Monday, November 30, 2009

Full Moon

The moon is huge, full outside. In a sky that is touched by its silvery light, soft darkness.

I am seated at home. Just finished a big supper. Full, sated. Happy.
We had a visitor, a friend. He has escorted him. And, I have just come in.

The day has been turbulent for me. Emotions edgy, brittle; I found that I was too incensed by bill related things.
I have to admit, I am human. And, I am doing lots of pulling and pushing. Far above my capacity. That is what is wrong with causes. One can be so completely absorbed that one forgets to live.

So, today, even though the Monitor had the reaction to the bill as front page news, I didn’t post it. It was a defence, of Uganda under attack, by foreigners. Normally, I would have been my cutting self. This time, I felt exhausted, on a Monday morning, with an uphill fight that I am convinced I cannot win.

Yet I fight, because I must. Lying down to die is not an option.

A meeting in the morning. World AIDS Day tomorrow, I missed an interview. But, I judged that at that moment, resting and replenishing my body was the thing to do.
Was still stringed up and high in the evening.
Took out my book of poetry, was reading, meditating on the poem In The Post Office’ by Thom Gunn.

It lifted me out of the rut.

It is a poem about life, love and death, the death of a loved one, and it is about AIDS. A gay man’s love for another man.
I was fascinated. I am fascinated by Gunn. It is the way he writes, simply, rhythmically, pouring emotion into the words, making a simple story fascinating, worth reading again and again, trying to move with him on the sea of his emotion. I found myself dwelling on the rhythm, on the words, on the flow, pacing up and down our lawn.

Dusk found me there, and then I noticed the moon, rising gloriously bright and sharp in a cloudless sky. The night is beautiful.
I am in Kampala, but, not so long ago, there were lots of trees here. Some remnants of that greenery is, even now. And, I ended gazing up at the moon, like a wolf, ready to howl, to sing in ecstasy at the beauty of the night, express my own appreciation at what the world is.

Before such naked beauty, such abundance of beauties, my puny concerns pale. Almost disappear.

hope you had a good day.

I plan to hold my love in my hands throughout the night!


Sunday Monitor

It made the Sunday Monitor. The supposed tiff between Brown and Museveni.

New Vision? No. that is not news for them. Debate encourages, promotes homosexuality. And, they are the government mouthpiece...!

British PM against anti-gay legislation

Emmanuel Gyezaho & Agencies


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has joined the crusade against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 and is understood to have spoken to President Museveni on Friday, voicing his opposition against the proposed legislation.

Mr Brown met President Museveni at the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Trinidad and Tobago and reportedly made it clear to him that he is opposed to the new law that would impose life imprisonment to homosexuals in Uganda.

The Private Members Bill drawn up by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati also proposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”- defined in the proposed law as any sexual act between gays or lesbians in which one person has the HIV/Aids virus.

Major international news outlets reported yesterday that the matter caused a furore at the Commonwealth meet, with Uganda facing isolation.

“The country’s plans have caused a backlash from other Commonwealth nations and condemnation from gay rights groups who want Uganda thrown out of the Commonwealth unless they back down,” reported the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

Awkward moment

“The clash was set to lead to an awkward moment, as Mr Brown was thought to be seated next to President Museveni at an official banquet last night [Friday],” reported the UK’s Daily Express yesterday.

Quoting a source at Mr Brown’s office, The Telegraph reported: “A Downing Street source said, ‘The Prime Minister did raise it and you can take it that he was not supportive of the idea.’”

Even before Mr Museveni made the trip to Trinidad, activists were urging the Commonwealth to suspend Uganda’s membership if the new law is passed.
Think it will faze Museveni? Not so, says Bahati. He is quite confident of that. Unconcerned, even. Nothing will stand in the march of the traditional family...

Mr Bahati told Sunday Monitor yesterday that he was certain President Museveni would be “unfazed” by the amount of international pressure piling against the Bill.

“We believe that homosexuality is not a common value for the commonwealth,” he said in a telephone interview. “There is no amount of pressure or intimidation that can deter us from defending our traditional family set up.”

These family guys are unbelievable. Thanks America.... For the Family!


I am

seated in the living room sofa. The door, the windows are open, and the clean clear air spills into the room.

Music, slow, steady, one of  last decade’s hits. Ronan Keating’s remix ‘When you say nothing at all’ on Capital FM. That station is hoarse. Don’t know why, the reception at my place is not so good. But, that is the one I want.

But, wanted to tell you of the sun kissing the leaves outside. Gold light on the deep green of leaves. Banana sail fronds lazily flapping in the skies. Peace, quiet. Except for the high voices of happy children playing.

A day for god’s own creation. True, I am feeling good. Very, very good.

Nothing like a long night asleep in my lover’s arms to wipe out a long grumpy day. To make all things right.

Soon, very soon, I will be going out to roam the city. Oh, he is off on his own. Sometimes it is better not to ask….. Spilling too many secrets here, aren’t I?

Bet I have intrigued you.

Want to share photos I took today. Oh, they are quite mundane. Down to earth, like me. But, I will share them with a little story about the people here, where I grew up.

These are pictures of the ground. Yes, of the soil.

Look closely, you will see some tiny white buds that have pushed out and mushroomed into the air. Yes, they are mushrooms. Check them out here.

And, a closer look.

Those little white umbrellas grow in a single night. So, it is like one day, they are not there. The next day, there is a carpet of them.

Look at them closely. Discount the straw, and the green of the weed. They are the small umbrella like white things.

They are a delicacy. Yes. One of the things that I was taught to be edible. I remember as a child I would be called to the patch and encouraged to taste them. Fresh from being picked. You know, like pick one of the umbrellas and put in the mouth. Fresh, faintly mouldy taste that they have. Not unpleasant.
And, they make a soup that people swear by. They are also supposed to be part of portions (Yes, portion, like in Harry Potter], for medicinal use. Dont know which, exactly!

