After initially refusing to sign an infamous bill that prescribes life in prison (but no longer the death penalty) for homosexuality because the legislature lacked a quorum to pass it, Ugandan President Museveni has changed his mind and decided to sign the bill and make it law.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has decided to sign a law imposing up to a lifetime jail sentence for homosexuality, announced government spokesman Ofwono Opondo via Twitter on Friday. NRM caucus spokeswoman Evelyn Anite confirmed Opondo’s announcement to BuzzFeed.
This is a reversal for Museveni, who had written to members of parliament after the legislation passed in December that he had come to believe that homosexuality was a biological “abnormality” and not something that should be criminalized. He had also told Western human rights activists that he would reject the bill during a meeting last month.Museveni made his announcement during a retreat with members of his party, the National Resistance Movement, which has primarily focused on the party’s leadership as it prepares for elections in 2016. Museveni had been facing stiff pressure from his colleagues to accept the bill.
It’s not really a surprise, though. Museveni and his wife have long been virulently and publicly anti-gay. This bill isn’t as bad as the original bill, which included the death penalty, or as bad as the new Nigerian legislation. But it’s still barbaric and unjust.