By Melanie Nathan
Following the violent raid by Ugandan police, which resulted in the detention of 16 people, with beatings and sexual fondling by police at a gathering of Ugandans, who were peacefully celebrating a beauty pageant at Club Venom in Kampala, the Government of Uganda has issued the following statement on its media website, in an obvious attempt to try and justify its unlawful actions and garnish public approval, by further alienation of LGBT people, a clear defilement of basic human rights:
Government Position on (LGBT) Activities.
Introduction: The Government has learnt of the ongoing promotion of activities of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Movement in Kampala, who with the influence of some foreign forces have organized week-long festivities in different locations in Kampala and Wakiso Districts.
The promotion of these festivities, which would purportedly culminate in a “Gay Parade” on Saturday 6th August 2016,is criminal and illegal as they have not been cleared by the Uganda Police Force, and are against the laws of the Republic of Uganda; specifically the Penal Code, which is built on precedents set in many other countries.
Government position on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activities.
We wish to emphasize that whereas the promotion of homosexuality is criminalized under the Penal Code, there is no violence against the LGBT community in Uganda – contrary to some claims made loosely by proponents of this movement.
The Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended)
Section 145. Unnatural offences. States that; “Any person who” –
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”
Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences states that;
“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in Section 145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
Section 148 – on indecent practices states that-
“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person who procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”
In our society, our African values and cultures consider sexual activity to be private and personal, and it is not conducted in public. Certainly, neither is homosexuality.
It is for this reason that the promotion of ‘gay’ activities is unwelcome.
In addition, we have noted that the promotions being held are aimed at mobilizing people to join this LGBT movement, which interestingly goes against the argument that gays are “born” that way. We are aware that there are inducements, including money,being offered to young people to promote the practice.
The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (as amended) under Article 31(2a), reads: On Rights of the family.
Provides that “Marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited.”
As a country we need to strengthen our defence of our cultural values and our belief systems in order to;
• “Protect the traditional family units from emerging internal and external threats.”
• ” Uphold that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.”
• “Protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.”
• “Protect the children and youths of Uganda who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care, or otherwise.”
• Promote the National Ethical Values Policy, which was approved, endorsed by Cabinet and launched by His Excellency, Gen.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 8th October 2013. This policy provides for ten values that Ugandans cherish and which is basis for our National aspirations.
Government will not condone the promotion of the illegal activities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)movement and through the Uganda police will work to ensure that the criminal and illegal activities of the Gay community are halted.
The organizers of the planned Gay Parade on Saturday 6th August 2016 are advised to stop their activities immediately. The public is called upon to refrain from joining and participating in Gay activities.
I therefore, call upon all stakeholders, Ministries, Departments, Local Governments and other agencies of Government, Faith Based Organizations, civil society organizations and the Media fraternity to join Government to curd the escalating levels of immorality by upholding and integrating the National Ethical values of Uganda into their daily life and work.
Government is in a process of developing a program to rehabilitate members of the LGBT Community, with the ultimate aim of giving them a chance to lead normal lives again.
The law is clear that the promotion of LGBT Movement (Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual and Transgender) activities are criminal in nature and intent, and offensive to the laws of the Republic of Uganda.
I thank you.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.
Frank Tumwebaze (MP)
Minister for Information and National Guidance
Included in the overall motive of trying to rid Uganda of gays, this statement, which can be challenged in its entirety, is a clear attempt to justify the unlawful, unconstitutional acts of the Ugandan government in its attack on peaceful innocent citizens and also an attempt to halt innocent and peaceful gatherings, where all people have a very basic right to express their many democratic and constitutional freedoms. This is oppression of the worst order, and reflects Uganda as a brutal autocratic dictatorship.
There are many glaring lies and inaccuracies in the Statement, which can be easily challenged. And just one example is the fact that Uganda’s government seems focused on sex acts rather than the right of people to companionship, relationship, assembly and freedom of expression and speech- with anyone, regardless of gender. How does one prove the promotion of a sex act? How does one prove that such is against the order of nature? It cannot be said that the raid or shutting down of peaceful gatherings could be justified under the Penal Code or that any celebration of Pride pertaining to one’s sexuality or gender identity is an “act against the order of nature” or the “promotion” of such. What this government fails to recognize is that no one is promoting sexual acts at all.
It is clear however that once again the Ugandan government has declared war on its LGBT citizens, with what is a false and erroneous depiction of sexuality.