Issues Concerning Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and other Sexual Minorities Africa We started off as GayUganda...., but time changes all....
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A Homosexual Scandal in Uganda.
He is a pastor of a Pentecostal church. Kansanga Miracle Center Church, one of the ‘new’, non traditional churches. He drew people around him with his charisma, built it from a reed walled structure to a huge, eye catching edifice in the Kansanga rich man’s slum.
He was unmarried for long. All the ladies would have loved to swoon at the feet of this charismatic young man, an up and coming preacher, a mover in the Pentecostal world in Uganda. But he was too busy doing the work of god.
I ‘hear’, as in the ‘grapevine’ that, there came a time and the pressure to get married was a little overwhelming. So, with his parents hot on his case, he gave them the go ahead.
‘I am a bit shy,’ confessed the famous preacher, ‘Dad, can you choose me a woman?’
Daddy was not shy at all. The opposite, in fact.
Quickly, a young woman caught Daddy’s resourceful eye. The family vetted the lady, and were happy about the results. Good family, good people, respectful, saved, etc, etc.
The lady was presented to the young man, who was immediately enamored. Who predictably, immediately fell in love. She could not but fall in love with him. Young, powerful, rich, charismatic, the founder pastor of one of the most powerful Pentecostal churches in Kampala.
The lady was introduced to the church. The church swooned with love for the lady.
Fundraising, and ultimately, the wedding of the year. Was it 2007, or 08? I remember, because, well, the wedding was held in Namboole Stadium, a 40,000 people seater, and was the wedding of the year. The budget was an eye popping 300 Million Uganda shillings. And the couple went off on a honeymoon in California. Or, at least that is what I remember.
Pastor Kiwewesi was wed at last. And one of the most eligible bachelors removed from the scene, in style. Society swooned.
Oh, I have removed many of the attending flares, like the lady pastor who sent the eminent Kiwewesi a message that god had appeared to her in a vision, and told her that Kiwewesi was not supposed to marry than lady, but the one this pastoress had seen in a vision…
And they lived happily thereafter?
Poor, misguided, blind, ignorant believers.
The man is homosexual. Or, so the media is breaking the news.
Poor Ugandans. We have become so enamoured of the idea that sex is bad, that we assume that our bible tells us all there is about sex. Sex is bad. Sex must happen in marriage. And marriage has to be arranged. Abstain till marriage myth. Poor Ugandans.
To some believers, marriage is arranged by the good pastor.
Kiwewesi could not come out and say that he is homosexual. Why do we, homosexuals, go to god? Why do we homosexuals have this hunger for god that, despite the fact that the church hurts us so much, we feel the need to gravitate towards it?
I did it myself. Lucky that I came to jump out of that pit of ignorance.
Maybe it is just the fact that we are like every other human being. Our spirituality is part of us. Our desire and need to believe is an overwhelming part of us. When we discover that we are gay, immediately we think to believe those who say they can heal us of this 'evil spirit'. No, thanks for small mercies, I was never brave enough to submit to a public exorcism.
For Kiwewesi, all the signs were there, for anyone who wanted to know, to see. Matter of fact, I had heard a rumour or two, from the grapevine. I have never slept with the dude, so, I cannot confirm, or deny. All I know is that on Thursday, the news was broken. On WBS television. On the Luganda programme. Apparently, it was taken up by the Monitor newspaper (funny, I have searched for that online, and I have failed to get it.) And, the red rug, and Bukedde, a Luganda daily has taken up the chase.
His life is destroyed. And for us, we are seeing, again, what can happen to any of us if we are ever exposed.
And poor gay Ugandans.
A former lover is accusing the guy. Apparently, the wedding made him bitter. He thought he had much to get from the guy, but the Pastor succumbed to the pressure of society.
Poor Ugandans. We are caught in the midst of our blind, ignorant attitude towards sexuality and matters of sex. We deny that they are homosexuals, fail to see them when they are, where they are, make their lives hell. And when we discover them, a scandal.
Is nine in the morning.
Eid day. Up late, after all it is a public holiday. And bed is sweet with life and love in it.
Overcast, and the sound of children laughing and shouting all round us. A beautiful day.
I had not realized that I was not posting as frequently as I used to.
The business of being busy- with work and other demands. But I write because I love doing so, and, it is a therapy. The musings of my mind displayed for all and sundry to see.
Not much to write about, but I need to wish my muslim friends Eid Mubarak.
