Sunday, August 31, 2008

The American Connection

[Its Sunday, so, I am into Christian bashing.

Ok, not true. But here is an interesting article into the Christian religion in Uganda. No wonder we want to, as Archbishop Orombi says, throw off the colonial roots of Christianity! It is an interesting read. How the hell did it get into the New Vision? I dont know, but it is interesting.


Ugandan pastors’ love for America

The recent arrest of Christian Life Church’s Pastor Jackson Senyonga is no doubt a thorn in the flesh of the Pentecostal churches in Uganda, which have been battling tantalising stories about wayward pastors.

Pastor Senyonga may well be innocent of the charges that he behaved lasciviously with a minor while on a flight from Denver to Oakland in the US. Senyonga has explained that he was only inching away from a snoring man, which caused him to lean more toward the girl on the other side. Ugandan pastors have expressed confidence in his moral character, even those who have disagreed with him in the past over different issues. Senyonga is simply being maligned by the oversensitive American culture where many men, even of the cloth, have been found guilty of immoral acts.

But there is an element to this case that Pentecostal Christians rarely get a chance to dissect. Among the Pentecostal pastors fraternity there is a tendency to make America their frequent base, if not home.

For instance, it is amazing that Pastor Senyonga has been away preaching since February and will only return in November, according to his church aide. His wife Eva is also currently in the US. Senyonga’s website lists a US ministry as one of his ministry activities, and he “travels to nations and cities to address key churches and events to stimulate spiritual transformation through prayer, personal transformation and evangelism for church growth”.

Over the last 20 years, it has been a trend for Ugandan preachers to cast their visions overseas, with the pressure to label their ministries ‘international’ following almost every Pentecostal preacher. A visit to ‘outside countries’ is the desired springboard for most pastors. Many pastors spend more time at airports and in planes, and have become pastors of the air, as one top Kampala pastor once quipped.

Some of the powerful churches in Kampala are actually run by assistant pastors, as the heads are busy with ministry in America and other countries. Congregations go for months on end without seeing the man of God and only receiving greetings from their pastor through phone calls relayed by the associate pastor. There are many doors that are opened with a visit to the US. Education opportunities, financial partners and opportunities to widen the preaching circuit abound.

Pastor Simeon Kayiwa has been moonlighting as a professor at the Latin University in California and is to start a university here. Pastors can build networks with willing donors and other pastors, which benefit the orphans and the poor. Others, including Senyonga, have invited volunteer teams on medical missions or to help build schools. There is also a movement that sees Uganda as a missionary base and the fact that there are American congregations eager to listen to them is a positive sign.

All this would be well, if there were not a number of issues arising out of this trend.

Behind the drive to flock America is the lure of the image-is-everything prosperity kind of gospel. There is competition to have the most beautiful church structure, the best dressed choir, a televised programme, website, the most modern musical and public address equipment, sometimes a media house and other expansions. On a personal level, pastors must have a modern car, suits, a mansion and a contingent of bodyguards. All these things cost a lot of money and there are only so many ways a pastor can get money out of an average congregation.

Many pastors have to become resourceful in attracting donors to sponsor their plans. Usually, it starts with a visit to the United States of America, where many rich people are touched by the stories of AIDS orphans and poverty. Unfortunately, some pastors take advantage of this situation to hoard a lot of money, only a fraction of which ends up in a hastily set up orphanage. Sometimes, the physical structures are put up after news that the donors will be visiting to tour the projects. Almost every church has an orphanage or school attached to it. Although many of them are genuinely meeting the needs of the community, some are mere conduits for collecting money. A number of pastors have got into scraps with the Police and parents over orphanages or study-for-free schools that are run on crooked principles.

Many American Christians have been led to believe that President Yoweri Museveni is a born-again convert, when the President himself has said he long abandoned the faith.

