Museveni (Reuters)

Museveni (Reuters)


CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today condemned in the strongest terms Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign anti-gay legislation passed by Parliament late last year, which would result in life prison sentences for people convicted of homosexuality. Museveni had earlier indicated that he would not sign the bill, and had asked for a group of medical experts to determine whether or not homosexuality was a choice. A spokesman for the Ugandan government confirmed Museveni’s decision today after a party retreat where the President reportedly caved to pressure brought by legislators urging him to sign the bill.

“This deplorable law persecutes innocent people and turns them into criminals,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Such vile treatment of LGBT people is unacceptable and a gross violation of human rights. This is a legalized hate crime that must be vigorously fought and defeated by the international community.”

One must wonder about the credentials of the medical “experts” convened by Museveni, as scientific consensus has long held that homosexuality is biological in nature. In fact, findings from a Northwestern University study were reported today which add to the growing body of evidence that homosexuality has a strong genetic component, with other factors like in utero hormone levels also playing a part. All credible experts on the subject agree that homosexuality has a biological origin. Those who say otherwise are not representing scientific consensus, but rather peddling anti-gay bigotry couched in clinical terms. Truth Wins Out’s LGBT Science project explores the most current research on the origins of sexuality and gender identity, with leading researchers on the record explaining the results of the vital studies they have undertaken to answer these essential questions.

“Did Museveni really convene a panel of medical experts, or just a group of sycophants with medical degrees who were willing to tell him what he wanted to hear?,” asked Besen. “We have hack doctors in the United States too, like the American College of Pediatricians, who value ideology before science or the Hippocratic Oath they all took. We try not to make a habit of allowing them to set policy.”

The anti-gay legislation in Uganda has been heavily influenced by American Religious Right activists. The original incarnation of the bill was dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill, as it included the death penalty in certain circumstances. American hate group leader Scott Lively traveled to Uganda in 2009, giving “expert” testimony which is widely credited with inspiring the horrific legislation. Lively peddles the historically revisionist myth that the Third Reich was a gay movement, and told his Ugandan audience that gay men were most likely partially responsible for the Rwandan genocide. Lively has also taken credit for inspiring the spate of anti-gay laws passed in Russia in recent years. Lively is currently on trial for crimes against humanity stemming from his work in Uganda.

In 2010, Truth Wins Out created the American Prayer Hour to coincide with the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event sponsored by The Family, a secretive religious group with ties to the Ugandan extremists who fought for this anti-gay legislation. At that event, Moses, a gay Ugandan man, testified about what was going on in his country with a bag over his head, out of fear for what would happen to him in Uganda if his identity was revealed. Unfortunately, for many American anti-gay activists, ideology and hate trumped the humanity of Moses and people like him, and today’s news is the culmination of that support.

“As things get better and better for LGBT people in the United States, they’re getting worse for people in Uganda,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “We must be vigilant in fighting for our brothers and sisters around the world, and part of that is exposing the work of American extremists targeting vulnerable populations in nations like Uganda and Russia. They’ve lost their fight in the West, but they haven’t lost their eliminationist resolve elsewhere. The fight must continue.”

Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.