And, a night photo of the new mosque.
An un-muslim thought which has cheered me up this morning. Google supports Gay Marriage in California. Good for them. Sometimes people and companies have to get off the fence.
Here is the notice. The comments are very interesting. Go Google, go!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Seems some people thought this article was good.
Bravo Dr. Semugoma
I wish to commend Dr. Paul Semugoma for writing an objective article “Same sex attraction is not a disease” that appeared in The New Vision recently.
I’m happily married and a father of five. I have travelled and read scientific books that have made me to think objectively on homosexuality. Dr. Semugoma was very courageous to write about a topic that has diverted clergy from focusing on more important spiritual and development issues.
T. S. Mugoya
Published on: Saturday, 27th September, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
In the name of God.
Saw this at SGL's Universe, and I was not amused. I know Ssempa, and Orombi in Uganda preach the same kind of gospel, but wow! Kind of hits one in the face how much freedom to hate a person can claim in the name of religion.
A few names immediately spring to mind. Osama bin Laden being the most notorious one.
Just wonder whether this is where my poor country is headed.
Here is the article.
Australian bumper sticker threatens gays with death
"Gay Rights? Under God's law the only rights gays have is the right to die." Lev 20:13
Did I hear you ask where Ssempa preaches the same gospel? Well, I will spring the quote.
"Our previous experience showed us that bringing homosexuals into campaigns against HIV only gives them a chance to propagate their illegal and unnatural acts."
In my book, thinking that I should get HIV in the name of your morality is not very far from thinking I should die, in the name of your morality. Sick Christians.
A prayer for those who hate me in the name of religion; May their gods help them. I as a homosexual have proven resilient over the years.
Is that reaction, err, too hate filled?
Bitter, defiant, in your face. And of course the all out challenge to Christians.
Reminds me of what I used to be. Bitter, angry, and lashing out at any chance I got. At Christians, and Christianity.
Anger has its purposes. Ingrained as homophobia can be, we learn to hate ourselves for what we are. The anger helps us to seize control of the moral upper ground. Even when it is not based on accurate facts. Helps to kind of flush out the venom.
But anger is not something to use so liberally. It corrodes and corrupts one's being.
Actually, those poor Christians, Ssempa, and the guy who believes my only right is to be stoned because I am gay, well, they are to be pitied.
They are in a house full of treasures. And their eyes are so closed to it that they can genuinely see none of the good things of love that that house has.
Poor Ssempa. And Orombi, and Nsaba Buturo. And of course, the sheep that follow them; Kimbowa, and all the others. Poor christians.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Gay hunting: Uganda loses the plot
By L. MUTHONI WANYEKI
Posted Saturday, September 20 2008 at 16:15
The weekend before last, two members of
They remained in detention in
They were denied access to their advocate. They were, however, allowed access to a priest, who pressurised them to give up names of other members of the gay community.
It became clear that the Criminal Investigations Department had a list of 11 Ugandans known to be involved in organising against the discrimination and violence faced by the gay community.
The CID even went to the astonishing extent of visiting several banks in
The two gay men were threatened during their detention with charges of “recruitment.” This, of course, is not currently a criminal offence articulated in
If it were, it would be (yet) another indication of how little understood issues of gender identity and sexual orientation are — nobody “chooses” their gender identity or sexual orientation and therefore nobody could be “recruited” into one other than the one innately theirs.
Even if there were a choice, what person, in the face of the extreme homophobia that obtain here, would consciously make such a difficult choice?
In fact, the very reverse is true — the homophobia actually forces many with different gender identities and sexual orientations to hide that fact for as long as they possibly can.
The news went out. Those in the human-rights and women’s movements in
But the point being made by the state was clear — and its warning was heard. The citizenship and equality rights due to
Two Ugandan lesbians on the CID list fled the country. The rest of the LGBTI community is now living in fear — simply because of who they are.
The writing has been on the wall for a long time. Take the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity, for example.
Originally established to deal, appropriately, with ethics in governance and having failed to do so, it is now venturing into areas where the state has absolutely no business. The minister’s latest proposal was to ban miniskirts on the spurious grounds that they cause road accidents by distracting drivers. Honestly!
Meanwhile, a debate has been raging in parliament and the executive around the legalisation of sex work. As usual, the focus is not on demand — the men who buy sex — but on supply — the women who, in response to that demand, sell sex.
