Thursday, December 3, 2009

Movement....

Ha, not the political party in Uganda.

But, there is some movement occuring. I think, at least.

The rumours of the involvement of the Christian Right in America are becoming more and more believable. Hey, I am writing from Uganda. It seems sort of unbelieavable, but, well, I have been following the articles more and more. There are definately some Christian Rights Organisations, which have a stake in this anti-homosexuality bill in a tiny East African country called Uganda, and, who are hell bent on having such a genocidal legislation become law. Here is another plank in that particular coffin.

So, what does it mean for me? Well, I can understand why my people have become more and more homophobic over the last five years or so. Homosexuality is not new in the country. What is new is the current level of hysterical homophobia. I was talking to a Tanzanian friend who was suprised at what is happening here. Homosexuality is something that happens in Tanzania. No one asks, no one talks. It is a fact of life.

And in Kenya? Well, despite the church and other things, homosexuality IS talked about in Kenya. In addition to having an HIV prevention programme for gay men.

So, why Uganda? And, despite poor homosexuals being blamed for being in the pay of 'foreign masters' are the actual sell outs Bahati, Nsaba-Buturo and Museveni?

Bahati also refused to clarify reports originating from the United States that his anti-gay campaign was linked to an ultra-conservative group known as The Family. As we reported last week, an American journalist and author Jeff Sharlett told National Public Radio that Museveni and Bahati were in bed with The Family, a group he said fights homosexuality and promotes dictatorship. (See Museveni, Bahati named in US ‘cult’, The Observer, November 26 - 29)

Oh, the mad man Scott Lively was definately involved. But, it is likely he is also a pawn in a larger game. Guess it is matter of fact that pawns can become queens.

I am really glad that US LGBT people and friends are taking up that fight. Because it is too much for puny me this end! Not the reach, and, of course, I have no knowledge of the American jungle. And, it is a jungle out there.

Though Hillary Clinton didnt mention Uganda, clarifying remarks at the end emphasized that Uganda was indeed in her diplomatic sight screen. We will see what happens.

The UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV in Africa, Grace Mataka is in the country. Apparently, she came to talk to the government about two pending bills. One is the anti-homosexuality bill. And, another is one which seeks the death penalty and life imprisonment for spreading HIV. Seems as if we Ugandans are really good at working on laws that are stupid. Ahem. [I have the right to say stupid is stupid, dont I?]

But, I have been struck by the reporting. Does The New Vision, the government paper mention her press conference? Well, maybe in the innards of the paper. No headline stories, at least.
The Daily Monitor, second mass circulation daily in the country mentions that she is around. And, mentions the opposition to the HIV bill. Any mention of the anti-gay bill? No. Not in this account which they put on the front page.

Its the Observer, which has been quite on the mark with reporting about the bill in Uganda that rounds up the press conference which the UN envoy held. Yes, the anti-homosexuality bill was mentioned. And, she has been having a high level campaign to say something to the proponents.


"The presence in Kampala of the United Nations AIDS envoy, Elizabeth Mataka, capped a week of increasing pressure on President Museveni and Ndorwa West MP, David Bahati, over their campaign against homosexuality.
Essentially Ms Elizabeth Mataka, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa, came to Uganda to attend events to commemorate World AIDS Day. But The Observer understands that prior to that, she met MP Bahati and was expected to meet President Museveni to plead with the two men to respect the rights of gay people.
In October, Bahati tabled the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 in Parliament, seeking more severe punishment for homosexuality, which is already illegal in Uganda. Among other sanctions, the law proposes the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality – where the offender has HIV or the victim is below 18 years of age, or is a disabled person.


According to diplomatic sources, Mataka was expected to put Museveni in a tricky situation by demonstrating to him how the proposed anti-homosexuality bill will frustrate the impressive fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda for which the President has for long enjoyed kudos."

Cant say I am unhappy about that kind of high profile movement..... Hope it has some effect. Here is the article. It is actually well rounded. Fact, most of the reports in Uganda (Non existent in the New Vision) have been kind of half baked. But the Observer, though well written, is not well read. Not the clout of the other two, or the red rug....

Well, some movement. Will keep my eye on the pulse....

Have a good day!

gug

PS. I have just re-read through this, and, I think I am being unreasonably optimistic. Yeah, it is better to have my eyes fixed on what is the reality, than think that my wishes will become fact. Here is a counter balancing article from Reuters. Uganda is set to pass the anti-gay bill. I think the analysis is good. And, based on facts on the ground.

13 comments:

StandTall-The Activist said...

This is a very unacceptable incident. I hope the bill wont see the light of the day. How abotu your safety and that of other gay men at the moment?

gayuganda said...

Ha,

life is unfair. No real assurance, or insurance to it.

Ok, seriously, what about our safety? Well, we are making lots of noise as and when we can now. When the bill becomes law, those of us who are out will be most likely hauled in for any more 'promotion' of homosexuality...!

But, sometimes, sometimes it is actually worth the while to hang out ones neck. Afterall, I will only die once.... Gallows humour. But, better than nothing.

Zoe said...

This is just awful (I came here from a link from Andrew Sullivan.) This Australian citizen will be watching and wishing for your safety, I'm sorry I can't do more.

Seething Mom said...

Please know that as an American mother of a gay son, my heart is with all gay and lesbian Ugandans and their families. I am heartbroken that there were people here in American that played a key role in the writing of this hateful ugly legislation. But also know that most Americans are moral and kind and are horrified by this proposed legislation.

Redneck Liberal said...

I'm so embarrassed and angry to share a country with the Evangelical a**holes here who are creating this situation. I wish you good luck, safety and hope that reason prevails.

solarbird said...

I only have a few hundred readers on my blog in Cascadia but I am writing about this a lot and I hope we can do some good. Good luck.

celticdragon said...

Keep your chin up and good luck. I know that many of us in the US are pulling for you and your brothers ans sisters in Uganda. Your determination and spirit is an inspiration! We are trying to expose the bigots and sellers of hatred here who are exporting this venom to your country. Don't give up! If you need to leave for your safety...please do it. Keep your voice, though, and don't let the bastards get you down.

We will beat them.

. said...

Please don't give up hope, ever!

Leonora said...

I am also appalled by this bill and by Americans'involvement in it, that they would purposely foment such hatred. I hope they realize what they've helped do and apologize and work against this bill. That's ridiculously optimistic, but it's what should happen.

For what it's worth, I'm thinking of you and other gay Ugandans, and trying to come up with something to do.

DylanZimmerman said...

Stay strong, my thoughts are behind you.

Anonymous said...

Hi I'm an American, tomorrow I'm going to write my senators, I think that any church/ non profit (in America) that is involved w/this bill should have their tax exempt status revoked. This is a travesty and I'm stunned to see even mainstream people like Rick Warren trying to have it both ways on this bill. My thoughts and prayers are w/you.

gayuganda said...

Hi,

thank you all for your good wishes. Thanks a lot. Please do keep up the pressure on the politicals in YOUR country.

gug

Nesmuth said...

The Christian right are the ones that ends up burning in hell for sponsoring hate against the fringes of mankind.

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