Video: Ugandan State-Owned TV Coverage of Public Reaction to Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

January 14th, 2010

We’ve been noticing the prominent yet cautious and non-committal coverage by Uganda’s state-owned media of President Yoweri Museveni’s comment that his cabinet will “discuss” the Anti-Homosexuality Bill with sponsor MP David Bahati. While Uganda’s independent media interpreted those remarks as being a “nail in the coffin” and suggested the bill would be withdrawn, Uganda’s state-owned media has refrained from encouraging that speculation.

As further evidence that the bill may be headed to a “compromise” position rather than withdrawn entirely, we have this clip sent in by an anonymous BTB reader. It shows Uganda’s state-owned UBC television airing public reactions to the prospect that the bill might be withdrawn. If this is to be taken as a tea-leaf, it’s not an encouraging one.

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

Transcript of the “Good Morning Uganda” Report on Public Reactions to Museveni’s Remarks

…homosexuality bill, the reactions from the cross section of Ugandans remains totally extreme. On one hand, the public is for morals while on the other, the risk of losing out on billions of donor aid remains a reality. It is this reason that many see it as being behind the president’s latest soft stance on the bill.

Museveni: “…I strongly advise you, that you agree to the idea that the cabinet sit down with Bahati, a sub-committee, and see how best to handle this issue.”

The president is calling for calm, but sections of the public know that failure to curtail morals legally, could grossly erode African heritage and morals.

“Someone cannot scratch where it is itching him? …now this is because… purely because of aid. Deep down (in) their hearts, they know it is wrong. Now supposing we were all to engage in homosexuality… it would take us how many years to have the population gone? Because we’ll have no reproduction.”

“Don’t agree with sodomy, because a dog can never go to a cat, neither a goat can never go to a, a what? a sheep.”

“It’s okay! We can do without their aid. We can plan for our own country and then we move on. We can do without their aid. We can do without their aid. Because it’s not like they can, erm, order us or dictate on us what to do, yet they are spoiling our children.”

“Private member’s bill, is a private member’s bill. So, if a member chooses to express his concern, I feel it is his constitutional right to do so. So if the bill has to be tabled, let it be exposed to all the necessary processes.”

With the legislators now being asked to tread carefully on the anti-homosexuality bill, it remains unclear whether homosexuality will be finally accepted or criminalized.

Rachael Naluwaga, UBC News, in Kampala

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