Desmond Tutu compares Uganda's anti-gay bill with Hitler's behaviour in Nazi Germany
The retired Archbishop pleaded with the President to strengthen Uganda's human rights
Desmond Tutu has urged Uganda’s President not to sign a harsh Anti-Homosexuality Bill that could see same-sex couples sentenced to life in prison.
South Africa’s retired Archbishop compared Yoweri Museveni's behaviour with Hitler's in Nazi Germany.
Although the President had pledged not to sign the bill, last week he reconsidered and said he would approve the legislation after he consulted scientists who said homosexuality was "learned."
Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said he was “disheartened” by Museveni's decision because there is "no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love."
He said Museveni's decision could lead to situations like those that happened in Nazi Germany or during the apartheid.
"In South Africa, apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks," Tutu said in a statement. "It was demeaning to those whose 'crime' was to love each other, it was demeaning to the policemen - and it was a blot on our entire society."
"The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race," Tutu argued.
"But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love... There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification.
"Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts."
And he urged Museveni to strengthen Uganda's "culture of human rights and justice."
The President's indication of approval for the bill prompted widespread condemnation from Western governments.
U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement that the bill signals a "step backward for all Ugandans" and warned that enacting it would "complicate" the East African country's relationship with Washington.
The bill is popular in Uganda, where it has been championed by Christian clerics and politicians who say it is necessary to deter Western homosexuals from "recruiting" Ugandan children.
It originally proposed the death penalty for a category of offenses called "aggravated homosexuality," defined to include repeated sex among consenting adults as well as sex acts involving minors or a partner infected with HIV.
Amid international pressure, including the threat to withdraw aid by European countries such as Sweden, the death penalty was removed.
The bill before Museveni sets life imprisonment as the maximum penalty and imposes a 14-year jail term for first-time homosexual offenders.
Additional reporting by Associated Press
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
People are criticising Fifa World Cup sponsors with corrupt corporate logos
Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
British tourists complain impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Fifa corruption live: Sebb Blatter warns 'more bad news may follow' as he clings to power
Skull found in Spain could be the world's first-ever murder victim
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...