At the infamous anti-gay legislation signing speech, President Museveni of Uganda led the world through the ” legal, political and social philosophy” for his country’s anti-gay legislation. I do appreciate the role of the pressure groups in formulating, debating and promulgation of this draconian law of Uganda. President Museveni has made many Biblical/theological, legal and social arguments which he considered to be the ” justification” of this law. I want to dwell on those Biblical/theological, legal, rational and social argument to show that his “reasoning” is as absurd as the law he has promulgated.
Museveni’s Biblical/theological foundation of the anti-gay law is wrong:
Museveni and the proponents of the draconian law argue that heterosexuality is the only natural and/or God-given tendency. In Museveni’s narrow view, God created Man ( male) and woman ( female) to live together and procreate. I appreciate the Museveni family connections with the Pentecostal Churches. I do not doubt their faith. However, this reasoning is problematic when it becomes the ” rationale” of any legislation. First, Museveni is endorsing and imposing his family religion for/upon the country. This is a dangerous public policy precedent. It is a Medieval State-Religion marriage phenomenon. Does Museveni think that because he believes in the Biblical creation narrative, the narrative is factual and dogma for everybody in Uganda and the world? Is his ” Genesis” narrative meaningful for other sections of society including atheists? Second, Museveni’s interpretation of the Bible is certainly a lay-man approach. He does not appreciate the complex science involved in interpretation of the entire Bible and particularly the Primeval History ( Genesis Chapter 1 through to Chapter 12) Museveni does not appear to know that these Primeval History Chapters of Genesis are ” history that never happened”. The Genesis Chapters Museveni is struggling with are not an account of events or history that really happened. Those Chapters are not factual assertions; they are speculative statements made in “faith” and for ” faith”. Museveni has that infantile image of a Biblical God who ” designed” an exclusively heterosexual human being. Museveni’s infantile “god” woke-up on the seventh day, went into his workshop with a plan to create male and female. Unfortunately, Museveni’s “god” realized that he did not have enough material to create both male and female. What did Museveni’s “god” do? He remembered that he could make a woman out of man’s lib, anyway! That’s the Biblical foundation(s) of Museveni’s preference for heterosexual for which homosexuals must now pay the price in Uganda; life in prison for being homosexual! is Museveni possibly aware that in this century, sex is not a precondition for reproduction? People get babies without sex. Therefore, the argument that sex is meant for reproduction is naive. Is Museveni saying that each time people engage in sex the sole purpose is reproduction? Clearly, sex is for all other purposes including recreational. Oh, Museveni’s Biblical “god” says the contrary. Infantile reasoning, infantile law! Amazing.
Museveni’s legal reasoning for his anti-gay law is erroneous:
Museveni believes that protecting homosexuals is a luxury his country cannot afford because his government has a duty to protect the youth and everybody from harmful tendencies; any law works if it serves that purpose. Legally, any law that touches on the fundamental rights like free speech, marriage/family, free association must pass the ” strict scrutiny standard”. Laws that touch and concern other issues are analyses using intermediate scrutiny or rational scrutiny, depending on the issues involved. The infamous anti-gay law of Uganda defines the gender each person can get married to and so the family which everybody must embrace. The law touches on how everybody should express his/her sexuality ( expressive speech). Therefore, this anti-gay is about marriage and family as it is about free speech. The standard of analysis is whether (1) the law seeks to achieve a compelling state interest, (2) there are no other means to achieve the same and (3) the law is narrowly tailored for that purpose. The government must prove this. The state has interest in protecting minors and non-consenting members of society from sex and sexual activities. The state has a duty to protect marriage as an institution. However, it is not compelling for the government to impose a specific way and/or part of the body by which consenting adults may derive sexual pleasure. That’s crossing the red line. A government cannot police an individual in his/her private life that much. How is Museveni going to enforce that law? Is he going to fix a certain time of the day people must have sex and he will deploy his policemen to make sure nobody goes homosexual? If in issue is preventing people having sex in public, then it should be a law that does not discriminate between homosexual and heterosexual. Museveni is using a wrong ” standard” for his law. He’s using the ” rational standard” on a ” strict scrutiny standard law”. He’s wrong.
It is false to argue that homosexual is ” western” culture:
Museveni’s fallacy that homosexual is anti-African culture is striking First, Museveni does not seem to appreciate that culture is dynamic. What’s African culture? What’s Ugandan culture? Individuals and communities of Africa and Uganda are so diverse that, I guess, even Museveni is practically talking nothing about ” African culture”, ” Ugandan culture”. Second, one of the the social phenomena the the early European Missionaries discovered upon arrival in Uganda was homosexuality. The Missionaries preached against it and forbid their converts from engaging in homosexuality. The King of Uganda who had male partners among the new converts was angered by the European missionaries ‘ attack’ on homosexuality. The King of Uganda ordered that his male sexual partners who had converted to Christianity be killed. They were killed among the now Uganda Martyrs!! Museveni says homosexuality is anti-Uganda culture?
Dr Charles Kambanda