Activists Protesting Anti-Gay Law Disrupt Speech by Ugandan President in London


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni spoke at a UK government forum last night at Lancaster House in London designed to promote UK investment in Uganda's economy, Ekklesia reports:

The opening of the forum saw President Museveni speak about trade and investment on the same day as the trial of two men charged with homosexuality starts in Uganda. The trial is the first since the new anti-gay law was passed earlier this year.

3_museveniMuseveni also spoke at the St. James Court Hotel where his speech was accompanied by "a constant background disruption" from a protest organized by the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group, with the support of STOPAIDS, the RMT union and the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

"Foreign Office collaboration with the Ugandan government and support for the UK-Uganda Business Forum calls into question David Cameron’s commitment to tackling rising homophobia in Uganda and across Africa," according to the activists.

The demonstrators discussed the protest in a press release:

"It is hypocritical for the UK government to claim to be promoting LGBTI rights internationally and at the same time rolling out the red carpet for regimes like Uganda that persecute gay people," said Edwin Sesange, the Ugandan Director of the African LGBTI Out and Proud Diamond Group.

"The UK government should come clean on its progress with promoting gay rights in countries like Uganda that they host and collaborate with. At this early stage since the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) became law, it is questionable for Ugandan government ministers to claim that the campaign against the homophobic legislation has had no effect on the Ugandan economy and inward investment. President Museveni is more likely to attract foreign investors if he ensures good governance, financial probity and human rights. The AHA is a negative, which is turning off many would-be western investors,” said Mr Sesange.

Peter Tatchell (below, right), Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation, added:

“Gay people are not the cause of Uganda’s problems. The government of Uganda should fight poverty and HIV, not gay people. It is two-faced for the UK government to condemn homophobia while hosting President Museveni, whose government has legislated one of the world’s most draconian anti-gay laws. The Anti-Homosexuality Act punishes any form of same-sex contact – even mere kissing and caressing – with mandatory life imprisonment. Museveni is a tyrant who presides over a corrupt regime that is guilty of widespread human rights violations, including the arrest of opposition leaders, torture and the suppression of free speech. The UK government should not be drumming up business to sustain his autocratic rule."

(images via the peter tatchell foundation)



  1. says

    Totally agree, Rowan. He has put himself out there so much and for so many things and is never afraid of dangerous situations. I really admire Peter Tatchell. He is a true hero.

  2. David From Canada says

    The President of Uganda needs to see and hear these protests. It’s a new day out there and him and his country are being left behind.

  3. HEN says

    Are there more articles on this? Video? This is the very thing that needs to be put on blast. Time to end…or at least acknowledge…this hypocrisy! That bastard damn well knew he was going to face opposition coming to the UK and asking for investment aid to his country where it’s perfectly OK to treat humans as anything but! He probably thought he was entering the devil’s lair by coming to the UK.

  4. Gay Guy says

    How about an anti-homophobia statement of principle for the Commonwealth? This is reminiscent of the 1958 compromise where the Commonwealth would proclaim an unambiguous anti-racism position in lieu of denying membership to Apartheid South Africa.

    This proposal was made by a Conservative (get that) Canadian Prime Minister.

    It is noteworthy that although it would have been admitted as a member (because of the compromise), South Africa withdrew its application for membership.

  5. enchantra says

    The UK can’t have a law or policy against trade with countries with anti-gay and other laws. That would lock out the entire islamic world.

  6. L G. says

    per usual….money over morality
    do not miss a chance UK, US, and myriad of others
    Throw the first stone , well those without sin! Anyone game in the money world

  7. Patrick says

    The former gay king of Uganda would know how to deal with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Somethings work for him and somethings don’t If it’s ok for him to do this than it’s ok for anyone to do anything to him!

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