Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Round up.

Or not.

Bill Gates believe the Anti-Homosexuality bill is getting too much attention. That, in Africa, laws do not matter that much.
There’s a tendency to think in the U.S. just because a law says something that it’s a big deal. In Africa if you want to talk about how to save lives, it’s not just laws that count. There’s a stigma no matter what that law says, for sex workers, men having sex with men, that’s always been a problem for AIDS. It relates to groups that aren’t that visible. AIDS itself is subject to incredible stigma. Open involvement is a helpful thing. I wouldn’t overly focus on that. In terms of how many people are dying in Africa, it’s not about the law on the books; it’s about getting the message out and the new tools.
I think I understand what he was trying to say. Laws, rules and regs are loosely adhered to in most of Africa. They are, frankly speaking, stupid things.
BUT, I do beg to differ with regards to this.

First of all, if you truly wonder why I beg to differ, I would request that you read the bill. The text is here. The bill, with the intention to eliminate homosexuality from Uganda, mandates death and life imprisonment for me and mine. And, it also tries to identify me from something as ridiculous as a touch, a homosexual touch. And mandates that anyone who hears a whisper of me reports me to the police within 24 hours.

Sorry, Mr Gates. I do beg to differ. I am one of those people who pointed out that those who wanted to kill us couldnt because the laws of Uganda were not going to allow them. This attempt to correct that 'oversight' does alarm me.

I bet Mr Gates has not read the text of the bill. Please do. Hey, I remember a comment that many didnt believe Mein Kampf had any significance. But, the writer, Hitler did. So does Bahati. So do the many Ugandans who support it, and want the bill made law. No, I dont think it is any help to try and doubt the passion of Ssempa, Bahati, and Nsaba-Buturo. They mean exactly what they say. Homosexuals should forget about Human Rights. As direct as that. Please, dont insult their passion, their dedication by thinking they dont mean exactly what they say they want. Do not.
Ssempa gets a lot of press for his Porn Show which flopped. A gay porn show... for the sake of showing how badly we have sex. Why it is necessary for us to be condemned to life imprisonment and death. Pink News Uk, the Advocate, Edge Boston, Towleroad, they all have articles about it. Brief, and all quoting the original Monitor article.

You know, what is funny is that the good Pastor has been doing this for the last three months. But, it was simply not being reported. Ariel Rubin's blog article 'Ssempa's World' was the first one that I saw about these antics. But, Ssempa has been doing these things even before. In fact, he was talking about rimming, fisting and others 'specialities' at the dialogue. What is new here?

What is new is the fact that he is getting the press that he wanted. But, it is not that laudatory, a fact that oppresses dear Ssempa.
A very thoughtful article about the hate of gay people in Africa. Gay as in Queer, Kuchu. A South African takes Africa to task. Very thought provoking. And, to put it in perspective, he is a White South African.
What is it about Africa and gay people?
Why is it that gay people are so hated on this continent? What makes people in Africa want to murder, imprison or beat up on them? And before you start telling me it is a tribal thing, a black thing or a whatever thing, I can tell you a lot of white Africans don’t like them either. I went to an all-boys (and pretty much all-white) school and the levels of homophobia ran high. It was part of that whole rugger bugger (oh, the irony) thing. To be honest, while I was at school, the concept of gay men scared me. All I’d ever heard was they were bad and that if you were in the same room as them, they would try to have sex with you.
Maybe that is the why. We dont know any, and we are told they are the worst evil. Evil incarnate. 
The guy then talks of an uncle who was gay and died of AIDS. That was something which opened his eyes. At least a bit. 
From that point onwards, I’ve had a slightly better understanding of what it is like for some gay people, often having to lead double lives and having to keep secrets from their families, employers and friends. It’s a tough break.
But in Africa those breaks are even harder still. For many gay people in Africa, their sexuality comes with very heavy toll. From discriminating legislation to violence to plain old prejudice, Africa has a problem with homosexuals. Lesbian footballers have been gang-raped and then murdered because of their sexuality. In Uganda gay men could face the death sentence, while in Malawi a gay couple have been arrested and if the state can prove they have had sex, they’ll do time in prison. In Zimbabwe, long before Robert Mugabe went mad, he spoke out against the evilness of homosexuality. He couldn’t make up his mind who he hated more — the gays or the imperialists?
People don’t dig gays. In fact, they hate them.
 Across our entire country and our entire continent you will hear people candidly say I hate them because God hates them. I hate them because they are not part of my culture. I hate them because they are different. I think they are a disease. A disgrace. I think they are immoral. Repugnant. A perversity. They’re not natural.
Yes [grimly], these are the reasons people give for hating me. Me as in a Gay African.
 And the worse thing is we have all heard this talk before, sometimes told as a joke and other times more seriously, and we say nothing back. We just let it slide. For the sake of peace, because we don’t want to disrespect another person’s culture or religion, because we don’t spoil an otherwise nice day.
 But imagine if we flipped a few words around. Say we were to exchange the word gay for black or white or Indian or Muslim. I hate blacks because God hates them. I hate whites because they are not part of my culture. I hate Indians because they are different. I think Muslims are a disease. A disgrace. I think blacks are immoral. Repugnant. A perversity. They’re not natural.
If you heard that, you’d say something.
Thought provoking indeed. Very thought provoking.

Why am I doing this? I am a human being, and all this homo hate and bashing that comes to me on a daily basis does intrigue me. Yes, it is directed towards one aspect of my self. I know the frightening ignorance in which this thing lives. I am part of it, but it still intrigues me. Why do you hate me so much, when you know so little about me?
To balance that, some people from another culture, another world, another continent are calling upon one of the blood to do something about this homophobia in Africa. They are calling upon Barack Obama.
Sigh, seems when one is elected President of the US, it is taken as a matter of fact that one is president of the world.
House members are urging President Obama to speak out against a proposed anti-gay bill currently before the Ugandan Parliament, the Minnesota Independent reported.
“The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009 is by far the most extreme and hateful attempt by an African country to criminalize the LGBT community,” the letter says.
The bill would strengthen the criminal penalties for having gay sex in a country where it is already illegal. It also includes a death penalty provision for repeat offenders and people who are HIV-positive, and would ban the “promotion of homosexuality,” which would effectively outlaw political organizations, broadcasters and publishers that advocate on behalf of gay rights.
The ninety representatives called on Obama to speak out against the bill.
“Specifically, we ask that you speak out publicly against this proposed legislation to bring further attention to the issue.”
“Also, given your popularity in Africa, speaking out publicly against Uganda and Rwanda's proposed anti-homosexuality legislation is likely to garner more concern and attention from not only African nations but internationally. We further ask that you give diplomatic weight to your call for homosexuality to be decriminalized worldwide.”
 Uh, I dont think Rwanda applies at the moment. But, you get the drift.
Someone blogs about the likely motivation of the government, in particular the President, in allowing this bill to come through. Here it is. Some interesting reading.

And, Ariel Rubin is at it again, in a blog post in the Independent. Some interesting reasoning, there.

This is what life is. 

The bill is still in parliament. And, we still are thinking about what will happen when parts of it becomes law.

We watch. We wait. We shall see whatever happens.


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