Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From here and there

Clouds, and the promise of rain over Kampala.
Seems as if the sun of the last few weeks is soon giving into rain. No problem. Like it all. But rain is one of those things which can be a blessing and curse. For some people. Everything is anyway, so why grumble??!
My internet connection is apparently getting slower and slower. [Tired of complaining to the ISP again. Lightning speeds are always promised, never delivered. But, I am one of the few with this access, so maybe even partial access is a very good thing.]

Going through the world press, just wondered about how intrusive the state or society should be. We are a gossipy lot, us humans. Why, why, why do we have to know what happens in the beds of a couple of people who have decided to commit to one another? It is kind of ridiculous, given the fact that we all tend to do things which would surprise everyone else in the privacy of our bedrooms. But, we tend to have this hypocritical attitude. We write into law what should be done in bed, when we have sex. Anyway, this case is in Pakistan.
Peshawar, Pakistan (CNN) -- Malik Muhammad Iqbal is a man. Rani was born a man but lives as a woman.
Both are locked up in a northwest Pakistani jail awaiting trial because police say they tried to get married.
In Pakistan, that's a crime.
"Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal," says the country's penal code, "shall be punished with imprisonment. "
Eighteen-year-old Rani says Iqbal, a 42-year-old fertilizer dealer, is a friend - not a lover.
"We were only celebrating my birthday," Rani said.
But prosecutors say it was a marriage that was taking place. Police smashed their way in, broke up the party, arrested 43 dancing guests, Rani and Iqbal.
Iqbal says he was just another guest at the party.
"This was not a gay marriage," he said. "These are just false allegations."
Peshawar police Chief Shoukat Ali disagrees. Officials say they have photographs and a wedding dress to prove it.
Come closer to Africa, in Zimbabwe, the politicians looked around for a talking point, and, in lieu of corruption, etc, etc, they remembered the ‘homosexual plague’. So, the President condemned them again, and blamed the opposition. The opposition also went ahead and condemned them. No politician wants to be seen as outdone on the condemnation bit. But, when they are really looking for something to stir up the population, politicians want a bit more than condemnation and a few words in the print. It seems it didn’t work. So, a couple of Zimbabwean gay activists are arrested. Oh, forget the fact that GALZ has been up and running in Zimbabwe for years. They swoop in and arrest a couple of people that they find in the office on that day, and also raid another officers home. Now, just in case no one noticed, the ‘Veterans’ are weighing in. A new revolution. Against homosexuality of course. 
Zimbabwe’s ageing liberation fighters have made a vow : “there will be no room for gays in Zimbabwe". They say it is against what they fought for during the liberation struggle.
"You cannot change the direction of a struggle, but only improve the road. Do you think those who died for the liberation of the country died for gay marriages?", asked Jabulani Sibanda, the veterans leader.
He added, “Imagine being a father receiving a letter from your son informing you that he will be bringing his husband home to meet you. It’s really shocking. We are not going to accept that. We will defend the revolution."
His comments came barely a week after state security agents stormed offices of a gay rights group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe and arrested two workers.
Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Muhambi where charged for ‘insulting the office of the President’ and for allegedly possessing ‘pornographic material’.
The catholic church, in the bid to weed out gays from the priesthood, may be glad about this. We gay people may actually have gaydar, a special sixth sense. Now, how useful is that? Problem for me is that I find it completely useless…! We tend to hide too well, in Uganda, or my gaydar is underdeveloped, I don’t know.
A report from South Africa about the endemic violence there. 
Tumi Mkhuma is showing me her photo album in the small room she rents in a tough neighbourhood on the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg. "That's me when I was 11 - wearing trousers of course," she says. "I knew I was gay even as a young child."
Tumi has only had sex with a man once. That was last year, when she was dragged from a bar, beaten unconscious, and then raped. "A month later I got morning sickness - that's how I found out he raped me," she says.
To be poor, and black, and a lesbian in South Africa is to live in danger. "Corrective rapes", beatings and murders are disturbingly common in conservative communities where homophobia remains deeply entrenched.
I first watched it on BBC. There is something inherently perverse in a person who thinks that rape can be ‘corrective’. Glad that the girls have formed a self support group. Sometimes we kind of think that it is easier in South Africa. But, well, it is not that much easier, inspite of the better legislative atmosphere.

I will end with a comment on Pastor Martin Ssempa, PhD's fight for anti-gay rights.

A Bizarre Window Into Uganda’s Gay Hate
Not safe for work, or life, really… But perhaps an important thing to understand in terms of just how fucked up the gay rights advances are in certain parts of the world: A bizarre look at a anti-gay rally in Uganda, where the speaker spools out ridiculous ignorance to a degree that’s almost hilarious if the horrifying state of gay rights in Uganda wasn’t so very real.  As my friend who send me this video noted, “His argument that the modern gay agenda is to eat the poo poo of Ugandan children is particularly compelling.”
Wanna have a look at the video? Its here.

Have a good day.


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