And the focus on women has no regard for their safety and security — in terms of health as well as in terms of violence — but on their supposed lack of morality. Again. Honestly.
The obsession of any state with morality — conservatively and patriarchally defined — is the sign of a state in crisis.
It is the sign of a state ready to do anything to mobilise the moral majority at the expense of those who most need its protection. It is the sign of a state desperate to distract attention from the much more pressing and real needs of its population.
Paedophilia and violence against women are legitimate reasons for state intervention in the personal, on the basis that citizen’s safety and security are at stake. But consenting adults? Again, honestly.
Museveni must call off his storm troopers.
L. Muthoni Wanyeki is executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Advice from a Newspaper
Anyway, it started with a letter in the Monitor Newspaper. Someone was giving advice about a disease called 'balanitis', an infection of the head of the penis, far as I could judge. [shhh, Princess, shut your eyes]
The gentleman giving the advice is an HIV/AIDS counselor, and, here is part of his advice.
A concerned man can ask how to prevent Balanitis. …
Heterosexual young boys and old ones visit a doctor to check whether you have thrush. The outcome can be good if you are diagnosed and treated early. …
Willy Bikokye Kafeero, HIV/Aids counsellor, Makerere University
So, me being gay, (that is, homosexual), I had a question. Luckily enough, the guy had left an email address on his letter to the newspaper.
So, I e-mailed him, and waited for an answer. Who would like to get an infection of the head of the penis? [Eyes shut, I said, put fingers in the ears, PRINCESS!]
Here is my (very polite) email
thanks for your good advice on preventing Balanitis. I noticed that you gave advice to heterosexual young boys and old ones,
'Heterosexual young boys and old ones visit a doctor to check whether you have thrush. '
I am homosexual, what about me? Am I not at risk of balanitis?
The answer was not long in coming. Here
Greetings from William
I do not intend to advice some one who can't identify him self. Much as you're gay .
Pliz note that its 100% illegal before God and your nation Uganda in case your coming from Uganda .
Read the constitution of Uganda you have no room to exercise your business much as you call rights
NOTE But note that your rights are not absolute to the community
PLIZ READ THE BIBLE
PLIZ when God created a man called Adam , He created a wife called Eva but not Adams and Evas
Ok. So, I went ahead and read the bible. And the constitution, and all the other things he told me to read about balanitis. Maybe I got the spelling wrong. Seems as if there was no mention of this loathsome disease.
But I sent him a polite thank you note.
Thank you William.
I am grateful for the knowledge
Monday, September 22, 2008
Churches are mum about Karamoja!
Wednesday, 17th September, 2008
EDITOR I am intrigued by the hypocritical silence of religious institutions regarding the crisis in Karamoja! I stand to be corrected but I have not heard a single voice regarding the suffering that has dehumanised our brothers and sisters in Karamoja.
When the land bill was being discussed, a bishop from one of the religious bodies came out strongly condemning the mistreatment of
What is interesting is that the church especially took particular exception on the question of homosexuality. I do not support homosexuality at all but my point is that we have an equally critical problem when our brothers are starving to death when we can afford at least three square meals a day.
Our muslim brothers should also do something. Do all religions preach about all being the children of God? Are the Karimojong any less than we are? Isn’t it time we stood up for them! Shame! Shame! Shame!
The hypocrisy is deafening! Preaching about it being better give than to receive! Are we giving? parliament should declare a state of emergency in Karamoja! But they are all pretending to be saving this nation. What hogwash!
All part of the grand conspiracy, what in their well cut-out suits, fat allowances ad nauseum! While these great people waste away before our very eyes and we call ourselves a nation! Pity. Karamoja should be declared a disaster area. They badly need food and medicine.
The religious and civic organisations should mobilise where we (potential Samaritans) can donate items, including money for the Karimojong. It is time for us to be donors to our own brothers, our brothers’ keepers.
Any mass action like this must be regulated by government to avoid any mistrust but it should be tailored to avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy
Wake up people! We can make a change. It is time to stoke the fires of nationalism. We can bring hope to these people as a stopgap measure while government and other stakeholders design long-term solutions for the troubled region.
We have little time. If we all fasted for one day and handed the proceeds to our brothers, just imagine the fire that we would have lit in an attempt to unite a polarised nation!
Reply to the Doctor
Society will always condemn deviants!
