FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today condemned Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for signing the brutal, inhumane anti-homosexuality act into law. The law calls for life imprisonment of gays and lesbians for the so-called “crime” of homosexuality. President Museveni had initially balked at signing the law, and reached out to scientists both inside and outside of Uganda to assess whether or not gays are born that way. It appears that Museveni did not reach out to qualified scientists and researchers, as the overwhelming scientific consensus states that homosexuality is normal and biological in origin.
“This deplorable law persecutes innocent people and turns them into criminals,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Such vile treatment of LGBT people is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights. That this bill is now law is tantamount to a widespread, legal hate crime, and it must be vigorously fought and overturned.”
Museveni’s statements during the bill signing were “combative” according to local news reports, suggesting that he has swallowed the snake oil fed by Western anti-gay activists like Scott Lively, who is currently on trial for crimes against humanity for his incitement of anti-gay hatred in Uganda:
The president was in combative mood in a speech after the signing and while answering questions from journalists. He suggested that the law was made necessary by arrogant western groups promoting a behaviour that threatens Ugandans’ “way of life”.
The president suggested he could not to understand how men could fail to be attracted to Uganda’s beautiful women and, instead, get attracted to fellow men.
The president also paraded the mostly Ugandan scientists who concluded that homosexuality wasn’t genetic. The signing is expected to attract more attention and reaction from human rights defenders and the Western world, who have consistently been against the president’s assent since the bill was passed by Parliament in December 2013.
One must wonder about the credentials of the medical “experts” convened by Museveni, as scientific consensus has long held that homosexuality is biological in nature. In fact, a Northwestern University study recently found that homosexuality has a strong genetic component, with other factors like in utero hormone levels also playing a part. Those researchers who suggest that homosexuality is a choice are not representing scientific consensus, but rather peddling anti-gay bigotry couched in clinical terms. Truth Wins Out’s LGBT Science project explores the most current research on the origins of sexuality and gender identity, with leading researchers on the record explaining the results of the vital studies they have undertaken to answer these essential questions.
The anti-gay law in Uganda was heavily influenced by American Religious Right activists. The original incarnation of the bill was dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill, as it included the death penalty in certain circumstances. American hate group leader Scott Lively, mentioned above, traveled to Uganda in 2009, giving “expert” testimony which is widely credited with inspiring the horrific legislation. Lively peddles the historically revisionist myth that the Third Reich was a gay movement, and told his Ugandan audience that gay men were most likely partially responsible for the Rwandan genocide. Lively has also taken credit for inspiring the spate of anti-gay laws passed in Russia in recent years. Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity stemming from his work in Uganda.
“American Religious Right activists who have worked in Uganda have blood on their hands today,” said TWO’s Besen. “For all their talk about promoting the ‘family’ worldwide, what they have instead done is ignited an anti-gay campaign that’s already producing a body count. As a result of their work, Uganda is now a nation where gays and lesbians are born criminals. That they have done this in the name of Christianity is beyond disgusting.”
In 2010, Truth Wins Out created the American Prayer Hour to coincide with the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event sponsored by The Family, a secretive religious group with ties to the Ugandan extremists who fought for this anti-gay legislation. At that event, Moses, a gay Ugandan man, testified about what was going on in his country with a bag over his head, out of fear for what would happen to him in Uganda if his identity was revealed. Unfortunately, for many American anti-gay activists, ideology and hate trumped the humanity of Moses and people like him, and today’s news is the culmination of that support.
“As things get better and better for LGBT people in the United States, they have now gotten much, much worse for people in Uganda,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “We must be vigilant in fighting for our brothers and sisters around the world, and part of that is exposing the work of American extremists targeting vulnerable populations in nations like Uganda and Russia. They’ve lost their fight in the West, but they haven’t lost their eliminationist resolve elsewhere. The fight must continue.”
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.