Monday, November 1, 2010

Small, Sweet Victory

Small, Sweet Victory

Today marks a milestone in gay rights in Uganda. A small milestone, nevertheless, one which is to be celebrated.
It may be brief, it may be short, it may be transient. But, it is a small sweet victory which demands celebration. You know about the new paper, 'Rolling Stone' with the 'Hang Them' campaign in Uganda.

Well, first, the rug was not registered. And, that would have gone by without any comment, until the rug decided to play to popular hate, and start an 'expose and hang them' campaign on Uganda's gay community.

It was a shot to the gut, when it first occurred. Our names. Our pictures. The usual lies, and, the 'Hang Them' headlines.
We are the evil to be cleansed from the good in Uganda's people. At least the Anti-Homosexuality Bill goes for a more subtle methods. Some due process. And then, life in prison and death. But, the rug was clear and to the point. 'Hang Them'.

Gay people are in Uganda. But, we are a barely coherent community. A hostile environment has not bred a cohensive community. We are a fractured, often quarreling community. Those with much to lose do their best to stay below the radar. And, we do. Very succesfully.

But, the attacks in the recent years have been unprecedented. And, we are organising.
So, when the Rolling Stone came out, the shame which we were used to had turned into a hard anger.
People wanted to sue. Not least because full frontal photos of them were in the papers. Nothing like the subterfuge of a mis-identification. They informed lawyers and allies, who decided that it was possible. Found out that the rug was not registered.

The media council put the first stop to the publication. Because we complained.

Then, the rug did register officially. Uh, and, they informed us, via facebook posts, that they would be going ahead to publish more of our names and pictures. Here they are, courtesy of Box Turtle Bulletin. 
[Sorry, despite the 25M USD that Nsaba Buturo promised, I havent seen a dime of it. Still a poor man... with high expectations, of course. you know these banks...]

And, we also went ahead. Today, we secured a court injuction restraining the Rolling stone people. The judge apparently thought it a no brainer.
Uganda's Rolling Stone paper told to stop outing gays
The two-month-old newspaper says it will continue printing the photos in a "diplomatic" way
A judge in Uganda has ordered the local Rolling Stone newspaper to stop publishing the names and photographs of people it says are homosexual.
The judge granted a request by gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug).
The group says some homosexual people were attacked after a previous issue.

A small, sweet, victory.

And, yes, I am not saying that the victory of Victor Mukasa in the court case of was not significant. It was. But, this is something else. We are growing. By leaps and bounds. We are growing. And, it is a small sweet victory.



Jim Burroway said...

Congratulations! This certainly does merit celebration!

Leonard said...

It´s a wonderment! Sweet VICTORY (doesn´t seem small to me).

Abrazos all around,

Leonardo Ricardo

Karen said...

Excellent! This is good to hear.

Yekereme said...

Very pleased to hear this step. I totally agree that its a leap forward.

Mbabazi said...

while watching CNN this morning i saw the back story coverage of the rolling stone outing. they interviewed you anonymously but that was a silly move coz anybody who knows you can tell that its you and they did show your lower face.did you see the footage before it aired? Maybe you should think about coming out. or was it another blogger.

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