Now, according to local lore, no one is supposed to own them. And, one is not supposed to pass them by.

So, waking up in the morning, and walking along the road, if you find this over-night-growth, you are supposed to go back home, get a calabash, knock on your neighbours door to tell them and invite them, and then go back to collect the little white umbrellas. All in the neighbourhood are welcome.

I was able to get these pictures for a simple reason. The neighbour upon whose land this growth is is a grumpy old man. He would be seriously incommoded if one passed through his banana plantation. So, since this growth is near the village path, many people have seen it. But, they have all ignored it.

It is a studied insult, slap in the face.

But, we are all so cultured and well mannered, that none of us is going to talk about it, isn’t it? But, it did give me the photographs to remember this by…!

Hope your day is fine. Mine is fantastic.


[just wanted to show you it is not all about the politicking, life, even in good old Uganda!]

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Golden Chance

Actually, think about it, and it is. A Golden Chance.

Opportunism is not a bad thing, but liberal thinkers take time to grasp it like conservatives would do.... Which shows my thinking biases.

But, for the Church in the west, the Anglican provinces, this is a Golden Chance.


From Ekklesia, an independent, not-for-profit think-tank which examines the role of religion in public life and advocates transformative theological ideas and solutions.


London, UK - NOV 24, 2009 The religion and society thinktank Ekklesia is observing that opposition against the 'anti- homosexuality' Bill currently being proposed in Uganda is a prime opportunity for the churches to create some unity around issues of sexuality which so often divide them.

Ekklesia is proposing that Christian leaders should be able to speak with one voice on this issue, whatever their views on sexual ethics, and find common ground on which to build for the future.

The Bill being proposed in Uganda would introduce the death penalty for certain sexual activity between consenting adults. Whatever people's views on sexuality within the churches, says the thinktank, Christians should be able to join together to oppose the measures.

But Ekklesia also warns that continued silence from church leaders on the issue will also speak volumes. A failure to speak out will be widely seen as revealing the 'real' attitudes of many in the churches to gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

Okay, I will put it in less elegant language. It is a chance for the Western Anglicans who for most of the past decade have been trying to appease the un-appeasable, trying to show that they were not exactly biblically wrong to embrace gay Christians. Well, here is a bill where the conservatives have actually shown their true colours. The bill is out there in the world. It has been disseminated. If you want a copy, it is here.

It is way out 'un-Christian' like this conservative Bishop's sermon.

So, it is a chance for you to put these guys in their place. Go ahead and school your murderous Christian brothers and sisters. If you dont, I will continue lagging you together, as murderous Christians. Speak out, or forever shut up.

Elegant, aint I?


I am un-African.

Yes, that is what they say.

Note how I have stated it. Not that I am NOT African. But, that I am un-African. Like I have an attribute which is not of my people. Not of my continent.

In essence I am a sell out, a traitor, a ‘collaborator’. I deserve death, and the infamy of social ostracisation and legal limbo. My people have the right to write a law that puts all like me in prison and to death. Because I am un-African.

It is a breathtaking assertion. A lie so incredible that, in this day and age, the reaction should be, ‘shame upon you, liar’. But, in this day and age, we tend to respect such assertions. Like ‘Recruiting European homosexuals’. And, maybe Africans are dumb. Or all the problems that we have come from ‘colonialists’. Or many other ridiculous things which do not deserve accreditation.

I have learnt to isolate the anger these thought pull out in me. It is like I have formed a cocoon, which I don’t touch most of the time. An isolated part of my mind, that is like a nuclear reactor. An anger and motivation that I can tap on in case of need. But it is a danger, like a malignancy. There is always a leak, a tenuous, almost imperceptible leak of it into the rest of the mind that can, and is like the fury of the Hulk. It can posses my mind.

So, I have learnt to weave my thoughts into the incredible beauty of my world. To dull the pain, to remind myself that though life can be incredibly unfair, creation is incredibly beautiful.

Yesterday, I was atoning for an intemperate night out. See, it was not my mistake [injured expression], Eid day fell on a Friday, when I was supposed to be up and working Saturday. And, we got a freebee to go to club. Great, I thought. Unfortunately, I happened to fall into a conversation with a guy my guy didn’t like. Just easy conversation you know, like with an acquaintance. My lover has this incredible streak of jealousy, which was tapped into. By the time we were supposed to go to club, he was boiling hot. And, I didn’t know.
So, short story, he refuses to go to club. I am too high not to go. And I go, without his restraining presence. So, I creep into bed late, exhausted, and need to go to work after a few hours shut eye. So, I went to work. And spent the whole day dozing off and on.

But, I didn’t go out last night. And, I must confess I am more alert than I have reason to be on a Sunday morning. A Sunday morning that is cold, overcast, with blustery winds shaking the leaves. The tree in my compound has decided to shed many of the old leaves, replacing them with new growth, that of the rainy season. Has burdened the lawn with brown on the fresh green of grass.

Err, I was saying that they say I am un-African. Some go as far as to state I am not African. Others think it, when they say I am un-African.
See, I have made an incredible discovery. The language we speak, it is English. That is the language that most of my country mates share. Most Ugandans. I can go anywhere in the country, and the ‘educated’ people will be speaking English. So, I will most likely be able to speak with them in that language.

But, English is not African. Isn’t it?

Yet, according to our constitution, English is our ‘national language’ Or, is the wording ‘official language’?
Nevertheless, I must allow that we don’t speak it like they do in America, or England, or Australia. We don’t speak it like they do in West Africa even. We have our own meanings to the words, our own insinuations, our own emphases. Damn me, I actually speak it fairly better than my mother tongue! I am indeed not African.

I feel so African, that I don’t have time to waste on those who want to prove my un-African ness. Matter of fact.
I am gay. Of course I am. But, why should I go into the convolutions to prove that I am African?