Sunday, 21st September, 2008
EDITOR—I would like to comment on Dr. Paul Semugoma’s article “Same sex attraction is not a disease” published on September 17. Homosexuality may not be a disease but it certainly is a deviation or perversion. The culture of a society is there precisely to limit the deviations of individuals from the norm.
It is the social sanctions of societies that keep its members on the straight and narrow path against their natural desires.
Many people do have compulsive desires to pilfer other people’s properties even when they do not need those items. Others cannot simply keep to a single woman in their sexual life.
These people are simply wired to derive pleasure from these activities which our society condemns. Some have agonised and even contemplated suicide in their honest fight against these social deviations. But we can also argue like Semugoma, that they have failed because that is who they are.
Should we therefore not condemn pilferers, night dancers, philanderers because according to . Semugoma’s blueprint, these people are made like that? It is in their genes! Won’t we also use the same arguments to explain the behaviour of rapists, murderers, dictators, etc?
Semugoma should know that for most people, life is a struggle to control their inborn desires and conform to what the majority of society considers right! Some people succeed better than others but culture is there to ensure everyone tries.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Rain in Kampala
A warm, slow rain.
Was raining when I woke up. My lovers warm body was too tempting. Too tempting by half. So, set off almost late for the morning. It was a drizzle then, but once out, I could see the dark thunderclouds to the east and I knew it was going to rain. Just prayed I would be able to get to work before the heavens opened up.
And they have, when I was already at work.
Rain over Kampala.
The sun is a favorite season, with the heat, and the brightness, and the sheer sense of light all around. But the rain is also a favorite season. True, the roads become ribbons of red mud, and we have to pick and choose where we step. The light is lost, and the overcast is usually heavy. But, usually, it does not last that much, which is a fantastic thing. Yet, when it is raining, the gentle drops on the roads, the splash of water as the vehicles go by, everything. It is a beautiful season.
Poetry, to me, is a wish, a desire, an itch
To take the world around me
Put it in words-
Not immortal, not transcendental,
That will lift from the spirit of the moment
Wrap in words to communicate;
Take muse's guidance
And make it sparkle and spin in words.
Take the day, today-
Grey skies, pregnant and heavy, releasing rain;
The mist of the morning, drizzle that will not let up,
Making so many of us, Kampalans
Uncomfortable with the, unusual wetness;
It is a bane
And a boon-
Muse's stirred, and listens
To the movement of the earth,
The faint stirring of the waters, though it be far off.
There's something in the air that I would put in words
Something in the skies, the dark clouds, the heavy mist
The traffic on the roads, the splash of rain on the streets;
The squish and squelch of water underfoot-
Common, common things
But nothing is more uncommon
Than me being here, listening to it, with the heart, the mind open.
Even my soul listens
To the mood of the moment-
Sombre ecstasy, the power of living, that of breathing-
There's something in the rain
And the skies, and the mood-
The heavy cars, rushing people
There's something beneath, that has muse stirring.
©GayUganda 20 September 2008
Minister Buturo's List of Sins, and Work Priorities
Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo is a man with many wars to fight; prostitution, pornography, reality television shows and homosexuality. This week he unveiled a new weapon against prostitution; name the sellers – and buyers – in the media.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday at the government media centre in Kampala, Dr Buturo said the new strategy to curb what he said were growing cases of prostitution, was a “weapon of shame”.
Dr Buturo did not produce figures to prove that prostitution, which is a crime under Ugandan law, is on the increase. The Ethics minister, however, appeared to have been provoked by the recent sacking of a civil servant whose official car was photographed on a city street with the occupant allegedly negotiating with a pregnant sex worker.
“We want to shame the public officials who even use government vehicles to buy prostitutes,” Dr Buturo warned. “We want to shame the husbands who go after these prostitutes and those running brothels. Their names will be published in print, television, Internet and other possible arena.”
It is not clear how the name-and-shame project will work but Dr Buturo said the government would involve the community and the Police to identify and shame the sex workers and their clients.
It is not clear how the name-and-shame project will work but Dr Buturo said the government would involve the community and the Police to identify and shame the sex workers and their clients.
It is not the first time the minister has tried to end one of the world’s oldest professions. Early this year, he banned a conference organised for sex workers from East Africa, saying it was a “conspiracy to commit a criminal offence”.
