I agree almost totally with Ken McLaughlin's assertion that Uganda's homophobia has been exacerbated (not created) by outside influences:
Care needs to be taken not to overstate the influence of three extreme and objectionable American evangelical Christians. Ugandans are not empty vessels waiting to be filled with whatever nonsense such people pour forth. The reasons for the current anti-homosexual climate are complex, influenced by historical, social, religious and cultural factors. However, the role of the West, from the colonial to the contemporary period, is of relevance when considering what is happening in Uganda today.
Attitudes to homosexuality in Uganda, as in most countries, have varied historically – at points being tolerant, at others intolerant. However, the current criminalisation of homosexuality is a legacy of British colonialism, whereby the colonial powers sought to punish local practices that they deemed to constitute ‘unnatural sex’. More recently, the US administration under George W Bush praised Uganda’s heterosexual, family-values policies and donated millions of dollars to sexual abstinence programmes. And now, Uganda finds itself being used as a proxy site for Western culture wars, with politicians, church leaders, gay and anti-gay activists getting involved in the debate and escalating the situation.
It is indisputable, in my opinion, that homophobia in Uganda and elsewhere has become a major political issue in part because of outside factors and influence. In those countries, it is used as both a political and an identity tool (identity politics here again is key); it is a way to reaffirm the omnipotence of traditional values which are seen as the basis of an imagined 'Africanity' which is seen as under assault from the outside world and oneeds to be revived to fix all problems including the one of development. I don't believe that the world should remain silent in front what is happening to Uganda, but rather that it should not make it an issue as one between the 'West' and the 'rest' by moralizing it, but rather should simply humanize it to avoid stupid debates about colonialism, neocolonialism, cultural imperialism, and every other silly pretexts used to justify the unjustifiable.