April 2nd, 2009
We mentioned earlier a press conference held by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) refuting anti-gay extremists charges in that country that gays were being paid by foreign LGBT advocacy groups to “recruit” children in Uganda’s schools. We now have this press release from SMUG:
Uganda: Official Statement From LGBTI Ugandans
For immediate Release: Tuesday 31 March 2009
To: Fellow Citizens of Uganda
Over the past few weeks, very serious allegations of ‘recruitment’ into homosexuality, have been leveled against Homosexual Citizens of Uganda by various people and institutions.
We have been accused of accepting huge amounts of money for the so called ‘recruitment’ drives , by the Family Life Network (FLN).
We affirm that we are homosexual. That means that we are different in sexual orientation from most of our fellow Ugandans. That does not make us criminals.
We, like all other Ugandans, are responsible and law abiding citizens.
Homosexual Ugandans do not condone or support recruitment of people into homosexuality at any level. We strongly and fiercely condemn it.
We know that sexual orientation is not changeable. We are homosexuals and cannot change. In the same way, we cannot change heterosexuals into homosexuals. We cannot recruit. WE CANNOT, DO NOT, HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER ‘recruit’.
We can only deduce that those leveling these claims aim to inflame the public against us, a minority group.
The allegation that we receive huge amounts of money for the so called ‘recruitment’ services is simply ridiculous. We do not receive any money for ‘recruitment’. It is absurd that some assume we would be paid to do something impossible.
We strongly affirm that these allegations are not only false and ridiculous, they are also far from the truth.
Our campaign for gay rights is rooted in the fact that, as Ugandans, we deserve the respect and protection of the law, just like all other Ugandans. We do not deserve to be discriminated against. We do not deserve to be criminalized. We do not deserve to be treated as criminals simply because we are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Inter-sex.
We call upon all Ugandans to reject this campaign of falsehoods, inflammatory statements and hatred. Ours is a peaceful plea to inform fellow Ugandans about us, to have attitudes changed, so that fellow citizens do not think that we are, as we have been accused of being; ie. insane, pigs, sick, inhuman, un-natural, un-Ugandan and un-African.
We are fellow Ugandans. We deserve equal rights and protection under the Law and Constitution. We don’t deserve to be demonized and falsely accused in the name of ignorance of who and what we are.
For and on behalf of all the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Inter-sex,People of Uganda.
For God and My Country!
Pepe Julian Onziema
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
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