A practicing born-again Christian, Dr Buturo may not exactly be a man of the cloth but he prefers his countrymen – and women – fully clothed. He has also proposed a ban against women wearing miniskirts while out in public. “What’s wrong with a miniskirt?” asked Dr Buturo dressed in tie and suit, “you can cause an accident because some of our people are weak mentally.”
Dr Buturo, who took over the Ethics Ministry in 2006 after a stint as information minister, also had time to take a pop at the gay community and Big Brother Africa, a reality TV show, among others.
He said homosexuality – not war, famine, poverty and disease as many would like “us” to believe – is threatening the stability and prosperity of Uganda. “It is a mental disease and I believe people can change,” Dr Buturo added.
Last year he said pro-gay rights organisations from the United Kingdom and the United States were sending him threatening mails due to his strong criticism of the practice which, too, is criminal under Ugandan law. He, at one point, advised gay Ugandans to emigrate.
So is it all doom and gloom? Should Ugandans watch out for hailstones of fire and pillars of salt? Yes, according to Dr Buturo, or else Ugandans get “heart transplants” to fight these various forms of corruption.
“Peoples’ hearts need to change,” Dr Buturo said, adding to his list of vices in the country to include infidelity, embezzlement of public funds, witchcraft, defilement, abortion, walking naked on the streets, rumour-mongering and lust for power. With so much evil, his list of shame, might just be as long as the telephone directory.
Help us Mr President. Give the Honourable Minister some work to do. Dont you think?
Friday, September 19, 2008
the wash of unwashed bodies-
[stop, that is offensive;
this is not],
the high aroma, pheromones, stink of sweat-
the many young men, blend of aphrodisiac
that has my brain swimming,
thought limited to the dickhead-
though my eyes have already re-learnt
the furtive almost looking but not quite so sweep
that brings me the eye candy, mixed with the nose;
cauldron of sexual frustration…!
©GayUganda 18 September 2008
Uganda Action Alert
INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Uganda: Action Alert-Demand An End To Official Harassment of LGBT Activists
In what appears to be an all-out effort to silence the sexual rights movement in Uganda, police have again arrested high profile members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, this time two male-to-female transgender gay men - Georgina (aka) Oundo George and Brenda (aka Kiiza). According to Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), two men who identified themselves as police officers, but were not in the customary Ugandan Police uniform arrested both men at the home of Georgina on Wednesday September 10, 2008.
Georgina and Brenda were held at Nabweru Police Post for a full week without access to lawyers or to bail. They were never brought before a judge, even though Article 3.9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that, "anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge." Article 23 of the Ugandan Constitution requires that an arrested person must appear before a judge within 48 hours of arrest.
Brenda and Georgina report being beaten, kicked and hit with batons around the legs and ankles during their detention as interrogators demanded that they provide information about the names and addresses of other LGBT activists. Brenda and Georgina were finally released on September 17, 2008, but have been required to report regularly to the police station. They have been accused of "spreading homosexuality," though no such crime exists under Ugandan law. "Carnal knowledge against the order of nature" is punishable by up to life imprisonment in Uganda.
Among the rights violated in this most recent incident are:
* The right to liberty and security of person; freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention
* The right to freedom from torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
* The right to freedom of expression
IGLHRC requests that its members send appeals to Ugandan authorities as quickly as possible:
* Demanding an end to the harassment of Oundo George and Kiiza through the requirement that they report to the police on a regular basis.
* Calling on the Ugandan government to immediately end illegal arrests and detention of LGBT individuals and human rights defenders.
* Asking for a repeal of Section 145 of the Penal Code Act of 1950, which ostensibly criminalizes homosexual acts.
Please feel free to cut and paste from our letter (below) and send faxes and e-mails to the following officials:
PO Box 7168
Fax: + 256 414 346 102
Salutation: Your Excellency
Inspector General of Police
Major Kale Kayihura
PO Box 7055
Fax: + 256 414 255 630
Salutation: Dear Major
Minister of Justice
Hon. Makubuya Kiddu
PO Box 7183
Fax: + 256 414 234 453
Salutation: Dear Minister
Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission
P.O .Box 4929, Kampala,
Fax: +256 414 255 261
Salutation: Dear Chairperson
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Uganda accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND COPIES OF ALL APPEALS TO IGLHRC SO THAT WE CAN TRACK THE RESPONSE:
Fax: +27.21.462.3024, fax
Your Excellency President Museveni,
I am writing to you to express my concern about the unwarranted arrest and arbitrary detention of two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) human rights defenders in Uganda on September 10, 2008. George Oundo and Kizza Brenda were held in detention for eight days without going before a judge. Article 23 of the Constitution of Uganda makes it unconstitutional to hold a suspect for over 48 hours. Furthermore, it is my understanding that these two individuals were arrested and detained solely as a result of their sexual orientation and gender identity
The continuous violation of the basic human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people perpetuated by the Ugandan government is of great concern. I understand that Uganda is party to various regional and international human rights covenants such as the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which condemn arrests based on arbitrary categories such as race, ethnicity, political belief and sexual orientation, among others.
