Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Going through the news

South Africa is sending an ambassador to Uganda. A High Commissioner, as us former British colonies call those officials. And, wonder of wonders, the guy is a homophobe! Yeah, that is what our big brother to the South believes is the kind of person who should represent them here….!

Oh, our big brothers have failed to lead in Africa. Since the days of Mandela, they have failed to capitalize on the power of that name, the reverence we hold it in, and other things like their economic and military might. Look at Zimbabwe. Of course, I am a cynic politician. And, maybe the guy is no homophobe. But, apparently the SA Equality Court has some outstanding charges against him. For being a gay basher.

Apparently he is also a racist. Sighhhhhhhh!

In Malawi, the government will not intervene in the courts of law on behalf of the gay couple who were arrested and charged for having a gay wedding. They see it as ‘indipendence of the judiciary and courts’ and ‘national sovereignty.’ We do love that card. And, by the way, the Constitution of Malawi states that there will be no discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Fantastic!!!!!
Mauya Msuku, the couple’s lawyer, said the laws under which Monjeza and Chimbalanga were charged were archaic and unconstitutional.
“The penal code criminalizes homosexuality or same-sex marriages but under the Bill of Rights in the new Constitution it is clearly stated that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of – among other things – sexual orientation,” he said.

Anyway, the two love birds are still in prison. And, the country is having a media frenzy. One of them is actually sick, one of the couple. When I see this, I remember the case of Brian Pande, in Uganda. He was just like these guys, in one of our eastern towns called Mbale. Arrested with his mate, jailed, released on bail after some days, and he died soon. From supposedly a meningitis.  He was 20 years of age.

This gay hate and devilry thing is nothing new, in the US
Someone in an opinion piece examines the fact that gay hate speech is actually tolerated in the states. It is expected of the gay bashers. What is amazing is the fact that some people like Bahati will take it to the logical conclusion. If gay people are such a bad and evil part of humanity, why then don’t we eliminate them, wipe homosexuality out of Uganda? That, is the stated aim of Pastor Martin Ssempa.

In the US, there are people who, increadibly, speak like them. They call it freedom of speech. And, they accept it. Look at the whole article here. [Well, in Uganda, they do hold some interesting press conferences, so maybe we are not that very different!]

In Australia, should Uganda, the Kill gay bill, become an election issue? Eh? Even I don’t think myself that important. To myself, of course. To others, ehhhh!

The Mail and Guardian of South Africa has a thoughtful article to ‘Beware the Gay Bashing Evangelicals’. Is it a breed of people, that thing to beware of?
I do love for once being the centre of attention and debate.
I know, it is pretty expensive. I don’t want it to be about debating my life and liberty. Thank you very much, I would rather it was errr, someone else’s life and liberty. But, it seems like it is mine at the moment. [sighhhhhh!!!!]

Gay Bashing Evangelicals. We have them everywhere in Uganda. Homosexuality is the whole of the Seven Deadly Sins.
But, the thing is, looking at this bill, (text here) as an isolated, Ugandan issue, you fail to grasp the obvious. Like my gay brothers and sister have shown before, it is something that touches each and all of us. And, the rest of the world because we are also HUMAN. It is a simple issue of human dignity. Human equality. Even the word rights is a misnomer. We are talking about EQUALITY for people, even when they are also kuchu, gay.

It is actually a hilarious, funny and serious article. Though provoking. Do read it.

I am informed that David Bahati is not attending the International Prayer Breakfast as he said he would be. Yes, here is the link of someone who did the research. 
Now, I know I have up a petition to ask that he doesn’t go to America, to which I am referring people, here.   I am sending him a letter to ask him to confirm or deny whether he is going to America. I don’t think it is too much for me to contact a legislator who is in Uganda’s Parliament, and, I am a Ugandan. You think it is bad?

So, I am sending him a letter, copying it to the Monitor, which published the news article. Will update you if he replies. He has never ever replied my many thoughtful, thought provoking letters.

Mass Murderers for Breakfast.
Ugh! No, no, no. The term is not mine. No, it isn’t. I have just picked it up here. A person who has a story remarkably like mine. About being gay, and being Christian. He is remarkably forgiving. I am still working out the bitterness, even now. Realising that the Mass Murderers who advocate death to gay people are not the only Christians, and not really Christian, that is having lots of therapeutic effect on me.

Just have a peek at my life as it was… through the eyes of a total stranger. Another gay man. 
When I was 22, I experienced a born again conversion and spent the next seven years seeking to change my sexuality.
I’m not here to dive into the minutiae of the “cure the gay” movement or debunk its imbecilic philosophies. Suffice it to say that in my quest for straightness, I did everything I was told. I read Christian self-help books and studied the Bible for hours. I entered counseling and attended men’s group meetings. I prayed. I prayed for hours every single day, on my knees and sitting in my room and alone in my car. My sexuality did not change one iota. If anything, it became more undeniable as I worked out other lifelong issues
I certainly agree with this conclusion of his... Not about me having religion, certainly.
But I’m certainly not here to say no one should be a Christian, or even an evangelical. I believe in the value of religious practice, and that nearly any path that gets you there is valid.
What is not valid, obviously, is to criminalize anyone’s sexuality. My adventures in the world of super-conservative religion had a happy ending. Not so for our brothers and sisters in Uganda.

I seem to see myself in the lives of many people out there. Like this one again. A look at what the US was like, 30-40 years ago. And, the parallels with Uganda. Sigh, I wish Bahati did read history. I do wish it. But, this article is kind of instructive. What is happening in Uganda is not unique, nor is Uganda as holy as it thinks it is, trying to lead the world…!

A high school in the US has brought me to tears.
Yet this blog post is becoming way too long. But, the unsought for kindness of strangers is one of the many blessings, silver linings that I am seeing in this fracas and debate about my life and liberty.
Southridge High School is staging a march against the bill. Here is what they are doing. My heart, my thanks are with you people. Thanks again.

From a grateful, happy gay Ugandan.

Hey, some people want to kill me. Or imprison me. But, what is more cool is that some people that I know nothing about are ready to rally on my behalf. In the name of a common humanity.

Thanks again!


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