By Ahura Mujuni Mark
A Ministerial Committee comprising of scientists from MOH and Makerere University was set up to study homosexuality and genetics in human beings and advise President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM Caucus on the subject of homosexuality.
The committee comprised of;
- Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng – Director General of Health Services
- Dr. Isaac Ezati – Director Planning and Development at MOH
- Dr. Jacinto Amandua – Commissioner Clinical Services
- Dr. Sheila Ndyanabangi – Head, Mental Health Desk
- Prof. Seggane Musisi – Professor of Psychiatry at Makerere
- Assoc. Prof. Eugene Kinyanda – Senior Research Scientist, Medical Research Council
- Dr. David Basangwa – Director, Butabika Hospital
- Dr. Sylvester Onzivua – Senior Pathologist, Mulago Hospital
- Dr. Misaki Wayengera – Geneticist, Makerere
- Dr. Paul Bangirana – Clinical Psychologist, Makerere
- Prof. Wilson Byarugaba – Rtd. Professor and former Head of Human and Molecular Genetics, Dept of Pathology, Makerere
Two medical Parliamentarians names; Dr. Chris Baryomunsi and Dr. Medard Bitekerezo also presented a report whose findings and conclusions concurred with that of the Ministerial Committee.
The following were their observations;
1. There is no definitive gene responsible for homosexuality.
2. Homosexuality is not a disease but merely an abnormal behavior which may be learned through experiences in life.
3. In every society, there is a small number of people with homosexuality tendencies.
4. Homosexuality can be influenced by environmental factors e.g. culture, religion and peer pressure among others.
5. The practice needs regulation like any other human behavior especially to protect the vulnerable.
6. There is need for further studies to address sexuality in the African context.
Presidential Advisor on Science Dr. Richard Tushemereirwe stated that homosexuality has serious Public Health consequences and should therefore not be tolerated.
H.E. the President then made it clear that his work was done and that all he needed was for the Scientists to sign the paper they presented since it would be a historical document forming basis for the signing of the Bill.
H.E. also declared that he would sign the Bill since the question of whether one can be born a homosexual or not had been answered.
The President emphasized that Promoters, exhibitionists and those who practice homosexuality for Mercenary reasons will not be tolerated and will therefore be dealt with harshly.
Hon. Anite Evelyn
NRM Caucus Spokes person