WMA urges Ugandan President to Reverse New Law on Homosexuality

(03.03.2014) The World Medical Association has written to the President of Uganda to express its deep concern about the new law in the country concerning homosexuality, and urging him to reverse the measure.

The Chair of the WMA, Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, and the Secretary General, Dr. Otmar Kloiber, say that the science and ethics on which this Ugandan legislation is based is incorrect and that the new law will detract from the many advances in healthcare made in Uganda.

The letter points out that WMA leaders met Uganda’s Minister of Health this week and appeared on Ugandan TV to voice their concern and to state clearly that they believe the new law ‘is violating what is now being seen across most of the world community as a basic human right, namely to decide about one’s sexual orientation’.

It continues: ‘We do note that this was not the case in the past in many nations of the world but now is; we hope the legislation in Uganda can reflect international human rights in a short time. It is noteworthy that the amended legislation has seen the unworkable notion of mandatory reporting removed.

‘The heinous crimes of child abuse and paedophilia are abhorrent and totally unacceptable but have nothing to do with sexual orientation but criminal actions. 

‘It is correct to state clearly and unequivocally, we are not aware of any medical reason or “fault” for bi-sexual or homosexual behaviour. Further, it is highly questionable that homosexuality poses a public health risk. There are sexual behaviours that may be practiced by people that are unwise and unacceptable because they are dangerous – whoever practices them whether homosexual or heterosexual. Such behaviours do result in a “public health risk” classification of homosexual or heterosexual persons in general.’ 

Commenting on the letter, Dr. Haikerwal said: ’We are seeing in some jurisdictions those previously convicted of homosexual acts being exonerated. Ultimately this Ugandan legislation must be reversed’.

Full text of the letter