By Unwanted Witness
After the recent pronouncement by President Yoweri Museveni to endorse the controversial Anti-homosexuality bill, the minority community is not about to give up the fight. Members of the minority groups in Uganda say that they are only waiting for the president to append his signature onto the bill to launch a constitutional battle.
President Museveni promised to sign the bill after receiving a scientific report from a team of doctors constituted from the Ministry of Health and Makerere University. The report availed answers to two questions posed by President Museveni.
Is there a scientific/genetic basis for homosexuality? Can homosexuality be learned and unlearned?
The Unwanted witness talked to the Director of the Sexual Minorities in Uganda (SMUG) Julian Pepe Onzinema who revealed their next cause of action.
Q. First what does the presidential pronouncement mean to you (and as a community)?
A. This has escalated fear and worry in the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community. We thought this issue would be treated objectively, but disappointingly it hasn’t been so.
Q. Secondly do you agree with the report by the experts that Homosexuality is not a genetic issue but rather an orientation based on scientific studies?
A. The report has some credible information in it. It does confirm that homosexuality is not an abnormality. There have been so many medical reports confirming homosexuality is innate and immutable. Therefore, if anything the president should not sign this bill since it’s noted by his experts that we are not abnormal.
Q. What is your next move of action, having earlier petitioned the president on this matter?
A. We are looking to challenge the decision in the constitutional court immediately.
Q. Lastly what is your take on the fact that Homosexuals are to be added on the list of offenders to be denied bail for at least six months, as per the proposed amendments?
A. This is typically a blatant abuse of peoples’ rights, this proposal targets journalists too, this country is just diminishing in rights by the minute. For homosexuals this is as good as a death penalty knowing how the public has been brainwashed to believe homosexuals are not worth living. I hope this doesn’t come to pass.
Other MPS Reactions
Meanwhile Lawmakers across the political divide have welcomed the move by President Museveni to sign the Controversial Anti-homosexuality bill.
Even lawmakers who were not present at the NRM 3rd annual retreat in Kyankwanzi have hailed their colleagues for pushing for the President’s signature on the bill.
Ntenjeru south Patrick Nsanja said that this is a clear commitment that Uganda as a sovereign state has its interests and its cultures must be conserved.
“The president is mandated to assent, I take this opportunity to thank the religious leaders because honestly speaking, there has been enough pressure from the religious leaders, institutions of parliament, that is members of parliament and the Ugandan community whether or not it has been done in good faith at least our cultural values must be respected so I must thank our MPs for Support.” Said Nsanja (Independent)
For the newly appointed Opposition Chief Whip Cecilia Ogwal it was thumbs up for the NRM MPs this time.
“I must thank them for having endorsed the Homosexuality Bill……, to urge the president to sign that Bill, I think to me it’s very important, one of the positive side of that Kyankwanzi debate”-Ogwal (FDC)
Kole County MP Fred Ebil said Museveni had to sign the bill at all cost.
“Had he failed to sign, he would not be president come 2016, so by agreeing to sign he has accepted to listen to the voices of the people of Uganda and hence I congratulate him upon doing that”-Ebil ( UPC)