Monday, January 25, 2010

Not Bloodless

Yeah, there is blood letting.  Private and personal, like with me and my partner. I have been listening to a BBC report of a pilot intervention to make it easier for people to have access to ‘sex offender’ registry, for the sake of their children.
I laughed wryly. Apparently, my neighbours are informing me that we, me and my partner, are on such a local register. And so, hands off our children. Pretty tough.

An email from a group that has been helping us kuchus fight the Anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda.
“As a result of our work on controversial issues especially Diversity and Sexual Rights and our role with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, we were a victim of homophobic e-attacks on our domain by a group and have henceforth stopped using the XXXX domain.
We greatly appreciate your patience during this breakdown that greatly frustrated communications.”

Friends out there we have. Students and citizens of a state that I never knew existed decided that they would say something in solidarity with us gay Ugandans.
“Whether you support gay rights or not, this is a human rights issue.” said Thomas Lwebuga, a Ugandan man who works at Southridge and started its sister school program seven years ago with a school in Kalisizo, Uganda.
 Students began planning the demonstration in mid-December. And just a month later the undertaking had grown to such proportions that it gained support from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley (both D-Ore.) and Jeana Frazzini, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon.

 “I regret that I am not there to march with you today,” a Wyden aide read on behalf of the senator, who has threatened to review Uganda’s trade status if the anti-gay bill passes in the African nation. “But I will march in solidarity in the halls of Congress.”
Today’s rally followed three marches that weaved through Beaverton. “I feel like I’m back in the 1960s!” Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle told the crowd.

Hey, we don’t heed warnings. We don’t hear cautions. We don’t hear any counsel. As long as it is concerned with our right to ‘rid Uganda of homosexuality’. Here is something from a UN independent expert on HIV.
A United Nations independent health expert on Friday warns that an anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda will be a huge blow on HIV efforts in the country.
Anand Grover says the bill is "not only a violation of the fundamental human rights of Ugandans, but will undermine efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention and treatment."
He notes that homosexuality is already criminalized through Uganda's existing penal code but the bill, proposed by some members of Parliament, will increase penalties for homosexual conduct.
He says it will criminalize the so-called "promotion of homosexuality," which includes the publication and dissemination of materials, as well as other  related activities.
The expert says the bill could affect the work of civil society actors and human rights defenders addressing issues of sexual orientation or gender identity.

I am still feeling low. You know, from the ‘communication from my neighbours’. Ugh!
Not sure why it hits so low, so damn close.
But, I am gay, and a Ugandan. Maybe I should expect it. But, it is not the less hurting.


1 comment:

Belinda Carroll said...

Hello there. I spoke at the rally in Beaverton, Oregon, US. I wanted to let you know that you have many people pulling for you and against this bill. Straight and Gay alike. My heart goes out to you and those in your country who are facing this draconian measure.

Belinda Carroll, Oregon.

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