Ugandans. This legislation will institutionalise hatred and discrimination against LGBT people in Uganda. Its passage into law signals a very grave episode in the nation’s history. Uganda has made important progress on human rights in recent years, including criminalising torture, but this Bill is a colossal step backwards.
Museveni signed the bill despite opposition and appeals from a number of sources, including over 100 UK MPs and Peers, US President Barack Obama and Desmond Tutu, who compared Museveni's behaviour with Hitler's in Nazi Germany.
He has since faced criticism from the likes of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague who said he is ‘deeply saddened and disappointed’ with Uganda’s President for signing the law, EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton , who caled the law "draconian," US ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi and UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg:-
The Ugandan anti-gay law is an abhorrent backwards step for human rights. It should never be a crime to be LGBT.
Norway and Denmark have cut aid to Uganda, while others including US will review budgets over the new law. The US described the adoption of the law as a tragic day for Uganda, and the secretary of state, John Kerry, announced that "all dimensions" of US engagement with the country would be reviewed, including the aid budget.
There have been at least eight suicide attempts in Uganda in last two weeks over the anti-gay law, 3 of which were successful.
Museveni has used a "scientific report" to justify the belief that homosexuality is "abnormal behaviour" and made ludicrous claims that gay people give each other worms through sex, and that people are only gay because they are prostitutes who have sex for money.
He said: ”I have failed to understand that you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man... That is a really serious matter. There is something really wrong with you... Homosexuals are actually mercenaries. They are heterosexual people but because of money they say they are homosexuals. These are prostitutes because of money... No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature. That man can choose to love a man… is a matter of choice. After listening to the scientists, I got the facts. Can somebody be homosexual simply by nature? The answer is no.”
Blaming the West for the presence of gay people in Uganda, he said “arrogant and careless Western groups [had been] coming in our schools and recruiting homosexuals into homosexuality and lesbianism”.
He also said, “I advise friends from the West not to make this an issue because if they make it an issue the more they will lose... This is social imperialism. To impose social values of one group on our society... I would advise Western countries, this is a no-go area… I don’t mind being in a collision course with the West. I am prepared.”
Despite the criticism from many in the west, there are those who support this anti-gay legislation. One such individual is UK based Evangelist Paul Shinners (trustee of Cornerstone Cafe, St Neots, Cambridgeshire), who was quoted an an Ugandan newspaper while speaking at an anti-gay rally commending Uganda for the Bill, saying it was a clear stand for God and saying, “There is no other nation world over that has such a plan and through this, Uganda is going to be blessed.”
Despite this, Shinners denied his comments to the local UK press (but not to the press, politicians or people of Uganda) and claimed the event was not an anti-gay event, but this was a lie. The following articles and video, prove that Bishop David Kiganda, the host of the event Shinners attended in Uganda is deeply involved in Uganda's anti-gay movement:-
The video shows Kiganda with the vile Martin "eat da poo poo" Ssempa and David "Kill the Gays" Bahati who first presented the Bill to Parliament in 2009.
Shinners has repeatedly lied and deceived to cover his tracks. He claimed in the Hunt's Post he had demanded an apology from the other bloggers, which was a lie. He lied to me about constantly rescheduling a meeting I had set up with him. He lied to other protesters claiming he had not gone to Uganda and was being confused with someone else. He told me that he had a recording of the event that proved he was innocent, but when a reporter for the Cambridge News asked him if he had a recording, he said that they didn't make one. He was lying to one of us. Exodus 20:16 comes to mind.
He has made ludicrous claims like he can cure the blind and cure cancer, that god pays for his petrol and mortgage and that gravity only exists on earth. He has also betrayed the confidence of members of his church and spread information told to him in private, which has lead to a great deal of pain, suffering, injury and the breakdown of relationships.
He told me he could use his influence to stop the bill, but has done nothing to help the people of Uganda who face persecution, mob violence and life in prison. His only actions have been to cover his tracks in the UK and protect his business.
Shinners: A wolf in sheep's clothing
Anyone with any knowledge of the situation in Uganda and similar countries in Africa would know of the vile homophobic propaganda and building anti-gay sentiments caused by the influence of Western Evangelicals. For Paul Shinners to repeatedly travel to Africa to preach over the last decade and not witness or be aware of this is a ludicrous lie. His colleagues are some of the driving forces behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The following video shows the situation in Uganda in 2010, one year after the bill was first introduced. Since then Shinners has been to Uganda at least twice and the situation has only got worse since then with beatings, rapes and murder of homosexuals becoming an increasingly regular occurrence.
Shinners needs to stop playing both sides and either come out of the homophobia closet and stand by his principles and beliefs or condemn his Evangelical colleagues in Uganda and appeal to them to stop this vile law that is based on lies, prejudice and propaganda.