8 Dec 2011- After US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday announced that her government would use foreign aid to fight discrimination against gay people abroad, MP David Bahati responded by saying “Uganda won’t accept any aid with homosexuality attached as a condition.”
Mr Bahati, also chairman of the NRM parliamentary caucus, made a name by tabling a private member’s Bill, which if passed, will see gay adults who have sex with those of the same gender under 18, hanged.
Ms Clinton told UN diplomats in Geneva that US would also use diplomacy to fight for gay rights. “Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality. It should never be a crime to be gay,” she said.
The development comes in the wake of aid cuts to Uganda by Britain towards HIV/Aids fight over what they called the country’s intolerance to gay rights. However, Mr Bahati said: “Our position as a country is clear. Our Constitution prohibits homosexuality and we are not in a trade of values.” He said efforts by the Western world to stifle his Bill were nothing but “a colonial mentality” to erode the country’s morals. Mr Bahati urged Ugandans to desist from receiving any funding that comes with strings of gay rights attached.
Last month, Mr Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan gay activist, was presented a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in Washington, the first time the award was bestowed on an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.
Mr Bahati reacted by calling the award, “a shame”. “It is a shame. No Ugandan leader who wishes our children well is proud of that honour. It is an honour of shame,” he said.
But Mr Moses Kigozi, the president of Uganda sexual minorities in the Diaspora, castigated Mr Bahati and people who share his thinking for lacking understanding of human nature. “There is no need to discriminate anyone based on their sexual orientation,” Mr Kigozi said. “My dream is to see a just and fair society where everyone is respected irrespective of their sexual orientation.”
In January, when a gay rights activist David Kato was killed, the West branded Uganda a ‘gay killing nation’. Although authorities held that Kato’s sexual orientation had nothing to do with his death, his assailant was sentenced to 30 years in prison last month.