Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not time to take the foot off


the gas pedal. No. It isn’t time yet. Watch Museveni’s words. Read the transcript. It is certainly not yet time. The bill is still in Uganda’s parliament. And, most importantly, there has not been any fundamental change in the attitude of my countrymates. They are still as out for my blood as a gay Ugandan, homo, as they were before. And the lies are still being told about us.

No. It is not time to forget this bill. It is not ‘no more’.

Am I flogging a dead horse? No. I am not. The bill was a symptom. The disease is still raging. And, I am a Ugandan living, working in Uganda.

And, it is time my countrymates understood what exactly they have been trying to do. Because, I am a human being. Being gay does not excuse their hate, their lack of thinking, their embrace of stupidity.

I am gay. I am also Ugandan.

Museveni’s words make it pretty clear that it was not interests of my humanity, of my human rights which made him give a caution to his party. It was the foreign policy interests. It was the pressure from the US and other nations. That was the consideration, not the fact that the Ugandans wanted to kill and imprison other Ugandans because they are gay.

The Honourable Bahati seems to be entrenched in his fear of me as a gay person. I plan to offer him a chance to meet me and we discuss some of the things that he seems to hold in fear of me. Hon. Bahati, and Hon. Obua-Ogwal. There is no need to fear me, just because I am gay. When you are holding a spear to my neck, of course yes. Then.

But, I don’t believe in you fighting me because you fear me so much. Let us meet. Let us talk. As human beings. As Ugandans.

You don’t need to believe everything that you are told by the people who hate me, even those from America, the Scott Livelys of this world. They have made you make a fool of Uganda. You owe our country an understanding of gay people who are Ugandans. We are here.

Stop believing the words of the Paul Kagaba’s and George Oundo. They are liars and following their own agendas. As the person you have tried to kill, simply because you don’t understand me, I am requesting for a chance to iron out your misconceptions.

Especially the ‘recruiting’. Yes, especially the ‘recruiting’ which you seem so determined to hang round my neck.

Indeed, there is a lot of education to be done. Even of some Human Rights advocates. Remember at the beginning of this, when the bill was just introduced in parliament, when the Civil Rights Coalition to fight the bill was formed? I saw one silver lining. That the Human Rights Activists in Uganda had finally embraced gay Ugandans as human beings whose rights they could fight for. But, they are woefully ignorant of us. This, from one of the leaders of the biggest group.
Appearing on Vision Voice's News maker program this morning, the Executive Director,of the foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Livingston Sewanyana said the Bill infringes on human rights.
Sewanyana calls for more sensitization of the masses about the dangers of the vice before it can be criminalized.

Sensitization indeed. Homosexuality is infectious. Is like a virus for which one needs immunization. I heard that comment on NTV at Nine yesterday, and I was appalled. That was a university student talking about us. Thanks be to the gods another was shown immediately thereafter who came out and said ‘I do have friends who are gay. If it was a virus, why am I not gay?’

Fear, ignorance, false knowledge. False information. That is what is driving the gay panic in Uganda. And, it is a portent brew. Fanned by Charismatic leaders like Ssempa.

Which reminds me, the Christians in Uganda need a good lesson in the Compassion of Christ. I am not going to go there...! But, it is something that is desperately needed. They have been the leaders. From established churches to the ‘Pentecostal’ Churches. They are all bitterly unhappy that they have not got the chance for us to be killed off. Even the Catholic Church whose theology and teaching should have taught them better, they were ambivalent and un-Christian. I listened to Ssempa in amazement as the guy said that the media was ‘lying’ that they wanted to kill homosexuals. Indeed!

Ssempa needs to be sat down and read the bill. In the English that it is written. Or, maybe he needs an American accent like the one he affects sometimes?
The bill has been termed un-Christian. The Archbishop of Canterbury wonders how on earth an Anglican can support it. The Christians in Uganda support it. Because of the ‘external and internal threats’ to the ‘traditional family’. Yes, dear American friends, we need to reassess the export of radical Christianity to Africa. It is Christianity that Christ himself would not understand.

Yes. Our work is cut out for us.

Education. Sensitization. And, making fellow Ugandans know that, I being a gay Ugandan is no threat to them. Is no threat to their children.


gug

14 comments:

The 27th Comrade said...

You know, GUG, I don't watch TV. But when NTV aired that bit, I was fortunate enough to be at a friend's place, and I saw the crowd shaking heads and frowning at President Museveni's caution.

