Uganda: President signed law against homosexuality

February 25, 2014

With great concern IFHHRO received the news dat Mr Museveni, the President of Uganda, signed a bill against homosexuality. We also learned that Ugandan medical doctors were involved in a commission that advised in favour of this bill, arguing that homosexuality is learned behaviour and a danger to public health. 

We deplore such an advice, since it is totally against evidence-based medicine and internationally accepted medical policies, including those laid down by the World Medical Association. Today were therefore sent a letter to President Museveni, requesting him to recall this bill.

Download the letter (PDF)

Full text can also be found below.

Mr. Y.K. Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda
State House
P.O. Box 25497

25 February 2014

Re: your signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Dear Mr Museveni,

The International Federation of Health and Human Rights Organizations (IFHHRO, has taken notice, with grave concern, of your signing of the Parliamentary Bill against Homosexuality, which means that homosexuality is criminalized and further stigmatized in your country.

As an organization of health professionals for human rights, we deeply deplore your decision on several grounds.

In the first place we believe that the bill is in sharp contradiction with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), which Uganda has signed and therefore is party of. The Covenant refers to sexual orientation in Art 2, para 1 (non-discrimination) and 26 (equality before the law). ICCPR Jurisdiction (i.a. Toonen vs. Australia, 1994) clearly stresses that sexual orientation falls within the Covenant.

In the second place, we have been informed that your decision to sign the bill was (also) advised by a commission including medical doctors, with the opinion that homosexuality is learned behavior and a danger to public health.

Especially as an organization of health professionals, we deplore such an advise, since it is totally against evidence-based medicine and against internationally accepted medical policies.

The World Medical Association, in its Statement on Natural Variations of Human Sexuality (Adopted by the 64th General Assembly, Fortaleza, Brazil, October 2013), “asserts that homosexuality does not represent a disease, but rather a natural variation within the range of human sexuality. The WMA condemns all forms of stigmatization, criminalization and discrimination of people based on their sexual orientation.”

We therefore are deeply concerned about the consequences of this bill, which, given the above mentioned arguments, places Uganda outside of the community of countries that respect human rights in its full understanding and that respect modern, evidence-based medicine.

We therefore urgently request that steps will be taken to recall this bill and make sure that Uganda returns to the Rule of Law, that also applies to homosexuals.

With kind regards,

Adriaan van Es, MD, secretary IFHHRO