Yes, I am.
I must say I am. And when I am so happy, I write. The words are simple, easy, quick!!!!! They flow.
First, thanks everyone, every non Ugandan out there who has found the bill sick and has dared to speak out about it. Thanks for working for us. Thanks for making common cause with us. Be you gay, or straight, thanks, thanks, thanks.
I am elated because some of my countrymates have come out and decided to support us against this horrible, Bahati Anti-Homosexual Bill.
Oh, as soon as most people saw the bill, they knew it was a disaster. A human rights nightmare.
Have you wondered why it has taken a full week before the Human Rights Organisations in the country came out to blast the Bahati Bill? That is how strong the homophobia is in the country. And how strong is the perception that it is a moral evil, and when the church is out there, being fronted by Ssempa and co, then the fear is out there. And, it is public knowledge that the big man of the country, and most of the populace is out to support this kind of bill. We are ignorant, as most of us Ugandans.
But, no longer.
I must say that we have tried to engage the Human Rights networks within the country. But, and a big but, even the Uganda Human Rights Commission was at first not convinced that we had something in gay rights. But, to give Commissioner Ssekagya her due, she embraced us. Gingerly, but she did.
Now, Civil society has been prodded to come out. At long last.
I hope we never go back into the closet in human rights in Uganda. This marks the time that we gay Ugandans have been accepted by the human rights campaigners in Uganda as having the same rights as all other Ugandans. Oh, dont get angry,... I know you must have recognised us before. But this time, you are willing to take up the government and the church, for our sake.....!!
Yes, You are courageous,
and from the depth of my heart, on behalf of all gay Ugandans, we say, a heartfelt THANK YOU.
Oh, we still have far to go. The bill was tabled. It will still most likely pass. I hope you dont chicken out. Because you are going to be called gay, homos, homosexuals, and all the perjoratives. I thank you, and warn you that the fight has just started!!!!!
Hey, a question, if you people could see that it was bad, what about the proffessional Christians in Uganda?
That is me being mean, and ready to prod some people within Uganda about me being a pariah....
Here is one thing which struck me about the Bahati Bill. I have been going back again and again to read it with incredulity. The bill is bad. Realy, absolutely bad. But, I am no lawyer, and I know only what I can read.
So, I was struck by what the lawyers interpreted the bill means. Like
Let us think for a moment of who—quite apart from the homosexuals it claims as its target— this bill puts at risk:
- any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years;
- any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours: Failure to do so s/he will be fined Ush 5,000,000/= or put away for three years in prison;
- any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual risks seven years of imprisonment;
- any Local Council I – V Chairperson or Executive member who does not denounce somebody accused of same-sex attraction or activity risks imprisonment or a heavy fine;
- any medical doctor who seeks to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through working with what are known as most at risk populations, risks her or his career;
- all civil society leaders, whether in a Community Based Organisation, NGO, or academic institution; if their organisations seek to have a comprehensive position on sexual and reproductive health, they risk seeing their organisations closed down;
- any human rights activist who seeks to promote an understanding of the indivisibility and inalienability of human rights would be judged to be promoting homosexuals and homosexuality, and be punished accordingly;
- any religious leader who seeks to provide guidance and counselling to people who are unsure of their sexuality, would be regarded as promoting homosexuality and punished accordingly;
- any Member of Parliament or other public figure who is sent a pornographic article, picture or video will become vulnerable to blackmail and witch-hunts;
- any media house that publishes ‘pornographic’ materials risks losing its certificate of registration and the editor will be liable to seven years in jail;
- any internet café operator who fails to prevent a customer from accessing a pornographic website, or a dating site, could be accused of ‘participating in the production, procuring, marketing, broadcasting, disseminating and publishing of pornographic materials for purposes of promoting homosexuality’; their business licence could be revoked and they themselves could land in prison.
- any Person alleged to be a homosexual is at risk of LIFE IMPRISONMENT and, in some circumstances, the DEATH PENALTY
and here was I only worried about Life imprisonment and Judicial Murder....
Gives one kind of a pause, teaching moment, whatever