Monday, June 26, 2023

Homosexuality, A Differing Point of View


When one is deep in Uganda the Village, and one’s world is awash in homophobia, it is very difficult to imagine that there are others out there in the world who have a differing point of view.
A point of view that is not homophobic, and frank peddling of homophobia.
Of course we are aware of our siblings, LGBTQ+ peoples of the world. And, we are happy to have their distant support. But.., in our minds and eyes, they are far, far away, and their views, though welcome, are tainted, because we think ourselves tainted, just because we are kuchu. LGBTQ+ human beings.

It is very important with regards to religion.

Our people are religious. Deeply, deeply religious. So are we, kuchus.
Personally I am not, and I have to remind myself all the time because the tide of faith and religious beliefs around me is suffocating and overwhelming.
And, almost all the ‘good’ religious people in our environment are utterly convinced of our ‘badness’. We are evil incarnate, say the believers in Uganda. Christian. Moslem. Even animists, it seems.

Actual understanding that the ‘orthodoxy’ in Uganda is challenged, challengeable by other believers, outside ‘Uganda the Village’, is amazing. It is very lonely out here, imbibing the homophobia from birth…, internalising it. A simple declaration that the pastor might be wrong is amazing.

So, Pope Francis actually believes that to be LGBTQ+ is not that bad?
Simply amazing. How many of the faithful, Catholics, know that? A vanishing few. For Kuchus who are catholic, that can literally be life saving knowledge.
I know the nuances of his ‘support’. I have been forced to know. That support, actually going to the point of washing sinners’ feet, a powerful Catholic ritual, speaks volumes.

You can read even more volumes from the resounding silence of the Catholic Bishops in Uganda, on the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.
I must have missed their communication…, though I didn’t miss this columnist actually praising them for the silence. How…, odd?!

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter to the Church of Uganda and the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda did make some waves. Not as much as those that were made by Archbishop Kaziira’s intemperate answer. That did grab attention.
Again, the issue was, someone was willing to go the length of actually calling out the hate and homophobia that the ‘Man of God’ was airing in his ungentle gratitude.., gratitude that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 was law of Uganda.

Yet another group, the Church of England Evangelical Council, has surprisingly differed with Archbishop Kaziira.
I don’t know much about the group, but, from what I am working out, they seem to believe a bit similar to Kaziira.. with regards to opposition to gay marriage.., BUT, they object, clearly and forcefully, to the extent Kaziira’s hate and homophobia is manifest. His apparently natural allies against Canterbury, also calling him out on his excesses.

“"We oppose the criminalization of consensual homosexual behavior, especially when combined with severe penalties and requirements to report people for their behavior," the Church of England Evangelical Council said. "We believe such laws encourage victimization of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or same-sex attracted and make the church's commitment to listen to, care for, and disciple all people, regardless of sexual orientation, much more difficult to live out.””

My take?
Another opinion, differing from the apparent cement thick religious orthodoxy in Uganda the Village. Very welcome, in challenging the orthodoxy of scriptural hate from the scripture thumping GAFCON primates.

Nope. I don’t think of them as allies.
But, as people who I might not have to fight for my life and liberty, simply because of my sexuality. And, they do put a significant dent in the halo that ‘St’ Kaziira is building around himself in Uganda the Village.



3) The Enduring Hypocrisy by GAFCON on care for the LGBTQ+ individual


This is a 3 part examination of the GAFCON tribe of the Anglican Communion. They outed themselves, I am glad to have the data! Part 3.


Whats the whole deal with the Anglican Communion splitting because of Homosexuality?

It is actually an amazing thing. Despite what our in-country Reverands and Rt Reverands will tell us about how bad our sexuality is, there are others, of the same faith, who believe homosexuality is not the supreme evil we are told it is.

Yes. They are in a fight about that. The fight has been on for some time.

And yes, our Reverands and Rt Reverands of the Church of Uganda cannot beat up the other side. But, they can spend their anger and wrath on the poor homosexuals on the ground in Africa…, They can spend their wrath on Kuchus within their reach, not their peers with whom they have a problem.
Just like the Rt. Reverand Stephan Kaziimba, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda has done in Uganda.

