In Depth

‘The mouth is for eating’: Uganda’s president warns against oral sex

President Yoweri Museveni condemns ‘wrong’ sex acts brought in by ‘outsiders’

Uganda’s president has warned the country’s citizens not to engage in “outsider” sexual practices such as oral sex.

In a televised press conference, President Yoweri Museveni said: “Let me take this opportunity to warn our people publicly about the wrong practices indulged in and promoted by some of the outsiders.”

“The mouth is for eating, not for sex,” he said, adding: “We know the address of sex; we know where sex is.”

The remarks come as part of a broader crackdown on sexual freedoms by the socially conservative evangelical leader.

Sexual activity “against the order of nature” has been outlawed under Uganda’s penal code since the colonial era, but Museveni’s comments reflect a toughening of existing laws in recent years, mostly targeting the LGBT community.

Amid rising concern about the “spread” of homosexuality, partly stoked by US-backed evangelical Christian preachers, in 2009 one of Museveni’s ministers proposed legislation making same-sex activity punishable by death.

The proposal, nicknamed the “Kill the Gays bill”, quickly drew international condemnation.

A toned-down version of the bill making “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life in prison passed in December 2013.

Signing it into law, Museveni referred to gay Ugandans as “mercenaries” and “prostitutes” and repeated his oft-stated belief that homosexuality was not a legitimate orientation, Information Nigeria reported at the time.

“I have failed to understand that you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man,” he said. “There is something really wrong with you.”

The country’s constitutional court overturned the legislation the following year on technical grounds. However, LGBT Ugandans continue to suffer violence and persecution, often sanctioned by officials. 

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