Hey, I missed cyber. Really, really missed it. So maybe I am ready again to air my views ad nauseaum again!
Bishop Ssenyonjo is touring the US. Glad to see that the old man is getting some recognition for his efforts. It is tough for gay people in Ugandans. Cant believe how tough it is for people who are not gay, but feel constrained to take on the country's homophobia. And, for an elderly man like Ssenyonjo to do it, and come out with the head held high.... That is something. He was there at the consencration of Graspool, the first openly lesbian Bishop of the episcopal church. Apparently took part in the occasion. As Leonardo commented on the last post, the old gentleman is a hit wherever he goes. He is a hit in Uganda (well, to us gay Ugandans, at least), and his charisma may lie in the simple fact that he is a simple old man, deceptively soft, with ideals that he sees fit to challenge the establishment. That stand has singled him out for a long time. In Uganda, in the Anglican church, he is a pariah. But, he still stands tall. I must say he an inspiration to me. Seemed like his work was done, past 70 years, a grandfather who was pensioned out. For him to come back, risking his pension and his reputation. To the point of being defrocked.... He is a PhD, Former Bishop Emeritus of West Buganda Diocese...
I do like the old guy. Hope he comes back as refreshed and envigorated as he should. His detractors will seriously be crying 'foul'...... Had not seen this, but they are already doing so. That 'Virtue Online' article is vintage 'Christian Right' stuff. It is okay to tell lies as long as you are doing the glorious work of opposing Homosexuality. And, they do it very well. Have to learn that practice. A truth here, a half truth there, a blatant lie and an innuendo. And, of course a good writer! Imagine, they still insist that the 'death penalty in the Bahati bill was due to the Muslim majority in Uganda! What a blatant falsehood!
How is Ssempa? Last I heard of him was that he was attending a Muslim Anti-Homosexuality Jihad-Crusade. Just here in Kampala.
And, in Zimbabwe, the visible LGBT community is suddenly being persecuted. Arrested, for 'undermining the President' Mugabe. Life is truly odd.
The guys in Malawi, they were sent back to their respective villages. It will be interesting to see how they work out. Apparently, in prison, they were kept in different prisons..... lest they risk having sex again. And, as of now, they are being told that they should be repentant, and if they renew their relationship- why, the pardon was not for future offences.
How would it be to live outed, like these guys were,... with everyone knowing that you are a convicted homosexual? Chances of getting a job, place in society, etc. I guess life has not become any much easier now than it will ever be. They are young. 20 and 24? Hope they do get something out of this.
For me, the take away lesson is that international pressure does work.
On May 18, the couple was convicted of sodomy, and while the harsh sentence was generally welcomed by the Malawian public, it drew international rebuke. The nation, one of the poorest in Africa, is heavily dependent on foreign aid, and several donors suggested they might have to reconsider their generosity.It is a victory for gay people. All over the world. That is a fact. Duh, we shall never be loved by most of the world. Something that the bill has pressed into my conscious.
Pop stars issued their own condemnations. Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, said the nation had taken “a giant step backward.” Elton John wrote an appeal to Mr. Mutharika, asking him to release the couple and “expunge Malawi’s discriminatory laws against homosexuality.”
In announcing the pardon, the president emphasized that he was not condoning gay marriage. “It’s unheard of in Malawi, and it’s illegal,” he said.
But, for someone like these Malawi guys, the personal toll may be considerable.
Late Saturday, Mr. Chimbalanga, who has said he considers himself a woman in a man’s body, and Mr. Monjeza were released from custody.Speaking of the toll... My partner was really happy about the release of the Malawi couple. And, I reminded him that in Uganda, the Honourable Bahati would want us in prison for life. And, the bill is still in parliament.
The police escorted Mr. Chimbalanga back to his home village in the remote hills of Thyolo District. He stayed for a reunion with family members, and planned to return to Blantyre early Sunday.
“I’ve been under so much emotional stress that I need to find somewhere to rest,” said Mr. Chimbalanga, speaking by cellphone through an interpreter. “I still want to marry Steven. But I don’t know what he is thinking any more. We’ve been through so much.”
He said: “I think it is going to be hard to stay in Malawi. I am afraid of what people might do to us. We probably need to seek asylum in some other country. Is there a place for us? I don’t know.”
What has that bill done to the reputation of Uganda? And, to the reputation of Mr Bahati in particular? Was reminded of that when I went through this post on Huffingtonpost. It is about the Missionaries of Hate documentary, an excerpt from an interview with David Bahati.
"Uganda's anti-gay bill author wallows in the filth of his hate."
It has been said that sometimes you have to let purveyors of ignorance and hate speak freely because sooner or later they tend to damage their own cause.The interview cited there has to be read, and wondered at. Sincerely, what planet does David Bahati live on? Same ilk as Martin Ssempa. It is from their very words and actions that one condemns them. Because they are naked. Not even the Ssempa charisma can hide his hate.
This saying should be remembered when listening to an interview with MP David Bahati, the creator of that awful anti-gay Ugandan bill.
I will have to stop here. Feels really good to be back writing, thinking, debating... And of course getting to know what the rest of the planet's beat is dancing to.