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Ugandan president accuses Europe of wanting to impose homosexuality

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni today accused Europe of wanting to “impose” homosexuality in the African country, where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people are persecuted and suffer many stigmas.

“Europeans don’t listen. They don’t respect other people’s customs. They want to make normality their normality, and impose it on others”, said Museveni, in Kampala, during a rally to mark the 46th anniversary of the death of Ugandan Archbishop Janani Luwum, killed by the regime of dictator Idi Amin (1971- 1979).

“I want to congratulate Ugandan believers for rejecting homosexuality. Europeans don’t listen to us when we tell them that this problem of homosexuality is something we shouldn’t normalize or celebrate,” he added.

According to Museveni, “It is true that there were some homosexuals (in Uganda) before the arrival of Europeans, but it was clearly a deviation from the norm, like a person with six fingers instead of five.”

The Ugandan President made these comments a day after the Uganda Inter-Religious Council (IRCU) said it intended to bring back to the country’s parliament a bill introduced years ago to punish “repeat homosexuals” with life imprisonment.

In February 2014, Museveni ratified that bill, but Uganda’s Constitutional Court struck down the law six months later, arguing that there was not a sufficient quorum during its vote in parliament.

“This law still represents our position,” Ugandan Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje said today during a press conference in Kampala.

Discussions of this law – mainly driven by grassroots evangelist pastors – triggered a wave of attacks on LGBTIQ people in Uganda, leading to the murder of some of them.

Today, Uganda’s penal code still has a law that dates back to 1950 – 12 years before the country gained independence from the UK – that penalizes same-sex sexual relations with up to seven years in prison.

*With Lusa

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