In Uganda, a country where homophobia is violently entrenched and even institutionalized, presidential candidate Patrick Amama Mbabazi has emerged as a much-needed ally for the African country’s embattled LGBT population. Breaking rank with fellow politicians and leaders, Mbabzi clearly stated in a recent interview that he is “opposed to homophobia.”
In recent years, LGBT news out of Uganda has been increasingly distressing. Even rare instances of positive news, like like the Constitutional Court’s overturning of the “Kill the Gays” law, cannot be attributed to any growing tolerance—it was on procedural grounds that the law was dismissed. Importantly, homosexuality has been vilified as “un-African,” which makes the stance taken by the nation’s former prime minister so significant. Mbabzi’s statement in full, as reported on NBS Television’s Facebook page, is:
The remarks immediately inspired praise from LGBT activists like Frank Mugisha:
\u201cHistory in the making, first time ever Ugandan presidential aspirant speaks against homophobia https://t.co/JU1JTwSsJa\u201d
— Dr. Frank Mugisha (@Dr. Frank Mugisha)
However, some fear that Mbabzi’s support for such a hated minority may harm his chances in the upcoming election.