For those of you who would like to go into that academic exercise, you can check out a text on African Homosexualities. Boy-Wives and Female Husbands, by Murray and Rosco. To some, something becomes real because someone took the time to research it and canonize it in a book.

To me, my Africanness is something which I was born with, which I had to accept. It was as real and natural as the cold breeze that is playing on my black skin this particular moment. When I first saw a person with a white skin, it was an albino. I was a child, I stared, and stared, fascinated. To my childish mind, I was not seeing a human being.

Sadly, when I first came to know my sexuality, I was taught that it was not normal.
I learnt in church that I was abnormal. I learnt in society that I was an outcast. I tried to ‘pray away the gay’. I lost my faith, I lost many years, as I searched and sought to exercise demons in my minds. Demons of normality which my world was insisting were abnormal. Demons which those who should have been in the know in faith and knowledge insisted were not African, were foreign. Were bad.

Till the liberating time that I came to accept myself. The time that I found out, to my incredulity, that I was as normal and natural as I was born. If I knew any god at that time, I would have asserted that he or she had created me that way. I am a human being. I am a gay human being. I don’t need to beat my head by reasoning that I am an African and thus cannot be gay. I don’t have to go into learned treaties to prove that I am normal (Oh, forget the fact that I actually did. I had to. My world was presenting all these ‘evidences’ of my un-normality that I had to.) But, now that I know, how can I deny what I am? How can I say that I am not African? How can I lie that I am not gay? How can I lie that an African cannot be gay? I am living proof of that. How can I deny the breeze dancing on my dark skin, the chill that I am standing up to as I write this? It is. I can ignore it, but I know it is. It is there. No amount of clothing will take it away. And, I can glory in who and what I am, and assert it, or I can slink off and hide.

But, I will admit, I am gay and African. I am a Ugandan who is gay.

And, despite the ignorance and false stories, the incredible stupidities which my people are displaying in exorcising people like me from themselves, I will remain what I am.

They don’t understand. That is the reason why we will always win, even when they persecute us in the name of God. Because we are, we are what we are. We have always been. We will continue to be. Historically, there have always been efforts to purge populations of us weak minorities. And, they have fought back. Always, because, to the majority, it is nothing more than a nuisance once in a while to pay attention to. To us the persecuted, it is a fact of life, everyday life, which, perforce, we have to live with. We need to adapt to, to learn.

Now, today, I am not going to any church to listen to how un-African and evil homosexuality is. I hear that is the major topic these days. Well, the Bishops are welcome to their sermons.
I hear they also preach against the other religions…
Curious, isn’t it? They use a decidedly ‘European’ religion, Christianity, to rail against us homosexuals. But, I am told, Mwanga the Second of Buganda, he was at least bi-sexual. That is why he killed the so called Uganda Martyrs. History is written by the winners. That is why, those sell outs, the ones who embraced the foreign religion and refused the un-refusable advances of the demi-god, the Kabaka and were rightfully punished by burning at the stake are now held up as stellar examples of our Ugandan Christianity. They were collaborators with colonialists for God’s sake! They were selling out our country!

But, if homosexuality was acceptable and right at the Buganda Royal Court, at that time, and there was no protest when these disobedient young men were burnt at the stake for their disobedience to their rightful sovereign and king, why is it considered that homosexuality is un-African?

Surely, even history says that homosexuality was here, in Uganda, even before Christianity as a faith came to Uganda?

But you see, we humans are very adept at holding onto our beliefs.

So, Uganda is under attack by the ‘Homosexual International’. And, we are going ahead and resisting. We are showing the whole world what true Christian leadership is. We are going to imprison and kill all our homosexuals. And show the world how Christian and upright we are.

We gay Ugandans are un-Ugandan. Arent we?

Well, Michael Jackson was a white man. That is a very cruel statement. Isnt it?


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beautiful day in Kampala.

Overcast. A Saturday

Am recovering from last night. Sadly, I am also at work...! Sometimes the guilty are punished multiple times.
Yesterday was Eid day. A public holiday. And, well, we went out. And, I went dancing, while he kind of disagreed with my schedule. So, since it was my schedule, I went ahead to act stupidly.... Only excuse is that I am also human. Oh well, we live and learn. Again.
Now, the head seems sort of light, and I am in need of water, and some extra hours in bed. But, I have to soldier through the day.
To our running topic...
I have to say that I still expect the bill to be passed. We have about one chance in 100 to have it stopped. Or stalled. And, how can we achieve that? International condemnation. Pressure on the religious heads who dare to advocate genocide. And, if the Ugandan medics dare come out and take a stand. The latter is almost impossible to achieve. They are also homophobic. It is an unpopular topic. Bet they dont even know that they have a part to play! ha ha ha ha!

Canada has taken on the political mantle of pushing the international condemnation of the bill. Good for them. What I dislike about politics is when, for some reason or another, countries fail to do the right thing. Or have to be pushed, and pulled. Because of 'politics'. Canada's Prime Minister condemned it. [Satirical piece says they actually plagiarised the US statement...! Hilarious.]

(pic from Slap Upside the Head)

But, debate in the Canadian Parliament, from both parties condemns Bahati's 'nice piece of legislation'. And, at the Commonwealth, both Brown of Britain, and Harper of Canada have apparently raised the question with Museveni. I like the diplomatic language, the diplomatic shuffling. And, of course, Museveni is playing the deniability card. It is a private members bill...! Who will take any bets on Museveni not supporting it? I will take your money for free.

The Church of England continues its silence. Well, Christians are continuing their pressure. You know what, it will be ridiculous when at last they speak out! They are not politicians to parse language. Even the politicians are speaking out, now. Ironic, isnt it?

