Uganda is Takin’ it Back: Anti-Gay Bill Will Kill the Gays After All

UGANDA: Anti-gay bigots plunge Africa into a new era of hate crimes. Bullies of a feather band together, and it’s not just Uganda anymore. Nigeria has a similar bill waiting to reach its statute books and already allows the death penalty for homosexuality in northern states, as does Sudan. Burundi joined 37 other African nations this year in criminalizing gay sex. Egypt & Mali are also pursuing similar goals and using morality laws against same-sex couples.ugandaprotest-320x222

And in Uganda, David Bahati has put that bill on the table, and although Ethics Minister James Nsaba Buturo said that the death penalty & life imprisonment stuff was kicked to the curb, that stuff is defo still on the bill.

DON’T WORRY, POTUS HAS STEPPED IN WITH A GIGANTIC IMPORTANT STATEMENT: “The president strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history.”

YEAH TAKE THAT … sigh.

Here’s what’s on the bill:

The Ugandan bill extends existing laws to make it illegal to promote homosexuality by talking or writing about it, and forcing people to tell the authorities about anyone they know who is gay. The bill, said Bahati, 35, an MP from the ruling party, aims to “protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sex promiscuity on the people of Uganda.”

Those nasty sexual rights activists with their agenda of freedom and happiness! Luckily, the United Nation is playing hardball on this one.

The Ugandan Sunday Monitor interviewed Inside Politics’ Ismail Musa Ladu & Risdel Kasasira, Sheikh Nsereko Mutumba, the public relations officer of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, and Dr Nsaba Buturo, the Ethics and integrity minister. Highlights:

How about us who detest [homosexuality]; don’t we also have a right?

We believe that Allah created us to multiply and worship him. How will a gay do that? Muslims are aware that homosexuality is a sin and I am sure that the churches also teach that this vice is a sin and unacceptable in any society.

Homosexuality is akin to sodomy and you know what that means. There are grave consequences like HIV/Aids, psychological torture and others.

We want to be left on our own to decide the way we do things; nobody should interfere with the decisions we make. This is a matter (homosexuality ) that we oppose entirely.

cartoonAccording to The Guardian, “Many suspect that it was outsiders who inspired this bill in the first place. In March, Bahati [person who presented bill] met several prominent anti-gay US Christian activists who attended a conference in Uganda where they pledged to “wipe out” homosexuality. The conference featured Scott Lively, president of California’s anti-gay Abiding Truth Ministries and co-author of The Pink Swastika, a book claiming that leading Nazis were gay. Also there was Don Schmierer, on the board of Exodus International, which promotes the “ex-gay” movement, believing people can change their sexuality and be redeemed. The third extremist evangelical to attend was Caleb Lee Brundidge, who is linked to Richard Cohen who believes that psychotherapy can “cure” homosexuality. Remember Richard Cohen? He was the guy who got schooled by Rachel Maddow.

Also check out this story from the Daily Monitor of a lesbian couple in Uganda fearing for the future under the anti-gay bill.

(@guardian)

DIRTY WORDS: GLSEN is counting mentions of “fag,” “dyke,” and “so gay” on twitter to prove a point. Here’s the thing: we use dyke all the time. I mean, it’s not a bad word anymore. Queerty has a few more points, like that GLSEN is aimed at protecting schoolkids, but adults use twitter, and that “all uses of ‘fag’ are not terrible.” I can’t believe GLSEN is so out of touch that they don’t realize Dyke isn’t just sometimes “not terrible,” but an intrinsic element of lesbian history, which they should probs educate themselves on! Dykes on Bikes, the Dyke March, Dykes to Watch Out For, c’mon!

PROTEST: A group of protesters stood outside NY State Senator Carl Kruger’s front yard on Sunday protesting his decision to vote against marriage equality earlier this month. Kruger, a Democrat, was one of 38 senators—and eight Democrats—who voted against extending marriage rights to gay people in the state. (@advocate)

HOT FOR THE OTHER TEACHER: It amazes me how these right-wing asshat columnists jump in just when a story is about to finally cycle out of the news-cycle with their lovely opinion. Oh, freedom of speech, Andrea Payser of The New York Post TAKE IT AWAY -

Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. So what do those who can’t teach gym do?