A Kampala lawyer told this reporter of a ‘pastor’ who ingratiated himself with an American couple and told them of an orphan he had reportedly rescued from Rwanda during the genocide. The couple used to send money, clothes and other types of assistance to ensure that the child was well taken care of. He also convinced them to donate money to a church over a number of years. When they decided to adopt the child the pastor went into some dubious methods to try and smuggle the child out of the country, but those attempts failed. 10 years later, the couple came to Uganda and was so heartbroken to discover that the ‘pastor’ had been feeding them on a pack of lies. The girl’s mother was not dead, although she was mentally unstable and had abandoned the child. The child’s grandmother laughed at the fantastic Rwanda genocide story and the church they had been sending money to was non-existent.

It turns out that the man used to be a preacher, but had become a businessman in Kampala and America, and as time proved, a terrible liar and extortionist.

There are pressures in the US that many Ugandan pastors are not able to resist. Many try to imitate the swashbuckling lifestyle lived by American preachers and transport it to their home churches. Those who travel without their wives have been lured into intimate relationships with women who don’t mind the fact that the pastor is already married. Some preachers leave the country on a ministry mission only to get married to American citizens in order to become official residents.

According to Pastor Solomon Male of Arising for Christ, there are many such pastors who leave the country purportedly to preach, only to end up on kyeyo, doing odd jobs to make money.

“The church is just a business venture for some of them. They go and deceive that they have orphans and poor people they are looking after, then they come back and live lavish lives. They don’t implement what they solicited the money for.”

Male says a pastor like Stephen Ssozi was really running the church as a personal business and that is why he sold it to Pastor Frank Lutaaya. However, the bulk of the congregation moved out and placed themselves under the care of a more trusted pastor.

Sometimes, money is raised from different churches in multiple fundraising drives for equipment or buildings when only one project is being undertaken. Still, church members will be made to contribute towards the same when they arrive in Uganda or at least be asked to pay for equipment to be cleared at the airport.

There are pastors who double as importers, mixing donated items with their business stock and making quite a handsome profit, both from the donated stuff and from not being taxed.

When Sunday Vision spoke to Pastor Male, he reeled off a number of bizarre cases, some believable and some extreme. He is confident about his sources of information and says he has followed up some cases and found them to be true.

Male also alleges that some have ended up being trapped in homosexual tendencies after getting funds from gay donors indiscriminately. Many so-called pastors have sold their souls to a number of dubious causes, all in an attempt to raise money.

The principal of Kampala Evangelical School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Solomon Nkesiga, says there is nothing wrong with pastors spending a long time outside the country if they have congregations there.

and it goes on and on. Read it. It is enlightening.

For the sceptical, no, I did not write that article. Once upon a time, maybe I would have gone into the research. My ire at the Christian church has plunged, to the point where I do find this mildly amusing.

My Will

Curse you, if you weep on my deathbed.

[Its mine, isn’t it? My right to lay the rules…]

Why cry, why depress me, on my death?

I know. Soon, I’ll be gone-

I’m weak, flimsy, dying;

(why rub it in?)

my face’s sunk in,

I look like death warmed up;

my speech’s slow, labored,

I fail to breath, am in pain,

hell, I AM dying!

Death’s no stranger-

is an old companion.

I’m no immortal to believe

in an everlasting life.

Life’s too harsh a reality

to forget Death’s constant constancy.

So why laud him, praise him, as he takes me?

Why celebrate him in my presence?

There’ll be time enough, when I’m gone,

and I don’t have to see, your downcast face.

Hold it friend, don’t think me amiss, but

dare not weep on my deathbed.

There’ll be time enough for that, later.

Just now, bless me with your smile,

your presence, your love-

show me your self for,

we’ll be parted soon,

and no time will there be for that, later.

©GayUganda 31 August 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Lovely Morning

Beautiful Uganda-

a country where all the days

have the golden touch of a yellow summer

woven into their very fabric.

Lovely Uganda,

a land fertile and green,

bronzed, dark, negroid people;

flowers growing like weed every which way,

the skies are a vivid sea blue,

snow white fluffy clouds riding that calm,

The sun. Oh, the Sun-

Prince of the skies sails that blue sea,

this supremely lovely morning.

