Uganda’s President Museveni Misuses Letter from Scientists and Researchers

I don’t know how President Museveni came up with the conclusion he did but it is obvious that he misread our letter about scientific consensus on sexual orientation.  On the website of Uganda’s State Department, the following was posted yesterday:

While attending the NRM Parliamentary Caucus Retreat at the National Leadership Institute (6th -16th February 2014), President Museveni promised to circulate a letter in response to his request to rule out a possibility that some human beings are genetically born homosexual.

The President partially read out the response by over 200 international experts on the science of homosexuality written to him on the 5th of February 2014 before he said he would sign the anti-homosexuality bill on grounds that no evidence was adduced to the effect that there are human beings homosexual by genetics, by both the international experts and the department of genetics of Makerere University Medical School.

The letter states clearly that “While it is unlikely that there is one simple biological or genetic cause for homosexuality in all people, there are neural, cognitive and personality differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals which appear to have at least some basis in biology.”

Elsewhere in the letter, we were clear that choice plays no role in the onset of sexual attractions:

For the vast majority of people, homosexual and heterosexual, sexual attractions emerge spontaneously without any prior sexual experience, exposure or recruitment. Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice.

There was risk involved in writing the letter and engaging in this process. However, we felt it important to go on record in the manner we did. The signers of our letter are united in condemnation of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and it is completely false to imply otherwise. After getting the Ugandan Ministry of Health report, President Museveni expressed his desire to pass the buck to others for his decision. However, the world is watching, and if Mr. Museveni signs that bill, history will record that he is responsible for that action.

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