If you’re a couple of Sapphic and slutty Brooklyn public-school teachers, you do what comes unnaturally, preferably during school hours.

MALE PROSTITUTES YAY: Men may now join the ranks of Nevada’s brothel prostitutes, after a unanimous decision today that added language to health codes so male sex workers could be tested for infectious diseases. (@lasvegassun)

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Houston’s newly elected gay mayor breaks a barrier, but to little fanfare. Ms. Parker’s victory owed more to a series of small, gritty factors — from low turnout to the absence of a Republican contender — rather than to a huge groundswell of support for gay rights, political strategists here said. (@nytimes)

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25 Comments

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    I feel like I am not even able to process how crazy this Uganda thing is, or any of the news surrounding it. Psychological torture? Really? Gay Nazis? That poster? WHAT IS GOING ON

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    fucking a. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide realllllly needs to be updated. just because gays are not considered a “racial, ethnical, religious, or national” group doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be protected under international law. i think it’s time a new category was added. Samantha Powers where are you?? ack. i’m depressed. i need a cookie or something.

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      The thing is, when it comes to life and death, it really doesn’t matter who you’re killing. It just doesn’t. This is what bothers me the most about the whole Uganda issue.

      I can’t believe/understand/grasp why there hasn’t been an even bigger international outrage regarding this. Now it’s not about hate or discrimination. It’s about GENOCIDE? IN 2010? THE 21 CENTURY? I MEAN, WE HAVE THE INTERNET, ACCORDING TO TAYLOR WE’LL HAVE THE NEXUS ONE IN A FEW MONTHS, LADY GAGA EXISTS… Genocide should be part of our embarrassing past as humans, never to happen again. World leaders shouldn’t allow it, period… UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH.

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        I agree with you, absolutely. But I am not surprised by the lack of appropriate outrage nor do I expect much from the UN or any world leaders on this. I am admittedly a strong proponent of the UN, but we can all agree that the UN/the world has a history (recent and otherwise)of being completely pathetic when it comes to genocide.

        Rwanda was only 15 years ago, and the genocides happening RIGHT NOW in Darfur, the Congo, eastern Burma, and Somalia are presently being met with the same level of silence, ignorance, and indifference. Clearly we haven’t learned nearly enough from what have already let happen.

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    Takesies backsies, Uganda? What are we, like 7? Jerks.

    *Sigh* that photograph is powerful. I really can’t take this. I mean, how is this happening? Like, really? When will it end? That’s all I want to know.

    I hope the UN isn’t bluffing, and really makes a stance here.

    “How about us who detest [homosexuality]; don’t we also have a right?”
    What the fuck do you mean? Of course you do! You have the right to sit your angry ass down and keep on hating. Other than that, go pick your nose or something. Are you serious? Like, is this person saying they think they should be able to kill because they detest someone? Oooooookay. There are a lot of “sins”. We killing thieves now too? Liars?

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all of US Christian activists started all this bullhocky. It still amazes me, I mean I can’t understand how people GATHER and make motions based on things that shouldn’t matter this much. Like, is it that serious? GO READ A BOOK. Daaayuummm. And, yes, I do remember Richard Cohen, and you can totally read him. I don’t think he’s ex-gay at all. Just a big fat douche.

    Hmm, I personally do not use the word dyke. Some people say it’s offensive, some people say it’s not, then you’ve got the people who say it’s offensive when a straight person says it, but it’s fine because they’re gay. When I come across words like that, I just don’t use them at all.

    Really, Kruger? Let’s go, ny-ers.

    Really, Payser? First of all, honey you’re LATE. Second, do I sense a little I’m-still-in-the-closet-and-I’m-jealous-of-their-sexual-freedom? Who slipped the bitch in your coffee? Fuckass.

    I knew the Texas seemed a little by default.

    Pickle.