Can I not be but happy and,

grateful I call this lovely land home?

© GayUganda 30 August 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

News from Senegal

Hi Leornado,

shit does happen on this continent of mine. Shit like the one below.

It can hurt. Cut to the bone. But that does not help. Yes, we can change it, bit by bit. But for now, we have to publicise. Show that it happens.

Here is the News.

Senegal has jailed a Belgian retiree and his male Senegalese domestic helper for two years for "homosexual marriage and acts against nature," their lawyer said Thursday.

Richard Lambot, 61, and Moustapha Gueye, 63, who wedded in Belgium -- where civil gay marriage is legal -- last month, were sentenced by the Dakar regional court on Augusut 21, said lawyer Seyni Ndione.

"To help Moustapha Gueye get papers to live in Belgium, Richard Lambot married him in July," Ndione said, after which they returned to Senegal -- a predominantly Muslim nation where homosexuality is frowned upon.

"This marriage was only intended to help Mr Gueye," the lawyer said, adding that a poorly conducted police investigation led the two to be accused of "acts against nature" at Lambot's home in a working-class part of Dakar.

Homosexuality in Senegal can lead to five years in prison and fines running up to 1.5 million CFA francs (2,300 euros, 3,380 dollars).

In February, five people were detained for several days, then freed without charge, after a symbolic wedding between two men near Dakar.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

News From Liberia

A Homosexual has no redeeming factor about him. Her.

Tecumseh Roberts Was Killed Because He Was Gay...Prince Johnson At TRC

(Aug 26, 2008) By: James Kpargoi, Jr.

Monrovia, August 26, 2008: Popular musician Tecumseh Roberts was executed by Samuel Varnii, the deputy leader of the defunct INPFL, the head of the former warring faction Prince Johnson said.

Mr. Johnson said Varnii shot Roberts (now deceased) in his (Johnson) presence because, according to him, he was involved in homosexuality.

Mr. Johnson, now senior senator of Nimba County, said Mr. Roberts was engaged in the distribution of rice in his control territories on Bushrod Island during the heydays of the civil conflict until he was discovered to be a “gay.” Johnson said when Roberts was arrested he was in the company of a Caucasian man who was later released.

He has been testifying in continuation of the ongoing Institutional and Thematic Inquiry Hearings of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia where a mammoth crowd turned up Tuesday to witness the proceedings.

Mr. Johnson said following the discovery of musician Roberts, a stream of blood flowed down his pants leading to the confirmation of suspicion by Gen. Varnii that the musician was a “homosexual.”

“Gen. Varnii ordered Tecumseh Roberts to take off his trouser and when he (latter) took off his trouser, it was discovered that his butt [anal] was rotten. The man whole anus was rotten,” the senator told commissioners.

Following the discovery that he was a homosexual, Johnson said, Gen. Varnii shot and killed Mr. Roberts.

A beautiful day out.

But I am inside. My slave master decrees it so.

Woke up late, for work, that is.

Decided to report late, rather than not. We have the time, and there were a lot of things that I could blame for my lateness. Not the bottle of beer last night. Nor making love just before the alarm went off. It was fantastic. Afterwards, we lay in bed together, satiated, and sleep stole both of us away.

I woke again to realize that I was supposed to be on my way to work.

So, morning toilet. At my leisure. Reading a poem as I took a cup of tea. And then out to a very glorious day. Had started raining, but the sky was clear, with no overcast, and the sun was bright, edgy. Grandma used to call it the farmer’s rain. I would want to pull the bed clothing over my head, thankful that it was drizzling outside. Excuse to sleep longer. She would chide and tease me out of bed, to go and work in the fields, in the rain.

Very funny now, though highly annoying at the time.

I was a city kid, and digging, though I had done it at home, was something that we used to do under duress. Mom would allow no excuses.

Have you ever worked out in the fields with a bit of rain falling?

