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Ugandan activists refute allegations of ‘gay recruitment’

Jessica Geen April 2, 2009
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Gays and lesbians in Uganda have denied embarking on “recruitment drives” to attract people to homosexuality.

According to LGBTI Ugandans, Christian and government leaders are running a campaign to project gays ‘recruiting’ children into homosexuality by giving them money.

Last week, a man ‘confessed’ to recruiting school pupils into homosexuality by giving them pocket money.

Addressing parents at Hotel Triangle Kampala, George Oundo said he had been recruited by the Gay and Lesbian Coalition and given training on promoting homosexuality.

Oundo, now a born-again Christian, blamed the spread of homosexuality on international human rights organisations.

In the same week, another man, Paul Kagaba, said he had previously been gay for eight years before ‘quitting’ in 2008.

Kagaba reiterated claims of being asked to publicise homosexuality.

In a statement, the LGBTI group said: “Homosexual Ugandans do not condone or support recruitment of people into homosexuality at any level. We strongly and fiercely condemn it.

“We know that sexual orientation is not changeable. We are homosexuals and cannot change. In the same way, we cannot change heterosexuals into homosexuals. We cannot recruit. We cannot, do not, have never and never will ‘recruit’.

“We can only deduce that those levelling these claims aim to inflame the public against us, a minority group.

At a press conference earlier this week, Victor Mukasa, the coordinator of the Uganda Minority Sexual Rights group, attacked Stephen Langa of Family Life Network for spreading the allegations of gay recruitment.

He claimed the ‘former’ homosexuals presented by Christian groups have been paid to fuel hate against gays.

Activists say Uganda, with a population of 31 million, has some 500,000 gays and lesbians.

Ugandan officials have previously blamed Europe for ‘spreading’ homosexuality.

President of Uganda Kaguta Yoweri Museveni and other officials have spoken out against homosexuals on numerous occasions.

Mr Museveni spoke of his country’s “rejection” of homosexuality during a speech he gave at the wedding of a former MP’s daughter last year.

He said the purpose of life was to create children and that homosexuality was a “negative foreign culture.”

Last year, Ugandan Bishop Luzinda said: “I have been hearing that gays are demanding that the government should legalise their activities. This is absurd because God created a man and woman so that they can produce and fill this world.

“The government should not be tempted to legalise this backward culture which is bound to destroy this country.

“Not all that comes from Europe is superior and must be taken up by us.”

Related topics: Africa

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