Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cautious Hope?

Sometimes I surf the waves, just to skim the headlines. There is so much information out there that it is impossible to see it all. So, I go for the headlines. Some are so irresistible that the following article I drink in.

Like Rick Warren, Silent Enabler Of Hatred. I laugh at that. But, seriously, if you are a leader, is it any problem when the people you lead expect you to lead? And, it is more like so when you are leading on moral grounds. We expect much of our Muftis and the Churchmen. [shrug], even this non-believer expects them to SET the example. So, if I get this terrible bill and present it to Rick Warren, and he then goes ahead to wash his hands of the bills author without any other action, I am disappointed. Of course, my disappointment is kind of a compliment. I realise that I do not have any ability to stop this bill. And I realise that Mr. Warren does.

Will you blame me if I continue hounding him until he does what I know to be right? Well, I will continue hounding him. His colleague/associate Ssempa is doing all he can this end, to make sure that the bill has 100% chance of passing. It most likely will, but, in his anti-gay zeal, Pastor Ssempa is doing all that he can, saturating the waves, the churches, everything. In the name of stopping the 'Homosexual International', that terrible bill MUST pass. And Ssempa is zealous in its promotion. Well, let people who have control over him do something.

Same with the Church of England. I dont parse words. If politicians have the guts to speak out on a moral issue, what about the Church? Still hoping to repair any bridges? Well, far as I know, your sisters and brothers here are willing to kill me. I am not planning to attend my funeral pyre, thank you very much, so I will insist that you say something to them.

Of course, with those who speak out late, please expect the question, why did you do it so late? To me it is a reasonable question. Black is black. White is white. Isnt my death by judicious murder a horror? So, why do you wait for the firewood to start smoking before you are convinced the fire will be set? Lambeth, and some others are still, 'dithering'? ha ha ha! But some are not.

This bill is very, very frank about what its aim is. To 'wipe out Homosexuality from Uganda'.

If you doubt me, go read it again. Here.

And, while it plans to imprison and kill homosexuals, there is a world body which is supposed to stop genocide. Oh, that is the dictionary definition of doing what the bill says it intends to do. And, here is some lawyerly advice on why the United Nations cannot help. Analysis: Why the United Nations Can't Get Involved with Ugandan Anti-Homosexual Legislation. Funny, someone did mention the word genocide to the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on HIV in Africa. The lady is on a visit to Uganda. Maybe some more quiet diplomacy...

Anyway, what I seem to understand from what that person says, is that killing of a country's homosexual population is not genocide. I dont understand all the convoluted reasoning. Maybe because I am biased. After all, I am a gay Ugandan!!!!

Of the politicians, trust the Scandinavian not to parse words. They dont. The bill is appaling, and they are disappointed in Uganda. From Sweden. They actually made Museveni to take back the order to the Police to hunt us down in 1999. At least, that is what I was given to believe.

But, more reason for hope is the speech given by Hillary Clinton.

(Image from Advocate)
She didnt mention Uganda. Not in so many words. But, the lady came out very much opposed to discriminating legislation. 

Obviously, our efforts are hampered whenever discrimination or marginalization of certain populations results in less effective outreach and treatment. So we will work not only to ensure access for all who need it, but also to combat discrimination more broadly. We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide. It is an unacceptable step backwards — (applause) — on behalf of human rights. But it is also a step that undermines the effectiveness of efforts to fight the disease worldwide.

Reason to Hope, indeed. Well, at least I think so.

And, I know I have to thank friends in the US for this. Your govt responds to you. Certainly not to me. Mine, of course, doesnt respond to me....! Some more reaction from the Advocate.

Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, said he was pleased to see Secretary Clinton take a firm stand against antigay bigotry.

“The United States must make it absolutely clear to Uganda that the passage of the bill, which includes a death penalty provision and criminalizes those who fail to report suspected homosexuals to the authorities, would substantially impact our bilateral relationship and our health investments in that country,” he said.

The United States recently pledged to provide Uganda with nearly $250 million in development assistance, mainly to promote health, agriculture, and business initiatives. The grant was announced when the assistant secretary of State for African affairs, Johnnie Carson, met with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni in late October.

Clinton’s comments came on the heels of an interview with Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, that concerned many HIV/AIDS activists.

“My role is to be supportive and helpful to the patients who need these services. It is not to tell a country how to put forward their legislation,” Goosby said of Uganda last week during a Newsweek interview.

Many HIV/AIDS activists felt that Goosby’s comments signaled a certain tone-deafness by the Obama administration to the Ugandan issue. But one person who consults regularly with the Department of State said the agency has been heavily engaged with Ugandan officials regarding the fate of the legislation.

“They have been working for several weeks behind the scenes at a senior level within the department to determine what the actual facts are and what the likelihood is of this bill becoming law,” said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The source said the diplomatic goal was to strike a forceful tone that stopped short of shaming President Museveni, who has yet to take an official stand on the legislation, which was introduced by a lawmaker in his own party, member of parliament David Bahati.

“They are trying to proceed in a way that gives them some private leverage but also acknowledges that Secretary Clinton has an obligation to speak out on human rights issues in her capacity as our top international diplomat,” said the source. “It's been a delicate effort with inconclusive results.”

Elly Tebasoboke Katabira, a native Ugandan and president-elect of the International AIDS Society, said that if President Museveni denounces the measure, it could ultimately kill the legislation.

“Remember, it was written by a person from his own party,” explained Katabira, “so that person would be very reluctant to push something that was not acceptable to the president.”

Katabira added that Clinton’s comments condemning homophobia were “extremely important” since attitudes in so many sub-Sahara African countries mirror those in Uganda. 

“I wish what Secretary Clinton said could be made available to many leaders in our region, because then they would know that they don't have the support of other countries including the U.S.,” he said after the press conference.

Err, Careful Elly Katabira. For that statement, we might have to put you in prison for 7 years for 'promoting homosexuality'. And, of course, we might arraign you for being a homosexual and put you in jail for life. That is, if you havent given up your Ugandan citizenship. Of course You must be a homosexual. Ugandans dont defend homosexuals, do they?

But, very brave of you sir!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the face of this odious legislation, we must scratch our heads and wonder again why so many people across the world are so utterly obsessed with other people's sexual orientation.
I look across to the UK and begin to wonder whether it will soon be a crime there to have a private thought that homosexuality might be wrong (
So why no obsession amongst the legislators with corruption or torture?
Nobody should sit at home and fail to raise their voice against this bill. First it was the Asians, now it is the homosexuals: who will be next in a few years?


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