Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Criminalising touch; the Ugandan way

Uganda’s ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ is truly desperate and draconian. The people who wrote it, [fronted by Hon Asuman Basalirwa MP of Bugiri Municipality] went out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for gay Ugandans. I appreciate the kind of effort that goes into trying to literally erase who I am, legally. And not having it pointed out that it is actually genocidal.

I have written about the criminalisation of me identifying as gay. Here.

Criminalising the sexual act was obvious. We used to point out that under the old [British Empire] ‘sodomy’ law, I as a gay Ugandan was not a criminal. Now, I have to admit that I am a proud kuchu, which automatically criminalises me under the new bill…!
But that was not enough. They [anti-gay activists] needed to make sure that I have no wiggle room.

Touch is criminalised. Meticulously.

How in hell does one criminalise touch?
This is the Ugandan way.


Part 1; Preliminary

Clause 1. Interpretation

“touching” includes touching

a)    with any part of the body;

b)   with anything else;

c)    through anything;

and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ, anus or mouth;

Part 2; Homosexuality and Related Practices

Clause 2. The Offence of homosexuality

(2) A Person commits the offence of homosexuality if the person

(c) touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.

(1)          A person who commits an offence under this section is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for ten years.

Oh my! I am so bad that my very touch is outlawed.

Or would a lawyer argue that it is my intent that is outlawed, and not my touch?

Truthfully, if anyone was to read my mind, mine is a very evil mind, relative to poor, pure Ugandans. Reading my mind should convict me of homosexuality anytime, and all the time. Maybe it is better that it is my touch that is criminalised!

But, even my touch is precious.
I am a touchy feely person. I like- strike that-, I love touching. When I am with a lover, touching is part of the whole deal. Touching and massaging and kissing…
[wasn’t kissing outlawed?] . I love touching. All sorts of touching. All of touching.

I bet Hon Basalirwa just wanted for the sake of thoroughness to throw a very fine net, to catch as many of us homosexuals as possible.
But, I ask, very curiously, how is this going to be proven in court, of all places? That I touched someone, and I touched with intent..,

Ahem, I try not to touch without consent. Destroys the magic, indeed!

But, there is inherent danger in the lack of precision.
To me, not to Basalirwa. Anyone can claim that I have touched them, with intent. How do I prove a negative? Basalirwa, [and Parliament, and the President] has empowered, greatly that pernicious staple of all criminalised communities. The blackmailer.

And, the notoriously corrupt police. Our unfortunate friends, deal makers and extortionists.

Masseurs and massage therapists and medical doctors wouldn’t fall into the Basalirwa homosexual catching net? Well, they routinely touch ‘any and all parts of the body’, with ‘various other things’, even ‘through anything’. These are Honourable Basalirwa’s homosexuals. Good hunting, Rt Honourable!




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