Amazing, and if it is the morning, fantastic. Sleep is abolished by the morning cold, but the drizzle is very refreshing. Very refreshing. And the muscles rippling, with the water running on the skin, like taking a shower while working out. Wielding the hoe, breaking the earth. I must say the farmers knew a thing or two about that kind of thing. I believe I used to dig faster, and work longer, on those mornings.

Today, the rain of the morning is an excuse. I can use it to stay in bed, with the warmth of my lover to cuddle to. Or, like this morning, I can just stay put at home. Rain is a very good excuse for not reporting at work. The roads are muddy, so one cannot walk. The boda-boda riders are staying out of the rain, so you cannot pillion ride on them. The misnamed taxis are plentiful, but the people taking them are not so many. In Kampala, it is rarely useful to carry an umbrella. It was raining this morning. At this particular moment, the sun is out, and hot, and the roads are steaming and drying up.

But rain is a good excuse to get to work late.

You can understand. I was late. Oh well, these minds of ours work in a funny way. No, I didn’t like coming in late.

I am yet to read the papers and get angered by them. Lots of nonsense, besides the ubiquitous gay bashing, Ugandan politically correct speech.

I was late, and now, I would like to be out in the sun, breathing it in. The morning drizzle cleared the air, moved the smog of yesterday away. A breeze from the lake moved away the cloud of car exhaust fumes.

Would it be better if I worked on the streets? (Not hawking my wares, though that can be interesting. All that paid sex!) But, like the Multiplex parking guys and gals. You know, the ones who are tied down to a street to collect street parking fees.

Well, maybe I am better off where I am! Though I am seated at my desk, looking out over the road, and wishing I was out in the beautiful sunlight of today.

Life is always greener the other side of the fence.

Have a beautiful day.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Mosque

A city on hills, in valleys;

solid, in the middle, in the dark and greens of foliage-

the cream and bronze of the New Mosque;

huge, squat, prominent, on Old Kampala hilltop,

in the clear morning air, bathed in the gold of early morning sun.

From Namirembe hill.

The Mosque framed. From Namirembe Hill

Ugly view, prettied up. Pic from Equatorial Hotel in the middle of the city.

Closer, from Equatorial

Close up, from next to Old Kampala Secondary School.

(c)GayUganda 27 Aug, 08

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Gay Big Brother...

Just been having a laugh. Big brother Africa 3 started yesterday.

The red rug took upon it's self to put in a few pointed jabs at the Ugandan contender. The accusation? He looks gay. Or are they just saying he is gay????? Poor guy.

Our super alert snoops have identified Uganda's representative in the Big Brother Africa 3 and he's city model Morris Mugisha. Well may be it's just a rumor.

Apparently, Morris flew out to South Africa yesterday at exactly 6am aboard South Africa Airways for the spectacular reality TV show which kicks off this Sunday.

However, what our snoops fear and what the whole nation should fear for is, he looks so artificial, not down to earth; simply put, he looks quite gay.

"It's too bad we have to pray from day one to the last day. Morris doesn't look like someone who can play the game quite well. He could fall way too soon," a concerned snoop said.

Apparently, Morris beat one Mugabe Kaijuka, the owner of the Garage fashion house for the hotly sought after BBA3 position. Morris Mugisha has graced Warid Telecom adverts, Zenji Magazine ads.

He is even the guy who replaced Zein Bekenya in Ziper Models. As expected, Multichoice has been keeping their choice under tabs."Morris is definitely not confirmed by Multichoice but everything shows h e is the guy," a snoop said.

Gay Poetry

Sometime ago, I questioned whether I am a 'gay poet'.

I am human. You will forgive my many foibles. My question was, simply because I am a poet who was gay, would one classify my writing as 'gay poetry'? I thought that would be an aspiration to a title that I have not earned. And, yes, I was wondering whether there is such an entity as 'gay poetry'. My question, just because we share sexuality, would that make us write the same?

Well, we live and learn.

