Ugandan Ethics Minister: HIV support groups are ‘promoting homosexuality’ and I will close them down

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Uganda’s Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo has accused the country’s HIV support groups of “promoting homosexuality” and warns that he will take action against them.

“Some of these organisations have been promoting ideas that are not compatible with our laws,” All Africa reports Mr Lokodo said yesterday.

He added: “They have been hiding and pretending to be providing humanitarian assistance and research, yet they are promoting homosexuality.

“We shall not tolerate and entertain homosexuality in Uganda. I am waiting for the outcome of the ongoing investigations.

“We shall just suspend and close the operations of these organisations. We can’t allow them to continue promoting bad morals.”

On 3 April, Ugandan police arrested and detained an official of the Makerere University Walter Reed Project for allegedly recruiting young males, aged between 18-25, and training them in ‘homosexual acts’.

The project provides prevention, care and treatment for populations most at risk of HIV and is funded by the United States of America’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR).

The Ugandan Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill that will criminalise intentional transmission of HIV as well as attempted transmission of the virus.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) described Uganda’s HIV law as “deeply flawed” in part because it is based on what the group called “stigma and discrimination.”

HRW has called on Uganda’s President to veto the bill.

President Yoweri Museveni last week in London met with UK ministers, officials and corporate executives as part of a Pro-Ugandan business forum hosted by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

LGBT campaigners staged a protest over his visit.

A Ugandan law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity, allowing repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison, was given presidential approval by Yoweri Museveni in February.

Mr Museveni defended the legislation by saying that gay people give each other worms through sex.

He also described gay people as “disgusting”.

The Ugandan Government last month announced plans to introduce a new law that would prohibit non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from “promoting homosexuality”, further tightening rules on same-sex activity in the country.