The fight in the Anglican Communion is about ‘gay marriage’.
That’s the rough and ready about it. One side wants to bless gay marriage. The other feels this is very, very bad.

Uganda has a Constitutional amendment which effectively outlaws gay marriage. That was done as long ago as 2005.
So, this should not be an issue, should it?
The Anti-Homosexuality Act writes all of it into the law. Yeah, I know, me and other Ugandan Kuchus have not asked for gay marriage… Seems as if they wanted to make sure we never do so. Maybe.

And the whole thing of wanting to kill us?

Yes, life in prison, death, loss of job, reported to police by your neighbour… That is the Ugandan Kuchu’s Cross, the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.

The Church of Uganda and its Bishops and Archbishop are supporting all that. For their own reasons, which in many ways don’t even concern us individually. They support our further criminalisation and killing. And of course they will not tell you that they have co-religionists who actually think that they are wrong and not nice because they want us in prison and dead. That is partly (or mostly) church politics.

Ugandan, and African Kuchu. When you hear our church leaders spit and say how evil homosexuality is, do not despair. It is matter of fact that that opinion is debatable.

After all, those on the other side are also Christians, no?
They include Pope Francis, Reigning Pontiff of the Catholic Church. And they include Archbishop Justin Webley, Archbishop of Cantebury, Primate of All England. [and of the Mother Church!]



Sunday, June 25, 2023

3 Popular Ugandan, and African Parsing of Homophobia


This is a 3 part reply to an article written by one, Mathew Otieno, a Kenyan, published on a . This is Part 3.


Finally, I would like to challenge Mathew Otieno’s assessment of the effects of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 in Uganda.

From Mathew’s assessment, this is going to be very little. According to him, few people were arrested under the old sodomy laws, and it is difficult to prosecute adults for consensual sex.

“The older law was, however, never used to convict anyone. The new law makes it easier to prosecute and convict offenders. However, since it still relies on self-reporting for most of the violations, it’s unlikely to result in a significant rise in convictions.

Additionally, Uganda hasn’t executed anyone in nearly 20 years, and is unlikely to do so any time soon, having struck down the mandatory death penalty in 2019.”

But, with all due respect, I would like to point out that heterosexual Mathew Otieno hardly understands the lived realities of kuchus (LGBTQ+) individuals on the ground, in Uganda, and apparently in Kenya too. Prosecutions did happen with the old law.

Here is the story of a teacher and her lover in Jjinja, who were arrested and jailed, now out on bail, under the old law. What’s reported in the papers is tenuous at best, but this is a couple that was suspected, and it became an issue on social media, leading to parents rushing to the school to remove their children because there was possibly homosexual recruitment going on in the school.

And, another story of 6 young men arrested, most likely still in jail the last 4 months, because a less than 60 second digital film of them having sex leaked on social media.

Those are not the only examples out there.., those were the ones most widely reported. And that was even before this, the ‘enhanced’ Anti-homosexuality legislation.

I, as a Ugandan kuchu living and working in Uganda, I am liable to mandatory life in prison, no parole, if I am caught having sex with my lover. As the law puts it, our mutual consent to have sex is no defence. If I am caught another time, as a ‘serial offender’, the death penalty would apply to me. If I am HIV positive, the death penalty enhancement applies. And, in prison, the State can enforce ‘treatment’ for my sexuality, to turn me straight. That is the law.
These threats are not theoretical, as Mr Mathew Otieno brushes them off (of course to him they are a theoretical challenge). They are a lived reality of my life.

And, the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is not just about catching me having sex. It is also about empowering anyone who knows that I am gay.  Those who know can report me, and are handily protected.., by the Whistle-blower’s Act. I can be attacked, because I am suspected of being so, and I can be lynched, in an exuberance to arrest the homosexual, like happened to this couple. A gift to the police who would get bribes from me, and from blackmailers and others. That is the lived reality of most kuchus, in Uganda, (and in Mathew Otieno’s Kenya) at the moment, under the old ‘sodomy laws’, post colonialism.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is very broad. It is good that you have a link to the whole piece of legislation. But, it is more important to actually read and understand its scope.



2) The Enduring Hypocrisy by GAFCON on care for the LGBTQ+ individual


This is going to be a 3 part examination of the GAFCON tribe of the Anglican Communion. They outed themselves, I am glad to have the data! Part 2.