I have just been delving more into the words. Poetry, Gay Love Poetry, as the book is titled.

If this is gay poetry, that is how I wish to write.

I have not read many of the poems. I have literally been enthralled by a few that I happened to read after opening the book at random. No magic about that. Just open the book, get one poem that strikes my fancy, and read it.

If this is gay poetry, this is what I aspire to.

Simple language. [No, I am not talking about Shakespeare.]

Simple, satisfying wordage. Words that seem to sink in with meaning, at the first reading. And are etched on the heart at subsequent readings. Like a great wine, you don't read this at a gallop. No, sip by satisfying, filling, feeling sip. To run on the tongue, palate. To inhale the scent, heady to the nose.

Some are poems about death. And AIDS. The poignancy, the bravery. The remembrance of those gone, and those who have survived, or are living, with the virus. Love features, and hate, fear.

We are unconventional people, we gay human beings. And the cutting edge of that runs through the poems, though they be about love. Ours are unconventional loves. Sometimes we may seek to define them, according to terms that have been around for eons. Yet, unique as each of us is, we embrace life as we are. From the moment that we learn that we are different, through living life, to the point of death.

This runs through them, the poems. We are of our world, and our world is of us, yet each and every one of us is unique, and different. And we dare to embrace our difference and uniqueness.

We are human. Our successes are of varying degrees. Yet, we cannot but try.

Normal is a boundary we define. Like all others. Experiences are sampled and stored. Like life for others.

A torrent of emotion, deep, personal, personalized. Running through the poems, conventional and unconventional.

If this is gay poetry, I would love to write like these gay poets did, bringing to life their innermost feelings, and musings, fears, courage, failings, and, most of all, humanity.


Politically Correct

The President made my day

President Museveni’s recent expression of support for Anglican Church in Africa on the issue of homosexuality has proved that he is a Pan-Africanist who has no fear for the Western world. It also proves that the President is fully behind the 96 per cent of Ugandans who also detest homosexuality. Mr President, thank you for fighting for the preservation of our African and Godly values.

I request that you ensure that the Education Ministry cleans up the rampant sodomy cases in schools, especially single schools. Fresh boys and girls welcomed enrolled in schools are introduced into homosexuality acts - they are sodomised. Yet schools fear to publicise such vices due to fear of losing students. Homosexuals are well-funded and use their resources to lure and force vulnerable children into the act.
Your excellency, your intervention in this matter is very important.

Emmanuel Nkeramihigo

[grumble, grumble, wasnt my letter ok?

Why didnt they publish it? They just sent me a note saying that the President was well within his rights...

Ok, ok, a beautiful morning, so I am not going to cloud it with some peoples support of gay bashing!



I have just been alerted to another gay bashing article in the newspapers. New Vision this time. Seems we are selling the news, these days! The title of the article?

Schools breed homosexuals

I will leave you to fantasize on the details. But it seems to be a re-hash of what the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission said last week. Maybe we had not got the full details of his intelligent comments.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Correspondence

Dear Gug,

I am struggling with a decision and would like your insight. I am a gay American. I recently became aware of the treatment of gay men and women in Uganda.

A friend of mine has a charity organization here in the U.S. that supports a school in Uganda with books, money, uniforms, and more. For several years I have supported her in her cause to raise money for that school. With this new information, about the treatment of gays in Uganda, I am no longer certain I can support this cause.

On one hand, I feel that I must support the school to educate the next generation for knowledge is power. But will that power be used against people like me? How could I ever go to teach at this school knowing that I might be prosecuted for my feelings and believes?

My stomach is sick with the stress over this situation and any comments and guidance you have is very much appreciated.

- Doug


Hi Doug,

That is a tough problem. Even for me.

I mean, on the one hand, I am busy crying wolf about the way my country mates are treating me, just because I am gay. Yet in the long run, I realise that they are my country mates. And this is my country, and my people.

Sorry, I cannot help seeing your problem from my point of view.

