Ugandan President Complains West Pressured Him To Back Away From Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has now expressed some reluctance about pending LGBT criminalization, imprisonment and death penalty bill — but not because he thinks it’s unjust, but because it has “foreign policy implications,” according to a report by NTV Uganda. 

In the NTV Uganda broadcast, the reporter notes that “the government seems to have buckled under pressure from the West.” Museveni is shown addressing his National Resistance Movement party’s National Executive Council Meeting, and describing how the subject of visits and calls from western leaders, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been “gays.”

According to a report in the Ugandan newspaper New Vision, Museveni claimed he told Western leaders that the bill was the sole work of parliament member David Bahati (a member of Museveni’s NRM party, and also of The Family) and that he had not even had a chance to discuss the bill with him.

Museveni continued to traffic in the claim, popularized by anti-gay activists in the United States, that gay people prey on young people in order to “recruit” them to homosexuality. According to New Vision, Museveni “said when he talked to Hillary Clinton, he informed her that people come from Europe with money and woo young people into homosexuality.”

Museveni pointed to a gay rights rally in the United States to claim LGBT people possess terrifying political power. “There was a rally in New York of 300,000 homosexuals. Now, I would want to challenge you, members of Parliament, how many of you, other than me, have ever had a rally of 300,000 people?”

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, covers politics and religion. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The American ProspectThe NationSalon, and other publications. Follow her on TwitterRSS feed Email