So, when Welby, Archbishop and Primate of the Church of England wrote the letter to Kaziimba, Archbishop and Primate of the Church of Uganda. Continuing the saga of my analysis…, had the GAFCON primates promised pastoral care of LGBTQ individuals…?

I doubted it. The homophobia stinks from Kaziimba.., how could he, and the rest agree to that? But then, why are they acting so flustered, when Dr Welby quotes so? Did Dr Welby actually lie? What reason would he have to lie? This is what he said.

“the Primates of the Anglican Communion "condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation."
We affirmed that this conviction arises out of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. We also “reaffirmed our rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people” – and stated that “God's love for every human being is the same, regardless of their sexuality, and that the church should never by its actions give any other impression.””

I have gone through how Archbishop Kaziimba tries to lie and obfuscate, playing down the seriousness of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. Yeah, in answer to Archbishop Welby, Archbishop Kaziimba plain out defaults to the usual lies. Apparently, homosexuality was already criminal, and this act that the Church of Uganda supports with all their all didn’t do much…, except maybe .., criminalise the promotion of homosexuality.

seem to think that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 criminalizes homosexuality. It does not.
Homosexuality was already criminalized; it simply reaffirms what was already in the colonial-era penal code,”

He continues

“What is new is specifically outlawing the promotion of homosexuality”

Let us fact check the Righteous ‘Man of God’.
This is what Archbishop Kaziimba cheered on to the finish line; this is what ‘promotion of homosexuality’ must look like from Archbishop Kaziimba’s point of view: sending children to prison for having sex; life in prison, no parole for adults, the unrepentant homosexuals that Rev Laurent Mbanda cheers on; neighbour to report neighbour to the police with the reporting mandate, and of course the Death Penalty for us unrepentant homosexuals. Maybe the church will play a big part in ‘healing us’ as the state now empowers ‘rehabilitating the homosexual’.

Those links above get to the text of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. I dislike lies and obfuscation (unless am telling them). I don’t like presumed religious leaders telling lies.., acting like politicians.

Those are the beautiful things that Archbishop Kaziimba is defending and Rev Laurent Mbanda of GAFCON is co-defending. No wonder Dr Welby is daring to call him out, and GAFCON is playing the ‘colonialism’ card.

Amazing indeed. Dr Welby, just understand that revealing these things is not a good thing. We …, are…, incapable of admitting how correct you might be. We shall play the Colonialism card again. It is easy, it is within reach, and it obfuscates stuff that we don’t want to think about… We shall hold the Race Card close, ready to deal, anytime, any way. The Bible card.., well, always in play.

Sigh.., just wondering. What would the Nazarene have done? Food for thought, this week. What would the Nazarene have done?



Saturday, June 24, 2023

2 Popular Ugandan, and African Parsing of Homophobia


This is a 3 part reply to an article written by one, Mathew Otieno, a Kenyan, published on a . This is Part 2.


Mr Otieno also commented on the various ‘threats’ supposedly made by the US.

I am a Ugandan, living and working in Uganda. Over the last 5 months, news has been rife with so-called threats. Most were not threats but assessments of possible results of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. It is politically expedient by Ugandan politicos to label them ‘threats’.

For example, the US is spending millions of US dollars annually in the HIV program for research, prevention and treatment. This is at risk, because of the broad provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, with a reporting mandate of homosexuals to police, protecting ‘whistle-blowers’.
With Ugandan officials angrily denying any connection between the Anti-Homosexual legislation and Health programming, the US embassy had to, and did secure an assertion from President Museveni that health workers were not to report homosexuals to police. Only after that were funds released.
Shameful, yes. A comedy of errors, all self defeating, own goals scored by Uganda. Accusation of ‘blackmail’, ‘bullying’ by the US were bandied around. Our leaders were shamelessly claiming ignorance.., unfeigned.

Another instance of bullying and threats, as reported widely, embraced by politicos in Uganda was international companies pointing out that the legislation was bad for business.  Their concerns are valid. Facebook was banned in Uganda, after a tiff off, 2 years ago with Museveni’s government. Potentially falling foul of this law as ‘promotion of homosexuality’ is something the tech giants in ‘Open for Business’ have to consider seriously. That is, if they still want to do business in Uganda.