What has amused me is that someone has at long last noted the silence of the Catholic Church. It is DEAFENING! The Church of Uganda is playing politics. Hypocrites. Yeah, they are hypocrites. They told us their stand, withdrew it, and are now trying to play innocent in the sight of the world. Hypocrites. Well, sue me. Dont I have the right to call a piece of turd turd?
And, here is more of the same. Someone blames the west. Of course. I am an African. A Ugandan. And, that piece of turd stinks, to high heavens. It went out of fashion long before it was even correct. Blame the west. Blame them for wanting to kill me... (Or, maybe for having the money to force cultural wars on Uganda?) Either way, it is much the same. Let us blame foreigners. Of course, for us, we are noble savages. Innocent. Guiltless. Oh, here is the link. A pentecostal, and really laying the butter on Lively.
Yet, curiously, it also shows that the pentecostals are feeling the heat. They are not defending their 'nice bit of legislation'!
Speaking like this sinner, who is about to be squashed by the might of the state, and church... all in the name of morality, isnt it funny that I am calling out on the morals of the Church to be questioned? And, I am.... Hypocrisy can be attacked. Especially when I lose nothing, showing that they are hypocrites. And, I will lose everything, because they will not speak out.
So, where goes this from here?
Pressure. Continue the pressure. Of course, we are applying it here, as we can. And, though there are only glimmers of reaction, it is a matter of fact that even insular Uganda is noticing that there are somethings wrong with this bill.
Kind of makes me feel liberated. Not having to kow-tow to the politically correct speech that has to characterise everything.
Now, I look out, and the haze over Kampala is still there. But, the sun's brightness is fighting through.
And, I think I have really woken up, what with reading through all that material.
Have a good day


Friday, November 27, 2009

Appeasing the Un-Appeasable.

You know, reading through the anti-homosexual bill, and hearing some of the statements that are made by well meaning friends of Uganda about working with the homophobes here, I kind of wonder whether this policy really ever works.

I mean, a bully is a bully. Try to appease him or her in anyway, and they just grow stronger.

Take the schism of the Anglican Church. The Episcopal Church in America has been making a stand on the humanity of gay people, of gay Christians. And, the 'fundamentalists' those who follow 'biblical' Christianity have been on the offensive, accusing the others of being less than Christian. They have made such a lot of fuss that the Church of England has been bending over backwards, trying to accomodate what the fundamentalists believe is what is right. Trying to shut out their shouts of what is conscionable.

Now, here comes the Anti-Homosexual Bill in Uganda.

To think that it is only about Uganda is to miss the bigger picture. No. I am not talking about the American right, and the influence of the 'Family'.
I am thinking of yet another time when the Church is leaning over backwards, not daring to stand on its stated principles, when a blatantly genocidal bill is set on the table.

Reason does not work. No. It does not. I listened on as Sylvia Tamale savaged the Bill. But, that logic didnt matter. Her speech is here. All the weight of her reasoning, the fact that she was a lawyer explaining the law to an accountant, this didnt matter.

So, what does it mean?

Do the Americans and British Anglicans really think they have much in common with the Anglicans of Uganda who are going around supporting this bill in the name of 'Biblical Christianity'? Do you really think that you are still in the wrong, and the Africans, because they are many, are right? What commonalities do you have with the Bishop of Karamoja, diocese of the Church of Uganda, who wrote this blatantly ignorant and hate filled sermon?

Where will the appeasement, the bending over, the effort to be 'politically correct' end?

When will you stand up to your principles?

See, being liberal, seeing the other point of view can be a huge pain, especially when you dont have the guts to stand up to what is right in your point of view.

NB; The writer of this post is, (1) a Ugandan (2) Not Christian (3)African. And, more importantly (4) is gay.
So, of course I am biased.
I hope that does not act like a huge log in your saintly eyes.




as to the countries, well- the US, Britain, France, Canada, they have all come out with negative positions on the bill. Of course this has been because of the agitation of their people.

But, think of the Commonwealth. On what principles does it stand?

I am no politician. Am too much of a maverick (ha ha ha!) to be constrained by the desires and aspirations of the masses. So, maybe I dont know what real politik is. But, I know sense when I see it. And, I recognise why we humans truly yearn for that leader who will lead us with the common sense and unity that even our fragmented sense of common sense recognises as truthful.

But, I am talking of an angel, not a human being...

So, we shall take the countries out of the equation.

But, not the church. No. Definitely not those who tout their moral leadership. STAND UP AND BE COUNTED. IT IS TIME. SPEAK YOUR MIND, TRULY.


A must read

Actually, I am feeling low. Let me say the realisation of too many battles to fight is sometimes overwhelming.

It was that article in the Observer. And, the comments..... Which I should be used to by now.

Anyway, here is a must read blog post that nicely summarises the dilemma of the Anglican Church. And, their cowardice...!

The conclusion is,

But I don't think these arguments are in the end convincing, and for three reasons. The first is that the situation could hardly be worse. If nothing is done, the bill will very probably pass. So the worst that any intervention could accomplish is to fail to prevent what we are trying to stop, rather than bringing it about. The second is that the Anglican church of Uganda is not really part of the same communion any longer as the Church of England. It was one of the driving forces behind the Gafcon meeting last summer. The third, and the most important one, is that the Church of England needs to retain some connection with the generally accepted morality of the nation around it. These days, killing gay people for having sex is no longer regarded as a moral act. It may be that the Ugandan church will excuse itself by saying that it cannot flout Ugandan public opinion. But why should the Church of England be allowed to flout English concepts of decency by acquiescing with its silence in this crime?


But, dont settle for the summary. Read the whole blog post in the Guardian here.

And, to remember that my world is still beautiful, even if I cannot write a poem now, let me pick at least one of those pics...!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kind of a wrap up

The international media has caught on. Maybe even the one in Uganda.

The most important part of the story is the International connection. No. The Uganda-America connection. Remember why the Pres commented that European Homosexuals were recruiting? I wondered why he singled out Europeans.

