A PUBLIC DIALOGUE
THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL, 2009
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2009
Faculty of Law Auditorium
Hon. David Bahati, MP Ndorwa East and Sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Assoc. Prof. Sylvia Tamale, Coordinator, Law, Gender & Sexuality Research Project, Faculty of Law.
Rev. Canon. Aaron Mwesigye, Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of
Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS Activist
My formating is not the best.
You can guess who is for which side.
Tamale and Rubaramira are against the Bill. The Rev Canon and Bahati are pro-bill
You know, I have all of a sudden gotten a deep anger. I cannot go and watch this thing. Because of the simple reason that I would feel like hitting out physically.
To me, it is immoral for someone to blithely debate my life, whether I should live or not.
Yeah, that is me.
Now, I have to channel that anger into something else.
This is one debate I wouldn't have missed for the world if I were in situ so to speak.
I´m with gug on this one...I would have a very hard time listening to the rationalized junktalk of Canon Aaron Mwesigye, Provincial puppet of Archbishop Orombi (who, Orombi, is probably off sturring up more discrimination and hatred abroad now that he´s done such a fine job of demoralizing Christians and making everyone look like fools in his own Anglican Province of Uganda)...the very idea that such political/religious thugs are speaking against the intimate most character/virtue of LGBT HUMAN BEINGS (they have NO way of knowing personally) is sick in itself and anti-Christian...this plain attempt to validate their National mischiefmaking and tainted logic (reinforced by third rate, paid, evangelical madmen from the United States) is also a clear sign of this diversion from the REAL BUSINESS of running Uganda efficiently/honorably...no, I´d have a hard time listening to the two Hypocrites yammer on and on (more) about the likes of me...I´ve heard them already and they both reek of corruption, cowardliness and self-deceit and are in NO POSITION to discuss the morals of others...they are the problem as they attempt to rationalize their greed and grandstanding as they abuse their brothers and sisters both at home and abroad.
for the audio of Sempa and Dr. Warren on premier radio debating the bill
So I went to this dialogue, and just wrote a looooooong comment describing my impressions, and then the internet swallowed it up
Let me try that again
The dialogue was... interesting. I managed to get through most of it without punching anyone, though I was sorely tempted. Oh yes I was tempted.
I am sure it will be on the news, the hall was packed and Ssempa made a grand entrance (to applause of course) about half way through.
Bahati talked like a politician, and never even addressed the content of the bill really. When talking about "aggravated homosexuality" he stuck to the underage clause and completely ignored the HIV clause.
He even had the nerve to connect the issue of homosexuality to CHOGM mismanagement and Global Fund theivery, saying "it all goes back to morals". So the way we are to understand it, the best way to deal with government corruption is to point fingers as far away as possible from the people who perpetrate it. Thanks Bahati, thank you for that one. Glad to know my parliament is getting things done.
Langa did his usual bit of "The Gay Agenda is here, it is rich and they are coming for your children!" All this talk of neocolonialism and yet he himself is a sad caricature of gay-bashers in the US. At one point he told the audience "you do not want to know what goes on in Gay Pride parades" and then proceeded to show us a few pictures. Shameless scare tactics with nothing to do with the situation here
Ruranga came out against the bill even though he does not "support Homosexuality", because he fears what it will do to HIV rates in the country. I don't know how much of an impact he made because he is not a great speaker and the audience wanted blood.
Sylvia Tamale was the lone bright spot, stating her points with calm and class. The minority opinion made itself heard during her speech, applauding her good talking points.
I almost had hope for humanity until the Q &A session, during which most of the audience displayed their ignorance,making comparisons to bestiality and such nonsense. One guy managed to fit in an NRM jab/FDC plug, another guy tried to hold Bahati and government accountable for the myriad of other more pressing problems Uganda has to deal with. Unfortunately he was mostly drowned out by the sounds of panic as guys imagined the feel of phantom members, pressing up against their virgin behinds.
Ssempa made some ridiculous point about how the girlchild enjoys the full protection of the law against defilement. But who. who I ask you, will help the boychild as he tries to defend his bottom in our same-sex schools? (not his words). I was SO annoyed when I heard that. Read any newspaper and you are bound to see 5 or 6 cases of defilement of young girls daily, by uncles,fathers, relatives and strangers. And those are the ones that are reported. And it's not like the law against defilement is gender-specific. Boys are protected as well as girls...
I just wish that the discussion could stay centred on the legal problems with the bill, as that is an argument even the most homophobic Ugandan can surely process. But the audience couldn't seem to see the sense for all the blood in their eyes.
Kaybie are you saying that all the people in the audience had blood in their eyes? You know that would include you and those who opposed the bill in the crowd who am sure were in attendance to??? remember you wrote , of Tamale' speech that "The minority opinion made itself heard during her speech, applauding her good talking points."?
Leornardo Ricardo has gone on to abuse the very people he should be helping to make see his point ... calling them all sorts of names which in my view does not help. The last thing one should ever do while trying to make a point is to " name- call"
. If you dont agree with someone, be systematic and lay down your points for an organised debate rather than rant abuse after abuse and think you will make any difference apart from justify the very points you want to fight...
Ssempa'spoint about the boy child being raped or defiled should , in my opinion be investigated for veracity rather than throwing it in the bin for being ridiculous based on newspaper reports. The rape of boys is something many parents / guardians tend to hush probably because of this particarchial society and we should instead investigate it rather than call it ridiculous. At least ask him for evidence ....
That is what i would do ....
I actually put a lot of thought into the biases that the audience came in with to yesterday's dialogue, my own included.
I don't doubt that this is an emotional discussion, for those on both sides, but I do believe that we all have a responsibility to at least try to put emotion aside and use reason to come to conclusion. I saw little evidence of that yesterday, particularly among Bahati and Ssempa's vocal supporters who sounded like a crowd at a football match. But, like you say, let's not throw around "abuse".
My intention was not to suggest that allegations of abuse of boy children should be thrown out. I agree, they too should be vigorously investigated. After all, we ALREADY have laws against the defilement of children, male or female, so what is stopping law enforcement from doing their job? What is stopping Ssempa and other boy’s advocates from throwing their weight against a full advocacy campaign against the abuse of boys. After all, women can be abusers and sexual molesters too. The Anti-homosexuality bill would do absolutely nothing in such a case.
What makes me angry is that the abuse of boys is being used in such a misguided manner. The bill is not there to protect boys; they are equally protected under already-existing law. This bill is about the persecution and purging of "undesirables" in society. To me, the argument seems to stem from a backlash against the attention and gains made by the women’s movement.
You got it right Kaybie.
The bill is about purging society of 'undesirables'
I tend to use language literally. For example, It is quite clear to anyone who reads the bill that, that is what is about. The purge.
Do I think Ssempa does not see that? Does he not see that?
If he does see it and continues to talk like he does, then he is a liar. Not abuse, just statement of fact.
If he does not see it.... Then a question, is he stupid? Not in stupid as abuse, but stupid as in an observation. Dull...
I dont tend to be politically correct. Sorry. Not when it interferes with my thinking. Do you have any other explanation?
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