Gays should have their relationships in private – Museveni

Published: December 17, 2012

Sex rights campaigners have accused Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of being duplicitous, after he said homosexuals will not be killed nor persecuted.

They accused Museveni of sending mixed signals on homosexuality in the East African country, saying this was dangerous to sex minorities.

The Ugandan president recently said homosexuals will not be discriminated nor persecuted but warned them against promoting the practice in public.

Museveni said there would be nothing wrong if homosexuals had their affairs in secret, wondering why they want to go to the public and declare that they are homosexual.

"I have stayed with my wife for over 30 years but I have never kissed her in the public or in presence of my children," he said, emphasising secrecy in relationships.

Museveni, who was guest of honour at the installation of a new Anglican bishop, said he was confused by homosexuals insisting on holding rallies and talking about homosexuality, yet in African society anything to do with sex is supposed to be a secret.

He thanked the Anglican Church in Uganda for condemning homosexuality.

But Sex Minorities Uganda programme director, Peppe Onziema said they were worried about Museveni’s statement, as he portrayed himself as someone who sympathised with them, when he did not.

"The president is not being clear. What does he mean when he says homosexuals won’t be killed or persecuted, but he won’t tolerate promotion of homosexuality? If he was talking in reference of the anti-homosexuality bill, that is still persecution," she said.

Onziema said that even if homosexuals were not killed, they could not associate freely with other people.

She said that they are even denied services by some people simply because they are homosexuals.

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