Uganda scientists turn homosexuality debate around
Publish Date: Feb 15, 2014
Dr. Sylvester Onzivua is one of the scientists. PHOTO/File
By Vision Reporter
Findings by a group of Ugandan scientists from Makerere University and government have turned the anti-homosexuality bill debate around.
The scientists made a presentation to the NRM caucus on Friday. The scientists included Dr. Sylvester Onzivua – Senior Pathologist, Mulago Hospital, Prof. Seggane Musisi – Professor of Psychiatry at Makerere, Assoc. Prof. Eugene Kinyanda – Senior Research Scientist, Medical Research Council, Dr. David Basangwa – Director, Butabika Hospital and Dr. Misaki Wayengera – Geneticist, Makerere
Below is the release from MP Evelyn Anite, NRM Caucus Spokes person, after their presentation.
PRESENTATION BY A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS FROM MOH AND Makerere University ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND GENETICS IN HUMANS
A Ministerial Committee comprising of scientists from MOH and Makerere University was set up to study homosexuality and genetics in human beings and advise the President and the NRM Caucus on the subject of homosexuality.
The committee comprised of;
- Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng - Director General of Health Services
- Dr. Isaac Ezati – Director Planning and Development at MOH
- Dr. Jacinto Amandua – Commissioner Clinical Services
- Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi – Head, Mental Health Desk
- Prof. Seggane Musisi – Professor of Psychiatry at Makerere
- Assoc. Prof. Eugene Kinyanda – Senior Research Scientist, Medical Research Council
- Dr. David Basangwa – Director, Butabika Hospital
- Dr. Sylvester Onzivua – Senior Pathologist, Mulago Hospital
- Dr. Misaki Wayengera – Geneticist, Makerere
- Dr. Paul Bangirana – Clinical Psychologist, Makerere
- Prof. Wilson Byarugaba – Rtd. Professor and former Head of Human and Molecular Genetics, Dept of Pathology, Makerere
Two medical Parliamentarians names; Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and Dr. Medard Bitekerezo also presented a report whose findings and conclusions concurred with that of the Ministerial Committee.
The following were their observations;
1. There is no definitive gene responsible for homosexuality.
2. Homosexuality is not a disease but merely an abnormal behavior which may be learned through experiences in life.
3. In every society, there is a small number of people with homosexuality tendencies.
4. Homosexuality can be influenced by environmental factors e.g. culture, religion and peer pressure among others.
5. The practice needs regulation like any other human behavior especially to protect the vulnerable.
6. There is need for further studies to address sexuality in the African context.
Presidential Advisor on Science Dr. Richard Tushemereirwe stated that homosexuality has serious Public Health consequences and should therefore not be tolerated.
H.E. the President then made it clear that his work was done and that all he needed was for the Scientists to sign the paper they presented since it would be a historical document forming basis for the signing of the Bill.
H.E. also declared that he would sign the Bill since the question of whether one can be born a homosexual or not had been answered.
The President emphasized that Promoters, exhibitionists and those who practice homosexuality for Mercenary reasons will not be tolerated and will therefore be dealt with harshly.
Hon. Anite Evelyn
NRM Caucus Spokes person
Museveni 'to sign anti-gay bill into law'
Publish Date: Feb 14, 2014
Museveni at the NRM caucus in Kyankwanzi where a presentation by scientists on Homosexuality was presented. File Photo
President Yoweri Museveni has told NRM MPs he will assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo says, a move that will have the bill enacted into law.
A press release from NRM Caucus spokesperson Anite Evelyn also confirmed the development. (See below)
Ofwono tweeted that Museveni would give the nod to the bill "after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour."
A Ministerial Committee comprising of scientists from Ministry of Health and Makerere University was set up to study homosexuality and genetics in human beings and advise the President and the NRM Caucus on the subject of homosexuality.
Ofwono Opondo said the president would give a nod to the anti-gay bill
He added that "Ugandan traditionalists, religious leaders & politicians have been urging Museveni to sign the Bill. (Those) Supporting homosexuals take it easy Uganda is a sovereign country, you challange the law in the courts."
"The NRM caucus has welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants," Opondo added on twitter.
The ten-day MPs' retreat ends Saturday with the selection of three parliamentary commissioners.
The NRM caucus earlier in the week endorsed President Museveni as sole candidate for the NRM.