Last month, reports out of Uganda claimed that President Yoweri Museveni told parliamentarians he wouldn't sign the country's notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill unless scientists could prove that homosexuality is a choice.
Of course, sexual orientation isn't a choice, and every major mainstream organization of medical and mental health professionals acknowledges this and condemns efforts to change it. But did this inconvenient truth stop a team of Ugandan "scientists" from claiming otherwise? Nope.
Uganda's Observer has the story:
[Museveni] suggested that a team of scientists study the problem (homosexuality) and present a report to the NRM caucus during its February 6-16 retreat in Kyankwanzi.
One of the scientists on the team, Mbarara Municipality MP Medard Bitekyerezo, told The Observer on Monday that his own study showed that homosexuals were not born. He says homosexuality is a socially-acquired behaviour that can even be cured.
"From the research that I have engaged in for some time ever since we were assigned by the caucus, I have discovered that there is no gene that is said to produce [homosexuality] as claimed by some people," he said...
"In one study [it is] revealed that actually 50 per cent of the homosexuals revert to heterosexuality if rehabilitated in time. This, in itself, reveals a behavioural aspect," he told us.
An Observer source predicts that Museveni will try to seek a "compromise" on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that appeases both the electorate and the international community, but did not speculate on what such a compromise might look like.
Note: It's worth remembering that news reports out of Uganda can sometimes be dubious. Just last month, Uganda's Daily Monitor falsely reported that Museveni had "blocked" the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, triggering misleadingly hopeful headlines around the world that later had to be corrected. (The misleading article is still accessible on the newspaper's website.) So it's best to take this news not with a grain of salt, but a bowl full.
Photo of Doctors Medard Bitekyerezo and Chris Baryomunzi, two of the "scientists" studying the cause of homosexuality, via the Observer.