They abuse me that I am a sell out. That I am not African, not Ugandan. They insist that it is right for me to be sent to jail for life, just because I have a man that I love, and that I make love with him. The president believes it is ok for the churches to preach hate and ignorance about me. The churches are united in that. It is okay to talk hate to me. It is okay for the Muslim leader to frankly and openly talk about me dying in the ghetto of an island, simply because I was born gay, and he does not understand it. Because he considers that it is okay. It is moral for me to get HIV, according to the head of the HIV commission in Uganda. Increadible, but the man charged with guiding the country's HIV prevention believes that the best way to do HIV prevention amongst gay Ugandans is to stamp out homosexuality, a 'vice' that is rife in schools, according to him.

I am a Ugandan. But I am a pariah in my own country.

Should I reject my country? Because they reject me?

I will not. Well, I am stubborn stupid, I must confess. If someone believes I should do something one way, I try the contrary way. But also because, why, why should I be forced out of my country? Why should I be forced to believe that I am worse than I am? Once I believed that. But I know I was wrong, and, despite the 'moral indignation' and condemnation of my country mates, I will not leave the country, as one, a Minister in the government demanded. That we homosexuals go away, because the people of Uganda rejected us.

And what does this have to do with you?

I have a stake in this country. It is my country, despite those who would force me out, just because I am different. I have rejected the Christian religion, because they will not have me. My country, well, to hell with those who think I should not be in it.

Simply put, they will not stop me from loving my country, because it is my country. And their efforts to silence me will not work. Simply because I will not have it.

You are a gay man who is giving your money, out of the good of your heart, to people who will potentially spit in your face. What advice would I have about that?

On the one hand, you are doing something good. Something commendable. School fees and education is one of the surest way out of the rut of poverty in Uganda. And in Africa. Those who are educated on your money will have a better life in the future. That will be because you, out of the good of your heart, has given them something.

On the other hand, Ugandans have bitten the hands of givers. The Church of Uganda made a big deal of rejecting money from the Episcopal Church in America. Why? Because of the 'homosexual' leanings of the Episcopal church. They called press conferences to reject the 'homosexual money'. With lots of fanfare, and pharisaical self congratulations on their good deeds, rejecting the 'homosexual agenda'. You will give the money, and they will accuse you of ulterior motives. Of pushing your homosexual agenda. Because you are gay.

So, should you stop giving?

I am afraid I have worked myself into a corner. When I started answering your letter, I wanted to tell you to continue giving. Because I cannot sincerely say, of some kid out there, depending on your handout for school fees, and the hope of a better life in future, that you should not give him or her this hope. Because of the stupidity of the kid's elders, who are intent on making you the giver an enemy, because of their ignorance.

But you are also a human being. And, much as you felt you needed to give, you are also hurt by Ugandans' hate speech. And rejection of you. They will take your money, and in church and mosque tell the world how bad and immoral you are. Or reject it with all the fanfare that they can generate in their selfish gesture.

No. I cannot have a clear answer. I can only hope that you come to a decision that you are comfortable with.

I know that many people, gay people outside Uganda, do have problems like this. To listen to all the hate speech and believe that, according to our leaders, this hate speech defines all Uganda, all Ugandans? No it does not. But it hurts. It does hurt gay people everywhere, even in Uganda.

No clear answer, I am afraid. But thanks for the support you have been giving Ugandan kids.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Early morning, in Kampala.

I'm at my desk. Looking out onto the roads of Kampala. Iron bars between me and the road. Burglar proofing, but it is like a prison. I have to stay inside, on this beautiful day. I have to earn some money.

Ever thought of work as a voluntary servitude? My time. Precious as it is, and the discipline to give it on a regular basis, in exchange, the currency to buy the things that I need. Maybe the deal is fair…


I read it stealthily, the book on gay love poetry.

Like a lover cheating, yet so confident in my cheating that I flaunt it, unseen before the very world that condemns it. I went to have break tea, and I missed the words. For the few minutes I was at break. So, I came to my office, picked up the book and confidently went back to my tea.

