The Editor of this blog received the email below- we do not know if it is authentic but we thought we would publish it anyway
From: Yoweri Museveni [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 1:26 AM
Subject: Ugandan govnt. press release: A personal message to all Ugandan homosexuals.
Ref: Concerning the current policy of the Ugandan government on homosexual activity in Uganda.
From: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, Nakasero State House, Victoria Avenue, Kyagwe Road, Kampala, Uganda.
P.O. Box 25497, Kampala.
Tel: 256-41-343 311.
To Whom It May Concern,
It seems that in our spirited enthusiasm to protect Uganda from undesirable elements, we have come to pick on those among us who are most at moral risk. For us to do this too freely is, or it seems to me now, to lead us all as Christians into further moral danger. But not as decent Christian citizens as we try to live our lives decently by behaving in a moral and lawful manner and by minding our own business, this is only right for us to act in this way, but as people who have lost much of our compassion for the more unlucky human beings among us in this strong, upright and moral nation of ours. A nation of equals that we rested from British colonial oppression many years ago by the strength of our hands, and through the strong spirit of freedom and defiance which we cultivated in our own breasts.
Unfortunately we are at present becoming too much people who have come to persecute those neighbours and workmates of ours, who are unluckier than us who have for some reason missed out on Mother Nature’s natural abundance, and so are disadvantaged somehow. We must surely question this choice of ours, of our great nation, to hound and pursue them in light of our own oppression in the past under the heel of an expertly suppressing European colonial power. So the citizens now have to step up and throw off these prejudices of the past and build a new future for Uganda.
It is not that I have decided to accept the immoral sexual behaviour of those men and women among us who behave in private differently than decent men and women with families who do have normal sexual urges and behaviour. In reality, it is that I have come to pity these sexual deviants, and have come to learn that through no choice of their own they have been left with faulty sexual preferences. But we must still recognise that at heart they are also good, decent human beings, as we all are as citizens of Uganda, or try to be good Christians as compassionate God Fearing Christians in a strong Christian country.
These men and women are people with the basic human right to be protected by the state in this proud nation of ours, just as much as the most humble and poor amongst us have the same right. This is our given duty as decent, God fearing Ugandans; it is our duty to protect those weaker and more unfortunate than ourselves, to help them to aspire to a better way of living; one maybe not as morally upright as our own, but one that is still honest, respectful and supportive of our country. We sometimes tend to take our basic freedoms in Uganda for granted because they are a vital part of our history and our old tribal traditions. But they exist today only because people have been prepared to defend them throughout our long history. These achievements we have achieved through spilling our blood, sweat and tears and they are the outstanding ones in our history, which we, as a people, are still working on. So it is quite a challenge and it is long drawn out and patient work.
Whatever the Ugandan government does in the public domain is because of the demands of the population. I only follow their lead in this matter. Currently, the parliament has seen fit to consider introducing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into the statute books, and that, if it was enacted, would broaden the current criminalization of homosexuality. This would be by introducing the severest penalties possible for men who have previous convictions for committing homosexual behaviour, or for men and women who engage in same-sex sexual acts, or even all those people who are found to be HIV-positive and do not wish to use a condom while engaging in sexual intercourse. This seems in reality to be a heartfelt appeal by parliament and the state itself to all those who indulge in homosexual activity and other dangerous sexual activity outside marriage, to keep it a private matter behind closed doors. However, strong international pressure over the bill has caused me to form a commission to investigate all the results of passing the bill. In May 2010 the committee better liked to withdraw it, and as of February 2011 it currently remains under discussion in our parliament.
This Anti-Homosexuality Bill is not designed in principle to produce criminals for jail who have broken the law as it stands, or may stand shortly. There is here a discrepancy in perception, but I do not know now how this discrepancy can be bridged. Maybe more dialogue, or maybe more toleration on all sides of the matter. In this matter it is all about petty things adding up. My advice to anyone considering breaking this law and other laws relating to such behaviour in the future is to stop doing such immoral sexual behaviour in public. This later leaves the door open in the future for more liberal attitudes to be allowed in private. As it is in other maybe less Christian countries, where such immoral sexual behaviour is usually tolerated in private, if not in public. This is all I feel that I can offer at the moment, however, in the future parliament may see fit to amend or even scrap the act in agreement with the United Nations mandate on human rights. However, this is a big struggle, as understanding the human rights issues of Africa for outsiders is quite a challenge.
I have come to question the good sense of continually pursuing young people in Uganda simply for the sexual preference they hold, and as I have said they were born like this. There are more important matters at stake, including the watching of the political situation, supporting the growth of the economy, guarding our democracy from attack and looking after our people. Every Ugandan must think about this and what I say. God willing, in the future, and with the aid of new genetic science, we may come to have erased from our country this strange strain of old human genetic anomaly in many of our people. This is something to think about for the future.
No one, either man or woman wish their children to be sexual deviants, and this is also true of both homosexuals and lesbians. However, as Christians we cannot blame them for their sexual preferences, we must be tolerant. I myself a few days ago have discovered that a close member of my own family is a homosexual. This has given me new views into the present social problems faced by all our country. It is only fair that he is treated the same as any other Ugandan man who thinks like this. However, what these men and women who act in this rude way in public must understand is that what they choose to do in private is their own concern, but what they choose to do and how they choose to behave in public is another. This is just a matter of law and order in Uganda, which I take very seriously. However, these young Ugandans should not be hounded out of society or prosecuted needlessly. We must all show more tolerance and concern for these people. This is something we need to do as Christians and Ugandans both.
Through this honest, frank and open letter to the people of my nation, to our tribal elders and politicians and the ordinary working men of Uganda (and, through its wide international distribution through the work of the Ugandan Ministry of Information to reach out to many detractors, both foreigners and at home, over this vital matter of national pride), I wish to show my humanity, my moral tolerance and my political strength. In all humility, in this matter I wish to be a father figure to our nation, and both to show my concern for its sexual morals and for the moral conduct of my people. And, as a father figure, I must at all times show understanding and justice to all citizens of this proud and strong nation of ours in its trials and challenges over the years ahead, just as much and as calmly, directly and justly as I do to my own family members.
As Ugandans we all have the right to good amounts of privacy, to a strong and healthy family, to have access to a basic education for all, good health care for all and paid employment for all able men, and to be protected by the state as law abiding and decent citizens. And as human beings, whatever our own personal problems and physical defects that have been given to us by Mother Nature through no choice of ours, in Uganda we all have the same right to liberty, life, and the pursuit of happiness, prosperity and peace. Now after the troubles of the past Uganda is in capable hands. And who are the capable hands? Ultimately the ordinary hard-working people of Uganda. Those people are not vicious, spiteful, foolish or lazy. In the past they have survived many political storms. In this honest matter I am not working for myself—I have never worked for myself. I am not in leadership to do anything for myself. I have got my own private things to do, I have no interest in pursuing, persecuting or hounding sexual deviants, I have more important things to do for my country.
President of Uganda.
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