A Ugandan presidential candidate has made history – by affirming that he opposes homophobia.
With the 2016 election approaching, former prime minister Amama Mbazazi has stated that he opposes homophobia – making him one of the only Ugandan politicians to ever do so.
In an interview on NBS Television, he said that, while he still believes in traditional marriage, discrimination has no place in society.
Once Mbazazi’s quote was published on social media, the rest of the world was enthusiastic about the development.
The country’s LGBT activists praised the statement as forward-thinking.
Dr Frank Mugisha, the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, is an out member of the LGBT community, who has been fighting homophobia in the country for years.
Recently, he had mentioned the need for role models, in order to sway the public towards tolerance.
LGBT advocate Edwin Sesange, the director of Out and Proud Diamond Group, told PinkNews: “I commend him for his bravery and standing up against homophobia. . .
“I am worried that his message might be used against him in the presidential campaigns.
“This shows the level of backlash towards those against homophobia in Uganda.”
As Mr Sesange predicted, the Ugandan viewers did not feel the same satisfaction.
Negative comments cropped up on the Facebook page, responding to the post.
Many involved hostility towards the United States and President Obama because of June’s Supreme Court decision to legalise same-sex marriage.
Edwin Sesange also foresaw the effect it will have on Mbazazi’s campaign.
Already, Ugandans have claimed their opposition towards the candidate because of his comment.
The country is ranked as one of the most Catholic nations in Africa.
Both the heavy Christian influence and the recent anti-Westernisation attitudes play monstrous roles in contributing to homophobia.
Ugandans claim that homosexuality is not African, but, looking at the continent’s history, the LGBT community thrived until colonisation.
Although the Anti-Homosexuality Act- known internationally as the “Kill the Gays” bill- was struck down, homophobia still runs rampant in the nation.
Both Ugandan citizens and police have violently beaten members of the LGBT community, such as rights advocate Kelly Mukwano.
Some proclaim that the punishment for homosexuality should be death.
Hopefully, within the next year, Mbazazi’s convictions will remain the same, but his people’s will adapt to the idea of equality.