(CNN) — President Yoweri Museveni, who made anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda much tougher Monday, told CNN in an exclusive interview that sexual behavior is a matter of choice and gay people are “disgusting.”
After signing the bill that made some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison, Museveni told CNN’s Zain Verjee that, in his view, being homosexual is “unnatural” and not a human right.
“They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?” he said. “I never knew what they were doing. I’ve been told recently that what they do is terrible. Disgusting. But I was ready to ignore that if there was proof that that’s how he is born, abnormal. But now the proof is not there.”
Museveni had commissioned a group of Ugandan government scientists to study whether homosexuality is “learned,” concluding that it is a matter of choice.
“I was regarding it as an inborn problem,” he said. “Genetic distortion — that was my argument. But now our scientists have knocked this one out.”
Dean Hamer, scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health, wrote an open letter to the Ugandan scientists in the New York Times last week urging them to reconsider and revise their report. Among his responses
Museveni, whose public position on the measure changed several times, signed the bill into law at a public event Monday. The bill was introduced in 2009 and originally included a death penalty clause for some homosexual acts.