I would ask that your government ceases and desists from harassing and arresting LGBT people simply because of their sexual orientation and gender identity and end the harassment and intimidation of LGBT human rights defenders. I would also urge you to consider the repeal of Section 145 of the Penal Code Act of 1950, which criminalizes homosexual acts. Such laws have been declared a violation of the rights to privacy and equality by the United Nations and have caused great pain to many of your citizens.
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Cc: Major Kale Kayihura, Hon. Makubuya Kiddu, Margret Sekagya
In the past five years, there have been nearly a dozen arrests of LGBT people on charges related to homosexuality in Uganda. Authorities have harassed LGBT human rights defenders in their homes and in public and fined a private radio station that broadcast a program on HIV prevention among men who have sex with men. In July 2005, Uganda's Parliament passed an amendment to the constitution making Uganda only the second country in the world to use its supreme law to outlaw marriage between people of the same sex. In 2007, a coalition of religious leaders marched through the streets of Kampala demanding the arrests of LGBT people with one cleric even calling for the "starving to death" of homosexuals. Buttressed by the official homophobia of the state, the Ugandan media has published lists of gay men and lesbians, leading to physical violence, loss of employment and the curtailing of educational opportunities for those LGBT people who were named.
On June 4, 2008, Usaam Mukwaaya, Pepe Julian Onziema and Valentine Kalende, were arrested and charged with criminal trespass while peacefully attending the HIV/AIDS Implementers Meeting in Kampala. The arrest of the activists was condemned by local and international organizations, including UNAIDS, as well as by the U.S. government. Usaam Mukwaaya was rearrested on July 25, 2008 on his way from Friday prayers and was detained and tortured for several days.
IGLHRC is deeply concerned that this increasingly clear pattern of abuse - arrest, mistreatment in detention, and then release - is a systematic attempt to silence the Ugandan LGBT, feminist and human rights communities through constant harassment. There have also been reliable reports that authorities have a list of LGBT leaders including addresses, photographs and other personal information. Some activists have fled into neighboring countries to escape arrest.
The New Vision published this?
Same sex attraction is not a disease
Wednesday, 17th September, 2008
By Paul Semugoma
A few years ago, a patient told me he was homosexual. He was also HIV-positive, and it was a challenge to counsel him. I realised I did not know about HIV prevention among gay men. I researched and was surprised to learn that homosexuals are one of the most vulnerable groups in
There are many reasons to explain this, among them culture and religion. The most accurate reason is that Ugandans know little about sexuality and homosexuality in particular.
I have been answering questions for The New Vision “Ask the Doctor” column for several years. Recently, I received a question from a reader asking for a quick answer. I read:
I told my editor that it was useless to answer the question because it would not be published. That was from experience. The editor agreed, although reluctantly. I was thus surprised to find a whole teen section devoted to homosexuality in The New Vision of September 6. However, this ground-breaking publication was unfortunate. The articles were written by teenagers who gave their opinions, which coincide with those of society. Yet they are erroneous opinions. Nonetheless, the opinions were still published, with a few quotes from counsellors.
The counsellors were presumably experts. But their opinions about homosexuality are not only unscientific and un-researched but they have been disproved by scientific research. To them, homosexuality is a result of environment, due to sexual abuse as children, peer pressure, and erosion of family values, it is introduced and becomes a habit, one can be helped by counselling, it is an addiction, and homosexuals will not be able to become fathers and mothers. I do not need to search far to disprove these myths. What would these counsellors tell the 24 year-old reader from Ntinda who asked me the above question?
