British Medical Association condemns ‘bad science’ used to justify Ugandan anti-gay law

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

The British Medical Association (BMA), has written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, to demand that he withdraws a law increasing penalties for those convicted of homosexuality.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in front of politicians and reporters last Monday at State House, his official residence in Entebbe.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

The BMA’s Director of Professional Activities Vivienne Nathanson, wrote to Museveni in protest against the law.

She said: “I request that you give every consideration to the withdrawal of this piece of legislation at the earliest opportunity.”

Going on, she questioned the “bad science” of the report on which Museveni justified his decision to sign the bill.

“It is deeply disturbing that any country should pass legislation enacting discrimination against any group — in this case homosexuals.

“It is equally disturbing that the legislature was aided by so-called medical experts who reinforced bad science and prejudice,” she wrote.

Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands became the first three countries to cut their aid to Uganda following the decision to sign the bill by Museveni.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry last week said his country is now reviewing its relations with Uganda, following the bill.

Sweden has also said it will review its aid spending, and the UK confirmed that, due to a corruption scandal in 2013, the Ugandan Government was not in receipt of direct aid money.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for an end to a political agreement with Uganda over the law.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

A tabloid newspaper in Uganda one day after the law was signed, published a list of the “200 top” gay people.