I used to think that they fall in Hon. Bahati's line because they fear retribution from above. That was the best proof that I am wrong. It isn't usually heard that the Movement people withstand the President to his face, but this issue seems like one of those rare ones.

Like I've told you before: your worries are not (or should not be) with people like the Museveni type, since those demonstrably listen to others, listen to reason, change their minds, and so on.
In my case, drop the West, stop it making prank calls to our President, and then ... :o)

J.P. said...

Gug:

Nobody has anything to lose by your acquiring your civil rights. It's a win-win situation because those fighting for 'my' civil rights become stronger when you have your civil rights.

You're on a roll, my friend.

Lively and Cohen should be banned from entering Uganda, just Phelps and Savage are banned from entering the UK: they are hate-mongers.

J.P. Bentham
Canada

Hélder António said...

Have a good day, GUG.
Greetings from Portugal.

J.P. said...

gug,

I have just finished reading a piece in Box Turtle Bulletin entitled "Voice of America on Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill", and for the first time I've seen the name of Olara A. Otunnu in relation to the elections of 2011.

Can you take a minute to mention your spin on this man?

Jean-Paul Bentham
Canada

gayuganda said...

27th, you do amaze me.

You have this ability to see nothing but your point of view! [shrug]. As I told you before, and as I insist on reminding you, I will give you a call when I am in the grave. You wait anxiously.

Sigh, I expected better of you....

I am quite aware that Ugandans are homophobic. Very aware of it. Otherwise all this fracas would not have been happening. That is why you want to kill us gay Ugandans. That is why the other bloggers have been so silent. So wonderfully silent.

27th, I think you are good enough to read the reasons which were given for Apartheid in South Africa. Or segregation in the US. Go read them up. You will have this very great light bulb coming on in your mind.

J.P.
Olara Otunnu, a Minister in the Obote 2 era of Uganda. When there was a coup d'etat, he went into exile. Was employed by the UN and rose to be Undersecretary in the UN.
Retired last year or so. And, decided to come back to Uganda.

He wants to contend in the 2011 General elections. Ironically, soon after he came back there was a whispering campaign that he is gay. So, he had to call a press conference to insist that he is not gay....!

Opposition politicians in Uganda seem to be as blind to the machinations of the govt as the rest of the populace.

J.P. said...

gug,

Well, what kind of political future are you looking at then???

gayuganda said...

Ha,

we shall hold elections in 2011, and the ruling party will again win. Confortably.

No. In Uganda, the battle for LGBT rights has barely started. If the bill is thrown out, it will be no more than preventing a bad situation from becoming much, much worse. For the time being. Gives us some time to try and change the outcome.

Not much better than a temporary reprieve.

Which tends to mean that our work is cut out for us....!

Rena said...

Just want to send my best wishes and to say that I and many, many people in Oklahoma are very sorry about the activities of our Senators Inhofe and Coburn relative to Uganda (among other things too numerous to mention here). We did not vote for them and do not like then, and are working here to stop their nonsense.

Erik said...

Ugandan Christians should take a close look at their sponsor's racism in the U.S.:

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2010/01/white-house-slams-limbaugh-and-robertson-haiti

Here we have two prominent mouthpieces of our Christian Right saying that what happened in Haiti is God's punishment for abolishing slavery and that Christians here should NOT donate to Haitian relief efforts so Obama will fail. Obviously the Christian Right lacks compassion. They don't even seem to take time off protesting gay rights here to help out in time of disaster. Is this the sort of crowd Ugandan Christians really want to ally with?

Rena's comment reflects a growing sentiment among decent people here. We will address our Religious Right, cut off their funds and cast them out of office. Then where will Christian Ugandans be?

Erik said...

I highly recommend sharing this article with your friends:

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_7861bdcd-90d1-592a-9488-f492b6f26e4d.html

Erik said...

We can all use some humor in these times to keep our sanity:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/gay_teen_worried_he_might_be

gayuganda said...

Seen article about Ssekandi in parliament. The battle is hardly over.

J.P. said...

Hello gug,

On this date in 1929 the civil rights pioneer and martyr, MARTIN LUTHER KING,JR., was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

As an African-American civil rights leader, he spoke eloquently and stressed non-violent methods to achieve equality.

He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.

In 1983, the third Monday in January was designated a legal holiday in the USA to celebrate his birthday.

King's message was a catalyst for many in the gay rights movement, and continues to be an inspiration for the LGBT community today.

(from gaywisdom dot com)

Jean-Paul Bentham
Canada

Erik said...

Excellent comment Jean-Paul. King's close friend and advisor Bayard Rustin was gay:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_Rustin

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