BREAKING: Uganda’s Main Opposition Party Comes Out Against Anti-Homosexuality Act

Jim Burroway

December 24th, 2009

Secretary General Chris Opoka of the Uganda Peoples Congress

Secretary General Chris Opoka of the Uganda Peoples Congress

Box Turtle Bulletin has learned through exclusive video provided by a BTB reader that the Secretary General of Uganda’s main opposition party has announced that the party would oppose the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Parliament.

In an announcement carried by Uganda’s independent Record TV, Secretary General Chris Opoka of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) denounced the bill as discriminatory, saying “the state has no business with what people do in their bedrooms.”:

What two consenting adults do, the state has no business… absolutely! It is discriminatory. Me, I don’t understand this idea of “African values.” Was Muwanga not a homosexual, the Kabaka 1? Eh? Was he not a homosexual? No! Let’s stop this nonsense! It is natural! Many children, many young boys in school, as they are growing to adults, have this tendency of attraction.

This is very significant. Prior to this announcement, it had been widely assumed that the bill would pass Parliament with a near-unanimous vote. Any opposition to this bill had been seen as political suicide.

The following video is a cell-phone recording of the late night news program Record News, broadcast on Record TV on December 23, 2009.

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Transcript of the Record News Broadcast.

…of parliament, yet leaving out more important bills to be discussed like the land bill, among others. The remarks were made by the party’s Secretary General, Chris Opoka, while addressing journalists at UPC headquarters in Kampala, as Simon/Samuel(?) Mwesigwa reports:

Opoka says that the proposed death penalty towards the offenders undermines individual rights to make decisions, regardless of culture, norms and religious beliefs in the country. As such he has called upon government to revise the provisions of the bill, and leave the issues of culture to the cultural leaders in Uganda.

“…people, with life imprisonment, even to face death, so… the homosexual who molests a young child… is worse than a heterosexual who molests a young child, is that so? So this, the punishment for similar offenses for pedophiles at least is discriminatory. But secondly, this I said before, the state has no business with what people do in their bedrooms. What two consenting adults do, the state has no business… absolutely! It is discriminatory. Me, I don’t understand this idea of “African values”, …was Muwanga not a homosexual, the Kabaka 1? Eh? Was he not a homosexual? No! Let’s stop this nonsense! It is natural! Many children, many young boys in school, as they are growing to adults, have this tendency of attraction…”

The Anti-Homosexual (sic) Bill drafted by David Bahati, also a member of Parliament for Ndorwa County West, was recently presented to Parliament and is still under discussion for approval. Reporting for Record News, I’m Henry Mwesigwa and Justin Nakitende(?) in Kampala.

Priya Lynn

December 24th, 2009

Hurray for Chris Opoka! He sounds almost exactly like Pierre Trudeau when he came out against the Canadian law against criminalizing same sex sex and said “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.”.

Priya Lynn

December 24th, 2009

Ooops, a typo there, that should say:

He sounds almost exactly like Pierre Trudeau when he came out against the Canadian law criminalizing same sex sex and said “The state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation.”.

Priya Lynn

December 24th, 2009

I admire the bravery of these people in speaking against this law in this climate of fear and vigilantiism.

gayuganda

December 24th, 2009

Very interesting indeed.

The ruling party, NRM has more than a 2/3rds majority in parliament. Which the president controls.

And, UPC’s Benson Obua-Ogwal is the bill’s co-sponsor, though I think it was a case of let there be two names for ‘bipartisanship’

Maybe politicians will just be politicians, and, they sense an opportunity of ingratiating themselves with the ‘donors’… It is a very interesting development indeed!

Me, I just want one thing, the bill dropped…. Call me selfish. ha!

David

December 24th, 2009

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will intervene to soften tough anti-gay legislation in a bid to address the concerns of the East African country’s Western partners who have expressed strong opposition to it, his top aide said on Thursday.

“We should not have an extreme position. The president will harmonise the two sides and address the concerns of the Europeans and our other development partners. We should put into consideration the position and concerns of our partners,” Musevenis spokesperson, Joseph Tamale Mirundi told the German Press Agency, dpa.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=nw20091224122227636C977885

Priya Lynn

December 24th, 2009

Earlier he had promised to veto it – that doesn’t sound good.

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