I am always reading something. And poetry, well, too boring for most people. They no longer want to know what I am reading.

Poetry. Reading poetry. It collects my thoughts, focuses them. I feel with the writer, and, one with the poet or poetess, I celebrate life.

What is gay poetry?

Am I a poet? Since I am gay, is every line I write gay identifying?

I will leave that to more troubled minds than mine. Identifying, pigeonholing a person can be an exercise in futility. I am what I am. Yes, I do identify as gay, but, that is an identity I embrace.


The newspapers in Kampala have this advertisement quirk.

They have place holders, scattered all over the city center, and the main roads into the city, on the lamp posts and electricity poles. The New Vision, and the Monitor- in competition, and they want to sell as many copies as they can. So, they post some headlines, to interest you in buying the paper.

One of those, Friday, in huge letters. GAYS TARGET SCHOOL CHILDREN.

I think it was about this article, the one quoting the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission. Homosexuality is a problem in schools.

I am lucky I am not questioning my sexuality at this point in time. If I was, the wave, the torrent of hate in the media in Uganda could be overwhelming. What are they doing, those who are questioning? Is it worth it, the hate speech, the disapprobation, the demonisation?

Those in schools?

God help young gay Ugandans at this time. They must be having a collective hell of a time. And they have to have it in the deepest of closets. Maintaining face in the midst of internal turmoil.

Yet, Friday evening we went out. This bar that is more and more gay identifying. We are there in force, most of the time. It is our bar, by virtue of the time we spend there, and the money we spend. Yet, the rest of our country mates are so blind it is impossible to believe. We are open, and one sees the communication.

But we are also closeted, reveling in hiding out in the light.


Enough ruminations. Will have to save this somewhere, and post it. Later.

Be well, and a lovely weekend.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Support for the President

Ugandan Anglican leaders support president's speech on gay issue

Some Ugandan Anglican church leaders have expressed support for a statement by President Yoweri Museveni in which he commended the denomination's bishops for resisting homosexuality.

"It was great of the president to speak about the issue," Anglican Bishop Stanley Ntagali of Masindi-Katara told Ecumenical News International on 20 August. "We have been inspired by the president's positive comments."

This is the first time an African national leader has spoken out in the recent Anglican debate over homosexuality.

"When he speaks in this manner to the bishops, it will energise the resolve against homosexuality," said the secretary of Uganda's Anglican church, the Rev Aaron Mwesigye, in an interview with ENI. "The Uganda church has been very bold against homosexuality."

Hey, Of course the church leaders would support him. Just a mite disappointing.

You know, the letter, I sent it to the New Vision and to Monitor newspapers too. And the kind gentleman from Monitor informed me that the president was within his rights.
Oh well, just hope he remembers that next time the president shuts down the monitor...


AIDS in a Christian Nation



In the United States, HIV transmission is at a terrifying high, especially among gay men of any race, and among people of color. The statistics are only going to get worse unless we're willing to renew our fight against homophobia-this time, across America's racial spectrum.

Like it or not, AIDS is all about queers. If it isn't about fags getting AIDS, it's about AIDS being stigmatized as queer. And as long as AIDS has a queer stigma, men who identify as straight - whether they are or not - won't bother with condoms; people will go untested because they think they can't get it or are afraid they will be targets of anti-AIDS and homophobic violence if they do. That means treatment, even if available, will go unused by many who have the virus, and many more thousands of lives will be lost in great misery and suffering. (This is a reprise of my yearly speech.)

At the height of the pre-antiretroviral epoch, when the government was ignoring everybody, ACT UP fought both ignorance about the disease and homophobia, attacking the likes of Cardinal O'Connor and Jerry Falwell, who wallowed in a cesspool of hate. ACT UP's double-pronged approach had enormous success, especially among the white middle class, where most of the activists had their origins.