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    Oh GLSEN. I’m pretty sure I’ve used all three of those in before, if not in one tweet (or maybe a FB status). Things like “I’m SO GAY” are not anything worth tallying. And how many of those “fag” references were Brits in need of a smoke break?

    If people of faith used half the money and influence and energy they put into blocking gay marriage and adoption into protecting human rights around the globe, mountains would move. And I might actually see Christ reflected in the Church, instead of the flaws of man projected onto Christ.

    As for that idiot at the Post and her lame attempt at humor, I certainly know of some teachers who have ended up in the job for lack of an ability to do anything else, but that’s a travesty of the system and low teacher pay.

    But making the generalization of “those who can’t do, teach” for a cheap laugh is an insult to the many fantastic teachers out there who put their all into educating the often unwilling masses. I only teach 14 hrs a week and it’s laid-back ESL conversation (much of what we do are slight adapted drinking or Who’s Line games) and some days it sucks all my energy and with my less-willing classes sometimes a piece of my soul goes as well. I can’t imagine how full-time public school teachers do it. I really do love teaching, but to do it well takes A LOT.

    Personally, I think they should do a study to see if having lesbian sex mid-day gives you that extra energy boost and tension release to get through the rest of the day. And if the results are good, we should build some private rooms in an isolated area of the school and encourage teachers to partake of whatever sort of productive “planning period” activities they choose.

    Also, one fling (in an admittedly poorly chosen time/place) makes these women slutty? Can we please re-write every article on Tiger Woods to refer to him as a man-slut? (Honestly, I haven’t read any of these articles, so if one of them already does than OMG SEND IT TO ME!).

    Wow, reply has been far too serious. I’m going to go watch BaWa say “Bluffin’ with my muffin” again because that shit was HYSTERICAL.

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    If this is messing with your minds try being an average Ugandan in Uganda. In the past 10 years that I’ve studied/worked partly in the UK I’ve seen my country hit the international news as a result of cult massacres ; the LRA rebel army kidnapping Ugandan children and forcing them to kill their families; and now the threat of govt endorsed murder of gay people. I love my country and of course it hurts to be defined and represented as a nation by this abhorrence (and of course the most famous Ugandan celebrity Idi-Amin). I’m grateful to autostraddle for running these updates nevertheless. I don’t feel quite as helpless and powerless knowing that what’s going on here actually means something to ordinary people outside of Uganda as well. A bill like this certainly has money and greed at the root of it and in no way represents the priorities of any Ugandan constituents. However this is probs not the time and place for a lecture on the legitimacy (lack thereof) of the Ugandan govt.

    It may seem otherwise but it is possible to be gay and out, in love and happy in Uganda. I don’t imagine for a minute that I’m the only Ugandan that regularly reads Autostraddle. (The L-Word was broadcast uncensored on cable tv over here back in the day, and my friends and I had screening house parties featuring the Riese recaps no less!) On the other hand, I do recall that a staging of the Vagina Monologues, produced and performed by Ugandan women, was banned by local govt back in 2005 for ‘promoting homosexuality and unnatural sexual acts’.

    For all the official proponents of this law I hope you all don’t think that most Ugandans are cheering in the streets. There are voices that speak against the hypocrisy and violence, groups of ordinary Ugandans that organise and come together to fight against these laws and to support those who’ve actually been persecuted. I guess there is some comfort in knowing that although homosexuality has been punishable by life imprisonment for decades in Uganda, (also we were among the first countries to place a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages) it has been rare and much too complicated for those laws to actually be enforced.

    Sadly for the average Ugandan the threat of being ostracized, attacked and rejected by family, church and community is still far more real/familiar and frightening than these new laws; home is where the toughest battle for equality, freedom and acceptance really lies for gay Ugandans.

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    thank you so much for commenting, and for adding your voice to this discussion. it’s clear from your comment that the situation in Uganda is complex and it’s so helpful to hear the perspective of someone who really understands the situation on the ground, and the realities of the Ugandan people. so thanks. i hope you comment more.

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