Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are they mad?

Taking the cyber waves, dipping and darting through both old and new, I came across this article-  The occasion was when the South African government legalized gay marriage.

Africa was amazed. Of course. But, it was only in Uganda that I did hear this reaction.

Pastor Martin Ssempa led a demonstration from his Makerere Community Church to the South African High Commission, protesting gay marriage in South Africa, not in Uganda where it was already constitutionally impossible. He also said something which amazed me at the time.
..., Pastor Sempa threatened economic and cultural embargo against South Africa if action is not taken to reverse same-sex marriage.
Hey, of course tiny Uganda against the economic might of South Africa is laughable. A mosquito daring a mouse to fight. The mouse looks at the posturing, shakes shaggy whiskers and ignores. It would be a shame to fight the mosquito. Shame to the mouse...!
But, Mr Martin Ssempa is advocating that we Ugandans lose the money of PEPFAR that is keeping about half a million Ugandans alive on HIV drugs, because we should have the right to kill our homosexuals.
The mosquito has grown into a mouse, the posturing is no less amazing, but not less likely to injure others.

Ex-gay therapists. Are they mad?
[Shrug] The want to give me the choice of prison, death or therapy. To change my sexuality. And, not only me, but the rest of gay people in Uganda. That is what I am hearing that the changes to the bill, after the world protested at the barbarity of my countrymates.
It doesn’t matter to them that I am confortable with what I am. Matter of fact, that is a threat to their whole finances. A gay man who is confortable with his sexuality. Yet, being this confortable is a precious prize.

Yesterday, at home, I was listening to a friend who is so deep in his closet he can only be confortable with the two of us. Me and my partner. I felt a deep pity. The man is literally uncomfortable in his skin. It itches, he scratches, but he cannot change it. Because he is gay. He knows it, but, he is also deeply conflicted. He is a Ugandan, living, working in Uganda, trying to reconcile his religion, his beliefs, and his sexuality. An Anglican who prays at Namirembe Cathedral, he somehow manages not to hear the condemnatory sermons about homosexuality from the pulpits in Uganda.

No. They are not mad, the ex-gay therapists. They are just ruthless enough to explore our pain and discomfort to their own ends. Like Rachel Maddow told Richard Cohen, these are guys who are willing to sale you a whole bunch of crap, for an apparent heaven on earth... freedom from what you are.
"Homosexuals can forget about human rights." - James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda's Minister of Ethics and Integrity
Maybe he should have kept his vows of silence. Google that statement and find out how famous it has become in the lexicon of the world. Homosexuals can forget about human rights. Why? Because they are not human beings. You think I am joking? That is the attitude of the majority of Ugandans. Homosexuals like me are simply not human beings.

It is a bitter thing when you live in the middle of such hate. But, we do. A river of mud that swirls all around us, threatening to erode and overwhelm our island of calm. Glad that I do have a man who is ready to stand against this mud with me. Glad that there are a few homosexuals in Uganda who are up and out, people like Val Kalende who are willing to come out and say, see, Ugandans, we ARE also human beings.
Increadibly, that is the beginning of our fight. The realization, the acceptance of us gay people that WE ARE human. And, from that starts a fight for equality.

People like Buturo talk about gay rights with a sneer. When we gay people do understand that it is a struggle for EQUALITY, that is when we start overwhelming them. For, ultimately, few people will be arrogant enough to say that their right to happiness trumps our own right to our own happiness. Of course, those are also there.

And, thanks be to the gods that we do have brothers and sisters across the whole world who can identify with this need. Human Rights Commission in the US is taking up this cause too. People like Ssempa look at this and say, see, the gay agenda in action. What I see are people who know the pain of being taken for less than human, and, the struggle it is to get a semblance of equality. We are literally struggling for our right to life, enshrined in the constitution of Uganda. But, a minister of the government confidently states that ‘Homosexuals can forget about human rights.’ In case you think it is a slip of the tongue, I am currently doing a compilation of all the interesting utterings of that individual. He does truly, and sincerely believe that homosexuals, gay people are not human beings.

And, in case you have a doubt, he is an upstanding Christian.

There seems to be some dissension amongst Uganda’s Christians. The Catholics are not for the bill. I know that the Bishops put out a statement on this. But, as soon as they did that, they went on the prowl in Christmas sermons, denouncing homosexuality. Literally, with their actions, giving the lie to the words they had signed. What is interesting is, why are they putting out this statement now? I am not sure whether the Daily Monitor is reporting a new statement or the old one. The old statement that was released on 23rd Dec is here.  But, the fourth estate has some interesting ways of showing its power. They may have recycled their statement, but, they are doing it at this time, and also going ahead to contrast the view of the Catholics with the view of the Anglicans. Colouring it opposition made in the name of ‘compassion’. Hmmmmm. What is happening here? 

Of other Christians, you remember that the head of the Seventh Day Adventists in Uganda, John Kakembo endorsed the bill? Well, the worldwide federation was petitioned. Not by homosexuals like me, but by other Seventh Day Adventists. They released a statement. That statement was judged not good enough, and now, Seventh Day Adventists across the world are being encouraged to write letters to their brother in Uganda, John Kakembo, who prominently gave his support to the anti-homosexuality bill. (text here). Here is some analysis from Box Turtle Bulletin.

As in all things religious, I tread warily. If you are not an Adventist, please, don’t you write to the Adventists. They may take it as interference. But, if you are an Adventist, anywhere in the world, I implore you, as a gay Ugandan, to write to John Kakembo about his support for the ‘Kill Gay Bill’

Meantime, we wait for developments. In balance, watching, waiting.

Be well, and have a lovely day


PS. Just dont be worried about this guy here. Odious guy, he actually did write an article in the New Vision saying same sex attraction is not a disease. I remember, I have it here. Ha, got a response, in the New Vision too, from the 'Inter-Faith Rainbow Coalition against Homosexuality in Uganda. (Ssempa has a conglomerate of groups to fight homosexuality. He is the founder of all of them.)
Of course that doctor must be a homosexual... Or, a tycoon, dont you think? Those tycoons who are bankrolling homosexuals...! Or, better still, a gay tycoon.Remember, as the Honourable Bahati says, you must either be for the bill, or against. No middle ground. (I dont know where that puts the Catholic Church in Uganda).

I like this, homosexuality is an infectious disease indeed!



Anonymous said...


Dave said...

GUG keep up, you are a great man and this anonymous with his authoritarian/thuggish approach seems missing really the point of discussion and understanding the differences that exist in us human beings

Jean-Paul, Canada said...


Good man, keeping in touch with Box Turtle Bulletin is an excellent idea.

As for the anonymous twit who is inciting hate and violence, there's a place reserved for him/her/it at the Hague.

Such a shame that the opposition parties are crippled, but of course, that was intentional.

Love you.

Jean-Paul Bentham

gayuganda said...


thanks all.

Anon,... your words speak for you. Loud and clear. No, I will not become a martyr.

Me and mine, we shall defend ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Proud proud proud of you.

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