Now, maybe I should not have wandered.

Ok, officially, you all have to know that, going into politics is kind of dangerous for a Ugandan. So, I will not be very very open on such things. I live, work and am in Uganda. Have to be a little less brave, to continue drawing breath. And, I do want to do that.

But, I can report what is being reported....!

The conspiracy theory that I thought was? No. It was no conspiracy theory. And, it has actually spilt over into the media in Uganda. The Observer printed this story on its front page.

'Museveni, Bahati named in US 'Cult'.'

Sometimes, brazen outing like this IS the protection. So, maybe they did it right... I bet the Independent and the Daily Monitor will soon be on it. Dont expect a peep out of New Vision.

In the American blogosphere, it has just become more electric. Check out the Box Turtle Bulletin here. The story is not only Uganda. It is much bigger than this poor, Central African Country! And, check out Warren Throckmorton. And some others. I guess life got a bit more interesting than it was for a long while...!

Of countries, did I note that Canada joined the US, and UK? Good for them.

And then, of course the Stephen Lewis speech. Which serves to put the issue on the agenda of the Commonwealth. However peripherally.

World AIDS Day, December 1st is actually near. It is Tuesday next week. What better time to highlight the fact that the Bahati bill is an HIV spreading bill. Ssempa says otherwise, but, I am not sure whether he read for the MPH which he is supposed to have. Here are some articles on it. From Human Rights Watch. The Commonwealth itself.

Christians of every colour are continuing to express outrage at the bill.

True. And, to any Christian who says otherwise, my simple question is, have you read the Bill? Because it is not simple to just say it is the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and then you stop there. Read it, and, find how much support you have for it. Otherwise, you will reconsider how Christian you are. Here is the bill again.

Changing Attitude is working on changing the attitude of Canterbury. The Episcopal Church is speaking out, Bishop by outraged Bishop. And, Christians who dont support gay 'life style' as they call it, are also coming up with a position against the bill. Here is another one outraged.

So, where does it all take us?

Outrage and disbelief outside the country. Inside the country, even Christian Bishops are thinking like they are gods. I am serious.
The Church of Uganda officially said it is studying the bill. What is happening on the ground is much different. In Churches, the good reverends are whipping up homophobia. They are preaching hate sermons. Very much like this one, from the Bishop of Karamoja. I am not joking. I have heard it from people who listened to the sermons.

So, a state of homophobia, being whipped up. A genocidal bill in parliament.

ugh... ! I will think positive thoughts


Some Pics

Of friends in the US who protested the bill.

Thanks brothers and sisters. You mean more to me than those who are ready to kill me.

(Shhh, the price of supporting me is kind of high. One guy, an Anglican who felt impressed enough to be on my side, was supporting gay Ugandans in a debate amongst friends. And, one of the friends threatened to report him to police.
True. That is the story as it was told to me. And, I trust the source. It is the guy who wrote this post that i put here.)

So, my thanks for friends who can and do dare speak out on MY behalf. Thanks, and again, thanks.

The pics are from HRC website.

Rambling thoughts

If Christians do take up this bill with the fervour that it is due, I will cease to think so badly of Christianity.
I am afraid, for me, Roman Catholicism is lost. It is not in my nature to be taught what to think. I resent that. Too independent…

But, when a person, a Christian, especially one who is not part of the ‘homosexual agenda’ takes up this.... Well, I stop to listen. Because it is something that makes me believe that the essential ideals of Christianity are truly good.

Not like Rick Warren did. Dissociating himself from Ssempa. That is what a politician is. And, hopefully, a Christian is not at heart a politician. Criticism from an unbeliever! Though, I can of tend to think Warren was a bit embarrassed, as was Ssempa, at how abruptly that relationship ended. Well, that is politics…!

But, not to be distracted, here are some fighting words. Quoted here, with similar nuances, and written here.

"Let me make this clear:
I don’t care how conservative your theological belief system is, killing people or imprisoning them for being gay or lesbian is wrong and should never, ever happen.
Notwithstanding, according to the bill, I, as a straight person, would also be imprisoned if I don’t turn in gays and lesbians to the Ugandan government.
....Please spread the word. No Christian (or person in general) should ever let this happen on our watch."

As for governments criticizing the bill.

Governments are supposed to be servants of the people. Yeah, democracy is great, isn’t it? Except in backwaters like Uganda where it is being used to legally kill a minority. I had forgotten…. Same thing happened in Rwanda. And in Nazi Germany.

Our backwater is not that isolated! At least not in ideaology.

Canada, the government, seems to have joined the US, France, Britain. The Anglican Church of Canada didn’t mince words, demanding that their Ugandan brothers condemn the bill. When they were amongst the most vociferous supporters, before pressure made them become ‘voiceless.’

It has become an issue at the CHOGM meeting. Museveni is chairing the meet. And, Stephen Lewis took umbrage at that. It was taken up by the media. Of course.

Human Rights groups?

They are loud. They are frank. And, they are fearless. Unfortunately, they cry wolf so much that they are not listened too that much. But, they are listened to…!

Now, like any good citizen, I dont think good of the thinking capacity of 'government'. But, one has to pose and wonder, how did this coalition of consensus come to come about?

Ssempa will say, and believe, that it is because of the 'Homosexual Agenda' They are big. They are strong. They are mighty. Let us stamp them out from Uganda.
But, I will beg to differ. I cannot lie to myself about the extent of my strengths. Even enemies like Ssempa say that to rally the unthinking troops.

Why have we been able to?

Because the Bill, the Bahati, Anti-Homosexuality Bill itself is such a monstrosity that no person who reads it will stop themselves from a righteous anger.

Funny, but our strongest recruiting factor is the Bill. Have you read it? Here! No. It is not good reading. So, brace yourself. But, you will find lots of good, Christian, moral intentions.



