Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity, has justified the arrest of gay activists by claiming they implanted ‘perverted feelings’ in the minds of children.
In an interview with freelance photographer and journalist Rachel Adams, Lokodo insisted raids on gay rights meetings in February and June were ordered by him because the Non Governmental Organizations were ‘mixing positive things with things which we call in Uganda, bad.’
‘We realized that a number of them were actually raising funds from abroad in the guise of promoting humanitarian concerns,’ he said.
‘They were also going around implanting in the minds of small children and persons below 18 attitudes of perverted, disoriented feelings in their sexual expressions. In other words, they were supportive of homosexuality and lesbianism which is not permitted in Uganda.’
Lokodo claims that gay sex is unconstitutional and reminded that the act is illegal in Uganda, with ‘offenders’ facing life imprisonment in some cases.
In June, the homophobic politician announced plans to ban 38 pro-gay groups which he claims promote homosexuality.
He told Adams that it was necessary in order to stop LGBT activists ‘giving a bad attitude, a bad spirit, a bad culture which will destroy this country’s morale’.
Lokodo added: ‘Just imagine if tomorrow every Ugandan accepted homosexuality.
‘We would cease to be. Sex is for procreation. In time there will be a build-up of homosexuals. A lot of young people will opt for that because it will put in sex as pleasure, not child bearing. Some people spend hours doing nothing but disturbing themselves. Its meaningless. Sexual pleasure for what?’
When pressed on whether he thinks people are born gay, he brands homosexuality as a ‘sickness’.
‘I know it is an ailment. It is a sickness. It is not a status to be applauded,’ he explains.
‘I am told that if a child is in a mother’s womb and there are situations that are negative that person will come out with a negative attitude towards that gender.’
Shortly after the raid in June was condemned by the international community, Lokodo signed a government statement saying gay people are now free to meet.
There have been efforts in the last two years to revive an anti-gay bill which makes homosexuality punishable by death.
Earlier this month, Uganda’s LGBT community was able to conduct a weekend of gay pride events at Entebbe, starting with a party and featuring a beach parade and a small film festival.
However, the festival was marred by a police raid on 4 August.
Activists were reportedly detained but later released without charges being filed.