Open letter from leading scientists and academics to President Museveni: “the science is clear – homosexuality is natural and normal”
Dear President Museveni,
You recently made a call for a scientific opinion to establish if homosexuality is natural, or learned – to help you determine whether to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. As scientists – from across Africa and the world – we are answering your call.
We cannot say this enough: homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality. The science on this subject is crystal clear and we call on you in the strongest possible terms to veto the bill in the name of science.
Consider the largest ever scientific study into the genetics of same-sex sexual behaviour. It analysed a huge sample of nearly half a million people. What did it find? Genetics plays a role in homosexuality. And in fact, it does not just come from one gene, but many. As one of the lead researchers on the study said: “I hope that the science can be used to educate people a little bit more about how natural and normal same-sex behaviour is”.
But he and his co researchers are not alone. You can listen to your very own Uganda National Academy of Sciences. Or perhaps fellow African scientists at the Academy of Science of South Africa. In fact, we cannot think of one major scientific organisation – from the World Health Organisation to the World Health Assembly and beyond – which would argue against the idea homosexuality is not normal and natural.
Science does not only tell us that homosexuality is normal and natural, it also tells us that it is not “socially contagious”. You cannot catch it, like the common cold. You cannot be indoctrinated into it – exposure to rainbow flags will not make a child gay. Nor is it a western import – despite what you and many of your citizens have heard. Sexual orientation is not limited to any specific region. It is not confined by borders drawn on a map. It needs no passport to travel. Indeed there’s clear evidence for same sex relationships in Africa dating back hundreds of years.
And science also busts pernicious and hateful myths that homosexuality encourages pedophilia, and that HIV is a ´gay disease´. In fact, laws, like the one you are considering signing, actually make it more difficult to monitor and control sexually transmitted diseases.
This law is unscientific. We urge you in the strongest terms to veto the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, in light of the wide scientific consensus that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality.
If you would like to add your name to this letter, please contact [email protected]
- Professor Glenda Gray, President & CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
- Dean Hamer, Scientist Emeritus, National Institutes of Health USA
- Professor James McIntyre, Anova Health Institute and University of Cape Town, South Africa
- Professor Francois Venter, Executive Director: Ezintsha, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Professor Marc Mendelson, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Head of Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Past-President of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, Past-President of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa
- Professor Bavesh Kana, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, Chief Executive Officer, The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, South Africa
- Professor Volker Sommer, Chair of Evolutionary Anthropology, University College London, United Kingdom
- Prof. Eduard Sanders, Specialist scientist on HIV prevention, Aurum Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa & Kenyan Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.
- Dr. Simon LeVay, former Associate Professor, Harvard University and Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA
- Professor Charles Roselli, Professor of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry, Oregon Health & Science University, USA
- Professor Paul Vasey, Professor & Research Chair, Dept. of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, Canada
- Kenneth J. Zucker, Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada
- Dr. Lisa M. Diamond, Distinguished Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Utah, USA
- Associate Professor Brendan Zietsch, ARC Future Fellowship & Associate Professor School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia
Well put. This morning the BBC World Service radio had a Ugandan politician, one Robinah Rwakoojo Gureme, talking absolute cobblers about this subject
Maybe this article should be titled “Open letter to Ugandans” instead of Museveni. He is just the figurehead/messenger not the cause. It pains me that many activist types think in a monocultural world view despite their exposure.
I find it odd that 99% of these “leading scientists and academics” all hail from the west or are western origin, yet the subject is about African arguments. Brings back neocon/imperial vibes if you step back a little. Surely one wouldnt look twice to see an article about women/abortion written and decided by 99% men.
Now on the first issue, if you look beyond Uganda, you will see not only they but Kenya next door, Sudan up north and just about all other nations in Africa have the same disposition. Perhaps its not the presidents, but its the people, If so, then it could be cultural not necessarily political even though the two are now intertwined due to the debates.
I think these various signatories need to better understand Africa and the world to appreciate what multiculturalism means. In a nutshell, one mans treasure is another mans trash. Same goes for most middle eastern and Asian societies who make up more than 70% of the worlds pop.