Freud and Jung were important historical psychoanalysts who lived in the 18th Century. Surely, their theories of sexuality cannot be relevant in the 21st Century. From the scientific point of view, same sex attraction is a natural phenomenon. It exists in the animal kingdom. Early in medical history, homosexuality was considered a disease. But as far back as 1973, psychiatric associations started removing it from classifications of disease. In 1994, the World Health Organisation removed it from the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10). Accordingly, ‘conversion therapy’ (homosexual treatment) is condemned by most reputed psychiatric organisations. It is harmful.
The reader from Ntinda would not be helped to understand why the Ugandan society thinks homosexuality is bad. He is a homosexual and contemplates suicide because he believes he is bad. He has sought help and is almost giving up. Should I condemn him? My culture, religion and society condemn him.
Same sex orientation is a risk factor for suicide. It is sad that in condemning homosexuality, we use ignorance. Our cultural, social and religious sensibilities are understandable. But why condemn young people to suicide through ignorance? They cannot help themselves. They are what they are. We can do better than condemn fellow Ugandans.
The writer is a medical doctor
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ugandans should not embrace homosexuality
The New Vision of August 18, quoted President Yoweri Museveni to have saluted the Archbishop of Uganda, the Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, and other African religious leaders for resisting homosexuality, a decadent culture being passed on by the Western nations.
We have always been asked why we concern ourselves with homosexual issues or same-sex marriages when they do not affect us. Why not just live and let live? Some people ask
We oppose legalisation of same-sex marriages or the promotion of homosexuality because, as examples from around the world show, homosexual activists are not content to just ‘live and let live.’
They are seeking to make it illegal for anyone to teach that homosexuality is not natural or that it is not good for anyone’s health since studies show medical risks associated with homosexual lifestyle. Neither do they want anybody to teach that it is morally wrong.
Homosexual activists are seeking to force churches to stop teaching their longstanding beliefs regarding homosexuality. They are trying to make it illegal or to be considered unethical for therapists to treat unwanted same-sex attraction because everytime someone is successfully treated, it destroys their claim that homosexual behaviour is genetic and inevitable. Worse still, they want to recruit our children though sex education programs.
In essence, they want to mainstream homosexuality throughout the world through laws, polices, harassment and intimidation. They want to prevent anyone saying anything negative about their sexual activities.
We must fight because the future of our families, our faith and many of our freedoms are at stake.
What happens in one country can affect many other countries as legal precedence is established and homosexual activists become emboldened in their demands.
We cannot sit on the sidelines; we must all engage in this battle now.
All Ugandans and Africans should join the President and religious leaders in this cause and support the various initiatives to preserve and protect marriage and religious freedom and to stop the homosexual agenda from changing our continent.
The writer is a pro-family advocate based in Kampala
Monday, September 15, 2008
Ssempa rewarded for anti-gay crusade
By Joyce Namutebi
DR. Martin Ssempa, a pastor at Makerere Community Church, has received an award for his fight against homosexuality.
Ssempa and his wife Tracey received the plague from Apostle Alex Mitala, the overseer of the National Fellowship of Born Again Churches in Uganda.
This was during the “Great Marriage Celebration” organised by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement in conjunction with the National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches in Uganda at Nakivubo Stadium over the weekend.
Mitala led hundreds of couples who converged at the stadium from various parts of the country into a prayer for Ssempa to continue being the torch-bearer in the fight against the vice in Uganda.
“You are not fighting alone. We are with you,” Mitala said.
He said homosexuality was one way of making the world extinct.
“When men marry each other and women marry women, clans and tribes become extinct,” Mitala noted.
Bishop Michael Mugerwa, the organiser of the celebrations, urged couples to continue the fight against homosexuality, saying marriage was made for man and woman.
Ssempa thanked the Christians for standing by him and said he was encouraged by their support to continue with his campaign.
He proposed the establishment of a national marriage alliance to counter homosexuality.
Ssempa said the alliance would also discuss problems concerning marriage in Uganda.
Dr. Joseph Serwadda, the patron of Churches in Communities, asked the Government to consider declaring a national day for married people.
Pr. Robert Kayanja of Lubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral urged husbands to listen to their wives, saying that God can use them to bring blessings in their families.
Everywhere I look, all around me;
my world looks sick,
a huge, bleeding, oozing, weeping wound.
Try, let the healing love leak
from you, from me, where I am, where you are.
Do not, underestimate, your power dude-
you are a healing presence;
let the power your love leach
a little at a time, all round you, where you are.
You’ll be healed and
our world will be a better place
for the smile on your face;
You are a healing presence.
©GayUganda 14 Sept. 08