Black homophobia was mostly not addressed, either in society or in the church. I put it down both to indifference and to the peculiar nature of American racism in which any white activist disrupting a black church service is bound to get called culturally insensitive or racist at best. I actually remember one instance of a few white activists being dissuaded from doing anything by their black friends. Many of these early white activists are now in international AIDS advocacy work, ironically more comfortable working with Africans, especially straight ones, than African Americans.

AIDS organizing by people of color did begin to take off, but not very quickly, and by then an almost irreversible amount of damage had been done. The more people with HIV in your dating pool, the higher the chances you'll get it, even if you're careful. Activists have also been hampered by the role of the black church. This traditional engine of social change in black communities has either remained silent on AIDS or has instituted AIDS programs that try to fight the disease while leaving homophobia intact.

As a result, we now have 600,000 HIV positive African Americans, with up to 30,000 becoming infected each year. The Black Institute on AIDS has said that if they were considered as a nation, a Black Nation, they'd rank 16th hardest hit in the world, more than Botswana, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Namibia, Rwanda, or Vietnam, which all receive US funds for HIV/AIDS programs. That would place Black Gay Nation at numero uno with a 50 percent infection rate. Botswana, after all, is only near 39 percent.

Who's going to act? Obama, who campaigns with ex-gay Donnie McClurkin and relies on advice from Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell, who runs programs to free queers from their homosexuality? McCain?

Last weekend, both Barack Obama and John McCain appeared at the American Vatican, Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Ostensibly, the pastor, Rick Warren, is a moderate evangelical, fighting AIDS, global warming, and poverty. Except that in Uganda, at the end of March, he told the press that he supported the boycott of the Lambeth Conference by renegade bishops protesting the Anglican Church's tentative embrace of gay clergy and blessing gay unions. Warren, declaring that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right, said, "We shall not tolerate this aspect at all."

Warren's biggest partner in Uganda for his "Purpose-Driven Life" campaign is Martin Ssempa, an evangelist who's considered a big AIDS activist. His primary strategy is to fight the disease by fighting queers, advocating jail or death for us. This past spring, Ssempa organized a rally with the theme, "A Call for Action on Behalf of the Victims of Homosexuality," reinforcing the idea that queers are perverts, deviants, and disease-ridden criminals.

Despite some LGBT progress in civil rights, Christianity-based homophobia seems to have a bigger platform in politics today than ten years ago. Once, only Republicans embraced fundamentalists. Now, the Democrats have their own teams cutting deals with evangelicals of all colors. Faith-based social services are actually a huge part of Obama's agenda. We Americans seem to be choosing a pope, not a president.

For leadership on AIDS, we have to look elsewhere. Like the International AIDS Conference in Mexico, where participants were not afraid to use the words "gay" and "homophobia." On the opening day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said discrimination against gays must end. Later on, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, former Botswana President Festus Mogae, and President Denzil Douglas of St Kitts and Nevis each in turn called for the end of discrimination against gay men.

Fight homophobia. Fight AIDS.

From the Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission

Gay activities rife in schools

Thursday, 21st August, 2008

SCHOOLS have become breeding grounds for homosexuality, according to Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli.

Anne Mugisa reports that the Aids Commission chief urged the education ministry to stamp out the vice. He, however, noted that parents and guardians had an even bigger responsibility to inculcate African values in their children.

The practice is common among young people between 15 and 24 years.

He was answering questions about attacks against Uganda during the recent HIV/AIDS conference in Mexico. Many participants, he said, claimed that gay people were being harassed in the country.

We had quite adverse publicity in Mexico. Many speakers condemned our country but I believe we have strong values in terms of behaviour and what we think is right, said Apuuli,

It was difficult, he added for someone to depart from the values they are taught right from the time they were toddlers.

Over 30,000 people were at the conference. They included people living with HIV, scientists and policy makers and other stakeholders. Over 500 Ugandans from here and the Diaspora also participated.


Well, bang goes the thought that because he is a scientist, he is an ally. Was only my wishful thinking.