Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi famously known as Bobi Wine has said that he does not support gay people but he respects their rights.
The musician turned politician made the revelation on Wednesday while appearing on South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC).
The legislator arrived in South Africa yesterday where he is to attend the Freedom Foundation Africa’s Africa Freedom Awards 2019 ceremony on Friday.
“I believe that one has the responsibility of guarding the rights of all citizens of those who are like you and those that are not like you. I believe that as a leader, a high level of tolerance is required to make sure the nation comes together,”Bobi Wine said in response to a question about his views on gays during an interview.
Quoting a French philosopher, Voltaire, Bobi Wine said he might disapprove of what the homosexuals say or do but noted he will defend their rights to say it.
“I think all people are human beings and have their rights even when you don’t agree with them,” he said.
In 2014, Bobi Wine was denied a visa to visit the United Kingdom after gay rights campaigners accused him of inciting homophobic attacks in his song lyrics, according to local media reports.
The singer was forced to cancel two scheduled gigs in Birmingham and London where he was due to support Ugandan drama and music group the Ebonies.
Gay rights campaigners voiced objections when Bobi Wine’s shows were announced. A change.org petition said: “Ugandan artist Bobi Wine writes songs with blatant homophobic lyrics and calls for gay people to be attacked, or killed… allowing such an artist to appear in public is clearly going to raise tensions”.
The petition also questioned the use of the lyrics such as: “Burn all the batty man. All Ugandans get behind me and fight the batty man.”
The UK Criminal Justice and Immigration Act of 2008 forbids inciting hatred on the ground of sexual orientation. When asked about Bobi Wine’s claims, the UK Home Office they said they were unable to comment on individual cases.
Before the visa decision was reported, Wine outlined his position on homosexuality and freedom of speech in the Daily Monitor newspaper.
“I am personally not out to threaten the life of any individual based on their sexual orientation, I just do not agree with them [homosexuals]”, he said. “This is my opinion and happens to be that of 99 per cent of Ugandans”, he claimed.
“I hope that the proponents of homosexuality who pride themselves in their liberalism and support for human rights, will allow me my right of expression much as they may not be comfortable with my opinion,” he added.
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