Friday, November 20, 2009

Debate in Uganda

I think we have, at long last, crossed into the main stream media in Uganda.

Well, it is just that the Daily Monitor has taken the Public Dialogue, and put it on the front page. As the lead story.
The Monitor is an independent. It is generally the first to jump onto any case of abuse of Human rights. Sadly, most Ugandans dont believe that gay rights are human rights. Nor are homosexuals human beings. I am not exaggerating. Look at the abuse on this post.

So, when the debate started, no paper in Uganda was reporting it. Only one television station was diving into the reporting. News hungry, and pushy NTV. It has taken a month, when the world outside Uganda is boiling with outrage. And, it must have taken a lot of internal negotiations. What tipped the balance? I dont know. But, this is a front page story, and, it is the second in two or three days in the Monitor.

Excerpts from it



Legal experts and activists have warned government against passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before parliament arguing that some of the clauses go ‘overboard’.

The experts who held a public dialogue on Wednesday on the bill at Makerere University said that if passed in its current form, the bill would hinder the fight against HIV/AIDS because it criminalises homosexuality.

According to Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, the Executive Director of the National Guidance and Empowerment Network of people living with HIV/Aids in Uganda, who has lived with the HIV virus for over 20 years, said “15 per cent of the HIV/Aids spread is as a result of gay activities.

Maj. Ruranga said: “The best thing is to educate them (homosexuals) because criminalization causes stigma, discrimination and denied knowledge on HIV/Aids and its treatment.”

According to Clause 14 of the Bill, “A person in authority, who being aware of the commission of any offence under this Act, omits to report the offence to the relevant authorities within 24 hours of having first had that knowledge, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty currency points or imprisonment not exceeding three years.”

Maj. Ruranga asked the government to do more “analysis on the clauses before the bill is passed into law to avoid bad consequences especially in the fight against HIV/Aids.”

Hey, it is longer. Read the whole of it.

Want to see Dr. Tamale's excellent speech. Check it out here. It is worth reading.

That debate was significant. It really showed how illogical, extreme and out there that this bill is. And, it also showed that the guys who are pushing for it, in the name of Christ, God and Country, are determined to have the bill through. They want it.

Bahati boasted, 'We have the numbers. This bill will become law.' And that 'If I were to have a vote at the end of this forum, I know we (bill proposers) would have won.
Yes. It is true. But, that would have been not a win for logic. But for hate.

Langa, after going on and on about how bad homosexuality is, had the gall to say, 'To all the homosexuals here, I must say that I love you.'

How wonderful that Christian love is! Thanks, but no thanks. For the time being, I will fight his loving embrace. It is like Judas' kiss.
But, these guys are vulnerable. Because, their biggest justification is that they are doing it in the name of religion. So, what happens when other Christians say, no way. Not in the name of our God? Please, keep up the pressure.

Every little thing helps. New York, Washington had protests at the Uganda missions.

Here is the AFP story.

Shame on Uganda. True, it is a shame. But, we are shameless. See, when gay people outside Uganda shame us, we are smug and happy. We are doing the right thing. But, remember we are doing it in the name of God. And, those are evil humans that are abusing us..!

So, will the bill pass? Most likely! More than likely. The government will be overjoyed at the debate. It is diverting attention from a controvertial land bill which they are ramming through parliament....
But, ours are the lives at stake. We will count, and take our blessings, as and when we can.


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