Not all Christians the same.

From the last post, you picked the outrage of some Christians.

But, here is the view of one of the Bishops of the Anglican Church in Uganda. It is not pretty. Not at all. But, sometimes it is best to know what the other side thinks.

He starts with a sermon. I am not too good at that. So, I pick up from where the sermon gets into practical applications. Here is the original article.

For Some Anglicans, Vices are now Virtues.

and, the conclusion;

Christianity indeed is under attack; attack from within herself and by her very own. Persecution of the church is on the loose. The powers and world forces of wickedness (Ephesians 6. 12) are now in real play.

Yes, laws if in place can help put on check any vice including this one. Like HIV which breads among others, in disco halls and night drinking sprees, which can be stopped or reduced by laws if put in place, like the wizard spirit which society and the Gospel of Christ shunned, the vice of homosexuality through the necessary laws in place can be checked. We must keep it away from our children. Our ancestors didn’t know it, we do not know it, our children must not know it.

Our children are ignorant of the vice; but gays and their sympathizers want to appeal to their psyche, to their consciousness that they be infected too. They are spreading it in our institutions of learning. They want to condition every penny that comes to our government or churches or Non-Government Organizations. If you are dinning with such evil plan, come out of it; the Province of the Church of Uganda, as you know, is leading the way, let’s join the way. Homosexuality is infectious, it is a disease in the West and not so much in Africa and that is why they want to influence any agenda in order to entrench it. If it is inborn as they say, then it is transmitted and conceived in the mind, that it actualizes itself in one. Africans who have it have contracted it from the West or from acquainting with people who have it. Yes, it is infectious and it can be fought and defeated. It is a vice which has multiplied in the recent decades in the West; it can be fought and stopped.

Africa, run away from gays, let us save our continent by refuting the vice; practice, and preserve our heritage, that is our traditions and culture believing and trusting in the Almighty God. “”Rise and shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you”” (Isaiah 60 : 1). Gayism can be fought like any other disease against the people and the Word of God. It is a sickness so we can fight and defeat it. One of the ways to fight it should be by prevention of its spread, by putting laws in place, preach the Word and pray to God to heal and orient those disoriented; there is need for a commandment(s) to enforce. Christ is the answer, feelings or sympathies, especially on evil, are not! Ugandan Parliament, the watch dog of our laws, please go ahead and put the anti- Gay laws in place. It is then that we become truly accountable to our young and to this country, not to Canada or England. We are in charge! We have our entrenched birthrights, Ugandans should not accept to sell or mortgage these God given birthrights.

Bishop Joseph Abura of Karamoja Diocese, Province of the Anglican Church of Uganda.

I know lots of friends who will not be happy about this. But, take it as a challenge. You, as Christians, have to make such a person understand a little more about humanity, and Christ, and other things...! Take it as a challenge!

Is this the official view of the Church of Uganda? No. They are still studying the Bill. This is the view of the Bishop of the Province of Karamoja, Anglican.

But, here is one other Christian group, a Church, that has come out unequivocally against the bill.

The United Reformed Church (URC) has become the first major Christian denomination in the UK to issue a statement condemning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

In a press release today the Church said that its commitment to justice and equality meant it was ‘appalled’ at the ‘draconian measures’ proposed by Bill.

The URC passed an anti-homophobia resolution at its 1999 General Assembly saying that the: “Assembly condemns violence against homosexual people and urges all members of the United Reformed Church to be vocal in their opposition of homophobia.”

Homophobia was defined as “intense hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality.”

Simon Loveitt, the URC’s spokesperson on public issues said: “This draft legislation represents a clear infringement of human rights and is morally repugnant. It also infringes the African principles of ubuntu and we add our voice to the many calling for the immediate withdrawal of this discriminatory Bill.”

Ubuntu is the African concept ‘that my humanity can only be expressed through the humanity of others’

Why Christians? Isnt it becoming a circus? Well, I am caught in the middle. Clearly, the two sides of the debate, as shown above, dont see the same person when they see a gay Ugandan. One sees an appalling threat. Another sees a human being.

God in Heaven!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What to do?

The blogosphere was saturated. Now, it has hit the mainstream media. Outside Uganda.

What will the country do?

I dont know. I am an interested party. It is my life on line. And, I am not ashamed to ask that the pressure is kept up. That the screws are turned.
Jackfruity takes on the question. She suggests the US should turn off the military aid. Yeah, we are fighting that, the War on Terror. In Somalia, and of course back at home. And, American money is flowing in. Turn off those taps. I personally think it would be effective. But, will it happen? Not likely. America still needs foot soldiers...!

Stephen Lewis. Ahhhhhh! Firebrand. And, friend of Ssempa... I mean, one of his enemies. Apparently, CHOGM is come again. And, President Museveni is the chair. And, Lewis pulls no punches. He dedicates the whole of his speech to it. The chairing is a mockery of Commonwealth principles.

That speech will have most of our LGBT friends ecstatic. A most passionate indictment of homophobia. Yeah, go on guys. Here is a link to the speech.
I know. We are nentherdals here, in Uganda. We dont listen to reason, especially when the subject is homosexuality. Which means that Ssempa will be ecstatic. The homosexual agenda is not pulling its punches.

I am kind of amazed at the international solidarity. But, the bill, that Bill is so infuriating, that one just has to read it to get incessed. To hell with finessing. Of course, we shall have a backlash. But, for the good of the world, we can suffer a little bit. Expose the homophobes. Let Ugandan leaders understand that they cannot just kill their people, just because they are 'dirty'. Yes, let them know that the price is international distaste.

America's Cultural wars. Sigh.......! Before, it was the war on terror. Now, this one was so covert, I was on the front line but didnt know it. Not at all!
Enough already?.... Oh, well. Like all victims of war, one never ever chooses to be there. So, enough with the whining. But, we have some very interesting allies. Maybe the frontlines are not that well defined! I mean Exodus International. But still, it is good to have some intelligence of the wider war, not the battle infront of me. Interesting. A tug on my mind.... Concentrate!

