A delegation from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) last week met with President Museveni to urge him not to ascent to the controversial bill. And he accepted, according to a statement from the RFK center.
The statement noted: “President Museveni pledged to reject the bill as currently drafted, calling the legislation “fascist.” The President stated that he will consult with his party and plans to introduce a new piece of legislation aimed at protecting minors from being coerced into sexual activity.”
Since the passing of the Anti-homosexuality bill 2009, the anti-gay activists have responded with varied reactions. Anti-gay Politicians, clergy, and individuals have called on President Museveni to sign the bill into law.
However, others most notably Pastor Moses Solomon Male, have insisted that the new bill is infact weaker than existing provisions on the penal code under which some homosexuals and pedophiles have been convicted.
Now however, the RFK Center wants to government to enforce only those sections of the Penal code that outlaw sex with children.
The statement sent to The Sunrise said: “The RFK Center reiterated that the government should focus on enforcing the Ugandan Penal Code provisions that already outlaw both opposite-sex and same-sex sexual abuse of minors.”
It added: “Should new legislation be introduced along the lines of the President’s suggestion, the RFK Center strongly advised that any bill should only focus on strengthening current child protection measures, may not discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and must fully respect the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association.”
The American pro-gay lobbyists have mobilized South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to reach out to Museveni to urge him to permit what many Ugandans consider pervasive behaviour.
Tutu, joining hands with RKF Kerry Kennedy and other top gay leaders reportedly telephoned President Museveni last year to urge him to drop the bill in the rubbish bin.
Bishop Tutu reportedly applauded Museveni on his decision to rescind the bill saying: “I welcome President Museveni’s decision to reject this hateful bill. It is time for our African brothers and sisters to move past the antiquated notion that someone could be a criminal for who they love.”
From the local scene, a coalition of pro-gay NGOs this week held a news conference during which they criticised the bill.
Under their umbrella body – The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional law, which comprises over 50 human rights organization, leaders of the coalition said that the bill would deny gay people access to health and other services.
“As a health worker, I fear their might be a time where those in my profession, might refuse to give someone a condom, in the fear that they might be viewed promoting a nontraditional sexual orientation” said Alice Kayongo, AHF Uganda Cares.
One may however use a threat by British Billionaire Richard Branson, who called for a boycott on investing in Uganda, to know why president Museveni is now taking locally unpopular steps to support gay positions.