Friday, April 14, 2023

Conversion ‘Therapy’ in the Anti-homosexuality bill 2023

When I realised the big role Family Watch International has been playing in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, I went back to comb the material for ‘conversion therapy’

Family Watch International are ideologues. Their concerns are very specific and their plank of remedies doesn’t change. They advocate for ‘conversion therapy’, insisting that LGBTQ people ‘can be healed’. There should be, and there must be opportunities offered for ‘conversion therapy’. Yes, it is quackery. And they cannot do it back in America. But, they are going to offer it as a platform to promote in poor, ignorant, bewildered, enthralled Africa. After all, it makes them look ‘concerned’ and not just full of hate.

The Inter-Religious Council in Uganda kicked off the anti-homosexuality bill on 15 Feb 2023 with the meeting reported here.

Amongst some very crazy, impractical, fascist recommendations by the dear religious leaders were some which tendered towards ‘conversion therapy. Check out this.

The Archbishop of Church of Uganda, Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, who doubles as the chairperson of the IRCU, urged all religions to open centres to provide counselling and support to people who could have been involved in homosexuality.”

Going back to Asumani Basalirwa’s draft bill, I found this clause, under ‘Special Powers of the Court’

Part IV- Miscellaneous

15. Special Powers of Court

(1) The Court shall, in determining whether to impose a sentence of imprisonment for any related offences under this Act, have regard to the need for rehabilitating the person and may, order the Minister to facilitate the rehabilitation of that person in the length of the period of the sentence

(2) In assessing the need for rehabilitation, the court shall have regard to-

(a) evidence of past conduct and behaviour of the offender;

(b) character of the offender; and

(c) criminal record.

That sounds very suspiciously like an offer for ‘conversion therapy’ under duress of a prison sentence.

I am no lawyer. Just a very suspicious Ugandan kuchu. I know that quite a number of people are being offered ‘conversion therapy’ in Uganda.
Fact, Ugandan doctors are as homophobic as the rest of the population. And, not many of them have a clue with regards to what they should know about homosexuality and the purported cures. [I don’t have access to the final bill, so am not sure whether this section made it there]

Nevertheless, a Ugandan Canadian paediatrician in the diaspora had this article published in the Monitor. It was his experience and education, starting off as a basic ‘pathologically homophobic’ Ugandan, to a medic who can put his feelings aside for the sake of his patient. It is an informative, fascinating read, here. But, the paragraph i want is this;

“What we know is that homosexuality is not due to troubled family relationships, or “recruitment.” We also know that homosexuality is not “curable” through conversion or reparative therapy. First, you do not cure a non-disease. Second, conversion therapy is based on an unscientific assumption that people with a non-traditional sexual orientation, such as homosexuals, are psychologically damaged and that changing their sexual orientation will benefit not only the individual but also society. These so-called therapies, which are known to be performed in more than 60 countries, include counselling (some with verbal abuse and humiliation), prayers, psychiatric medications, hormone injections, aversion therapies where nausea-inducing medications are given alongside presentation of homoerotic stimuli, and application of electric shock to the brain, or to the hands and genitals. Other methods include exorcism, ritual cleansing through beating the patient, force-feeding or food deprivation, forced nudity, solitary confinement, hypnosis, and “corrective” rape. Besides lack of medical and scientific validity, so-called conversion therapy has potentially harmful physical and psychological consequences. It is inhuman, cruel, degrading and completely unjustifiable “treatment” that has absolutely no place in the ethical”

Gosh, talk of torture, in the name of curing what is not broken. But, that might be what is coming…



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