After the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 became law in Uganda, another widely reported instance of ‘bullying’ was noted in the Ugandan press and by Ugandan politicians and anti-gay advocates, an updated US travel advisory.
The responsible thing to do.., not a ‘threat’ or punishment, as conveniently assessed by Ugandan politicos. Of course it was totally predictable. The US has LGBTQ+ citizens, and it informs and admits responsibility to them.

And, it is stupid to think that Uganda, dependant on tourism, would attract LGBTQ+ visitors. That is not a threat. It is matter of fact logic and sense. Better, as Uganda Parliament’s public relations official smugly put it, ‘not to be gay in Uganda’.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 is the law in Uganda. Its possible and probable results to tourism, business investment and others are logical, until politicos feel the need to claim heroic resistance to racism and colonialism and run to media reporting being threatened, as MP Peter Kaluma is doing in Kenya.



1) The Enduring Hypocrisy by GAFCON on care for the LGBTQ+ individual


This is going to be a 3 part examination of the GAFCON tribe of the Anglican Communion. They outed themselves, I am glad to have the data! Part 1.


Yes, I intentionally misspoke the title. Gafcon is the sub-tribe of Anglicans breaking from the Church of England and Wales. They claim they have 85% of all Anglicans, though the latter is the ‘Mother Church’.
Church politics. I would have zero interest in it.., except that I am kuchu, an LGBTQ+ individual, residing in a place they claim as their own. And, they are very, very powerful, temporally.

One of the GAFCON tribe, Archbishop Kaziinda, engineered the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in Uganda. After it became law, with his enthusiastic support, the Church of England Primate, Archbishop Webley wrote a letter decrying the whole business. According to Archbishop Webley, this was not what they had agreed on, with regards to pastoral care of LGBTQ+ (Kuchu) individuals.

The GAFCON people hit back in a couple of letters. From the Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Kaziira who had engineered the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, and from The Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Chair of the Gafcon Primates Council.
No. They emphasized. They are NOT, and didn’t plan to be, Homosexual activists, or to promote LGBTQ+ rights.

Seems like a most embarrassing assertion, that the GAFCON primates would have a (pastoral) care for LGBTQ+ individuals..!
The tone of letters was interesting. And revelatory of what the GAFCON primates think.

Laurent Mbanda peppered the letter with scripture quotes. A most bible learned person. Fundamentalist, I must believe. Remember when the Nazarene cautioned to beware of those who pray loud in the public square to be seen and heard?

And he unhesitatingly pulled out the ‘Colonialism’ card.
Now, that is nasty.
And telling.

See, am an African. Colonialism, for most of us, was 60 years and more in the past. We have been independent and self governing over that time, only our elders actually remember the colonial times. We tend to bring out that particular card as a red herring and distraction.., our answers (we feel) will be lacking substance. It is a card played in near desperation..! In actual fact, when I saw that particular card, I went back to Dr Welby’s letter. It must have some clue. I accessed it, and read it for answers.
Is it possible that the substance of what he wrote was true? Did the GAFCON primates actually consent to these things?

“Anglicans around the world have long been united in our opposition to the criminalisation of homosexuality and LGBTQ+ people. Supporting such legislation is a fundamental departure from our commitment to uphold the freedom and dignity of all people. There is no justification for any province of the Anglican Communion to support such laws: not in our resolutions, not in our teachings, and not in the Gospel we share.”

The very defensiveness from GAFCON seems to imply there is something there. Still, it is amazing.
The Church of Uganda has rabidly painted itself the most homophobic entity in Uganda. Last time, in 2014, we had Martin Ssempa, leading demonstrations on the streets of Kampala, Jjinja, Mbarara, showing gay porn in church and other public venues. He was the face of the religious anti-gay thrust.

This time, 2023, it was the Rt. Rev. Dr. Steven Kaziimba, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, who hands down takes the title chief homophobe. Did he really accept a document that would necessitate giving a little bit of love and pastoral care to the Kuchu?

Unbelievable? Yes. Unbelievable.

But, apparently Dr Welby has the data and ink. And the GAFCON people’s defensiveness is instructive.