Just found that my little piece of battle is part of a wider war.

And, a neighbouring country, Rwanda, is actually in the same war. Amazing. Someone asks, why does our money go to people who dont share our democratic ideals but our religious ones.... especially the conservative ones? Subsidising homophobia. What can I comment, there?

So, what will my Ugandan leaders do?

They will condemn me as un-patriotic. Thank you very much, but the idea that I, a citizen have to debate about my liberty, my life is something not meant to shape my patriotism. Or lack of it. So, for any Ugandan who thinks like so.... ask yourself why I have to be more 'patriotic' than you, dear friend.

Ssempa and co will be happy. The international attention. What they are not happy about is the fact that even their allies are not happy. That is why the churches have to continue with their pressure.
Will the govt duck responsibility?

Of course, they will. But, how to let this all go 'quietly'? That may be a problem....!

But, meantime, I keep up the pressure. I have no option.


Stephen Lewis Speech at CHOGM

I cannot do any favours to this speech, picking and choosing what to put here.

I will just give a link to the full text of the speech. What has been reported is causing waves elsewhere. But, this is a case of the report being too shallow. If it doesnt contain the whole. Nothing else will do.

I am a citizen of the world. Sometimes, I forget that my small world is a microcosm of a bigger one.

But, this speech reminds me that, it is not ALL ABOUT ME.

Download it. Then sit down and read it. It has a lot to offer. To anyone.



Loving Hate

I am in a war.

No. It is not my choice. I have not asked for it. Just that I was born at a time and place, and of a sexual orientation that is different from the rest of the world.

I don’t understand why the enemy fights me.

True, I don’t really understand. But, my understanding goes as far as knowing that they really will stop at nothing to win their war.
They say that they love me. So, all that they do, in the name of their god, they do for love of me. I didn’t ask them for their love. No. I didn’t. What I see is that I am a fellow human being. A citizen of this earth. But, they say they are the inheritors. And, they would want to drive out all those who are like me. Of course in the name of love, and Christ. And religion.

They have lots of justifications. I do not claim to understand all their logic. All the long winded arguments. What I understand is that they are persecuting me. And, if I was to ask, why are you persecuting me, why are you hitting out at me, they answer, like in this story, ‘you are dirty.’

I  am so dirty that thieves, murderers and others have the right to beat me infront of the authorities. What is my God licensnced crime? Just read the story which I picked up here.

Almost three decades later, I found myself in a concentration camp at the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
“One early morning, I heard someone screaming. When I followed the voice, a habitual offender jailed for the second time for aggravated robbery and another one sentenced to life for murder, was brutally clubbing a fellow inmate in front of a prison guard. When I asked the guard, why he sanctioned the beating, he answered simply “he’s dirty.” Another inmate who noticed my bewilderment told me that the hapless boy is gay.”

Yes. That is my crime, before my country mates. Fellow humans. Fellow Africans. That is my crime, the one that brings out all the hate in you.

I am gay.

I hear the cries down the centuries. The condemning voices. ‘He is a Jew’. ‘He is a Cockroach, a Tutsi.’, in Kenya it was, ‘He is Jaluo’, or, ‘he is Kikuyu’. In South Africa, it is damning, as they beat and torch ‘foreigners’, ‘He is a foreigner’.

No further explanation is needed for our unthinking hate. And, it is hate.

I cannot deny being a human being like you. You look too much like me for me to deny we are related. I don’t understand your hate. But, it still hurts.

I am in a war, not of my choosing. And, an arrow into my chest hurts as much as it would hurt, shot into yours.
I am in a war to the death. I will not hold back, because I don’t understand your hate of me.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Movement, in the Episcopal Church

By Mary Frances Schjonberg,

[Episcopal News Service] A teleconference meeting of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council will take place on Dec. 7 to discuss a possible statement on Ugandan legislation that would imprison for life or execute people who violate that country's anti-homosexuality laws.
Sixteen members of the council requested the meeting with a handwritten petition that said a motion would be offered at the meeting "regarding the urgent human rights situation in Uganda."

Homosexuality in the African nation currently carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment. If passed, the proposed bill would extend prison sentences for homosexuals up to and including life imprisonment and introduce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which includes assault against people under the age of 18 and those with disabilities. It also would give Ugandan courts jurisdiction over Ugandan citizens who violate the law "partly outside or partly in Uganda."

The Executive Council, an elected group of clergy, laity and bishops that carries out the programs and policies adopted by the General Convention, according to Canon I.4 (1)(a), normally meets three to four times a year. The next meeting is set for Feb. 19-22.

However, the Presiding Bishop as president of the council may call a special meeting and a minimum of nine council members may petition in writing for such a meeting under Canon I.4 (4)(a).

The last special meeting occurred April 13, 2005 when then-Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold called a one-day meeting in Mundelein, Illinois near Chicago to formulate a response to a request of the Anglican Communion's primates that the Episcopal Church voluntarily withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council until the next meeting of the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The minutes of that meeting are here and the response is here.

The 16 members circulated the petition amongst themselves at a Nov. 17-20 gathering in Chicago of the Episcopal Church's so-called interim bodies, the Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (commonly know as CCABs). The members were at the meeting in their roles as council liaisons to the church's standing commissions. All council members who were approached to sign the petition, agreed to do so, according to Sarah Dylan Breuer, council member from Massachusetts and one of the signers.

The council members' request came on the same day that the Chicago Consultation, a group of lay and ordained Episcopalians, called on Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and Archbishop Henri Orombi of Uganda to speak out against the legislation. None of them has issued any statements thus far.

also, they quote....

