Ugandan President: Gays Are Not Persecuted

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com April 19 2012 2:39 PM ET

 Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni denies that antigay discrimination and persecution exist in his country — the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill is simply about privacy and discretion, he says.

Appearing Wednesday on Christiane Amanpour’s CNN show, Museveni said of the motivation for the legislation, “The problem [with homosexuality] is exhibitionism. And the second problem would be trying to lure young children into homosexuality.” He also said, “Africans are by nature discreet people. ... I have, for instance, never kissed my wife in public.”

The bill, which provides for the death penalty for gays in some cases, was first introduced in 2009. It was reintroduced in February in its original form, but its lead sponsor said the death penalty provision would be dropped. It does strengthen punishment for gay sex, already illegal in the country, up to a possibility of life in prison, and provides for prosecution of LGBT rights advocates and those who do not report gays to police.

Amanpour asked Museveni about vigilantism and hate crimes against gays in Uganda, and he denied that such things happen. He said the murder of gay activist David Kato was motivated not by antigay hatred but by “personal quarrels with some of his partners.”





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