The Anglican Church of Uganda on Nov. 6 issued a press release saying that it is studying the bill and does not yet have an official position on the proposed legislation. However, the release restated the Ugandan church's position that "homosexual behavior is immoral and should not be promoted, supported, or condoned in any way as an 'alternative lifestyle.'"
And reported Oct. 29 that the church's provincial secretary told the Monitor newspaper in Kampala, Uganda that jailing homosexuals was preferable to executing them.  "If you kill the people, to whom will the message go? We need to have imprisonment for life if the person is still alive," said the Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, according to the website.

Contrast this opinion with that of the dreaded, foreigners who are Christian...

Alexander Baumgarten, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations, recently toldENS that "the Episcopal Church, like the Anglican Communion as a whole, is very clear in its support for the human rights of all people, including gay and lesbian persons."
"For us in the Episcopal Church, that means we oppose all abuses of human rights, whether in our own midst or in other parts of the world, and we seek to make that opposition known through our ministry of advocacy," he said.

Is it the same world? Is it the same church?

I belong to only the world. Not the church. I watch. I wait. I will see. God willing, if I am still alive.


Two Divergent Opinions. In Uganda

Debate, in the Monitor.

Yes, they seem commited to debate. Independence is a funny thing. Monitor journalists may be homophobic personally, but, they are susceptible to reason. So, when there is a debate on, they dare to tackle debate about homosexuality in Uganda.
Sadly, the biggest circulation paper is the New Vision, a government daily, which once upon a time was strongly inclined towards debate. Now, it is so silent that you may laugh. They are hobbled. By ‘policy’. Poor New Vision…’for a better Uganda’!

Here are two opinion pieces from the Monitor.

REV. DR. FRED S. MWESIGWA senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University, Mukono 

And, why MUST we NOT lose this war? His arguments run along this.
  • A minority have NO rights in a democracy.
    I quote “I strongly argue that this will be a bold statement about how democratic Uganda is. Madill has a wrong notion of democracy that subscribes to the view that a minority who decide to promote un-African and un-Godly sexual expressions should have their rights safeguarded in a democratic country.”

  • In the ‘West’ Christians are running away from homosexual accepting churches.

  • We should not allow a ‘dictation’ by the minority through ‘political correctness’
    I quote, “
    one of the main problems of the western world is the acceptance of the dictatorship of the minority whereby in order to be seen to be politically correct, the majority will eventually give in to any wayward group to save face. In some countries of the western world, it is now a human right to walk naked in some areas and some beaches have been gazetted nudist by naturists. Question is, if you concede ground to homosexuality, aren’t you opening a flood-gate for other aberrations like bestiality?

  • We should not ‘compromise on moral issues’
    And, in Uganda of course, homosexuality is a bigger moral issue than rampart corruption. Of course.

  • Ugandans are ‘some of the most loving human beings on earth’ “but they hold true to strong cultural and religious values that abhor the sin of homosexuality, much as they love the homosexuals and desire to see them change.”
    Well, I am a Ugandan who is gay, and, I am yet to see this very starling characteristic of my countrymates. Hey Christians, when will you ever understand the hypocrisy of loving the sin and hating the sinner… or the other way around!

And, we end with this dire prediction. “The time is now for Parliament to declare whether Uganda should dance to every tune that is played by western countries. If the Anti-homosexuality Bill fails to be passed, as sure as night follows day, I can visualise a plethora of sexual aberrations that will be fronted as human rights issues in Uganda in the not so distant future

Well. what a BROADSIDE!
But, there is a divergent opinion, which seems weak besides that well coached and arousing call to action.

Mr Kiflu is an Ethiopian Refugee living in Uganda

For a moment, I thought I had written the story. Yeah, the ‘uniqueness of gay people’!!!!!

But, then I saw first the laying down of heterosexual credentials. NB. In Uganda, you MUST be able to convince others that you are not gay.

But, he brings about another of those things which, for some reason, Africans see as wrong. Left handedness. I can vouch for such a story. I do remember, in my primary, a child being beaten for writing with his left hand. Made an impression that has never deserted me.

  • Except me, all my family members are right handed. That left handedness was discovered when I began to go to school. Right away, a self-righteous teacher made it her mission to set me right from the devilish position of the leftists. She didn’t succeed except leaving in my psyche a lasting negative impression of schools.

  • Almost three decades later, I found myself in a concentration camp at the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
    “One early morning, I heard someone screaming. When I followed the voice, a habitual offender jailed for the second time for aggravated robbery and another one sentenced to life for murder, was brutally clubbing a fellow inmate in front of a prison guard. When I asked the guard, why he sanctioned the beating, he answered simply “he’s dirty.” Another inmate who noticed my bewilderment told me that the hapless boy is gay.”

  • Then, he comments on the Public ‘Dialogue’. Well, it is good that my impression of the football hooligan atmosphere was not a figment of my mind. And, I also was impressed by the pseudo-science of Mr Stephen Langa.
    ”While the panelists from Hon. Bahati down to Prof. Tamale presented their respective position well, the audience, especially, those favouring the bill behaved almost like football hooligans.”

  • Unfortunately, since the bill itself is intended to feed on peoples age-old prejudices, it’d have been no wonder to witness worst scenarios. Still, thanks to that dialogue that inspired me to do my own little research, I found out that Mr Stephen Langa’s assertion on the possibility of a homosexual being converted has little scientific foundation. From Sigmund Freud down to successive scientists confirmed that conversion for the most part is neither possible nor desirable. Hence, I concluded that despite Langa’s commendable effort to cloak his presentation with pseudo-scientific facts, the scholarship of Prof. Sylvia Tamale and the pragmatism of Major Rubaramira Ruranga carried the day.

It is a pity the guy is a ‘foreigner’, an Ethiopian. I would have lauded his reasoning. Of course! But, he is at least an African (Sniff!). We are not totally hopeless…!