Kill the gays – Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill.

Hi all,

I’m sure many of you have heard about the anti-homosexuality bill that is likely to be passed within the next 48 hours in Uganda.

For those of you that haven’t, here’s a brief breakdown.

Homosexuality is already illegal to the extent that:

  • same-sex sexual activity is illegal
  • same-sex relationships are not recognised as valid
  • same-sex marriage is banned
  • same-sex adoption is illegal
  • homosexuals are not allowed to serve openly in the military
  • there is no anti-discrimination legislation
  • there are no laws concerning gender identity/expression

The proposed bill will broaden the criminalisation of homosexuality to include:

  • death penalty for people with previous convictions
  • death penalty for the HIV-positive (propagating the misconception that HIV can only be spread via anal sex)
  • death penalty for those engaging in same-sex acts with people under 18 years of age.
  • Ugandans engaging in same-sex sexual activity outside of Uganda can be extradited back to the country and punished
  • punishment for LGBT rights advocates
(Image from wikipedia)

How has this come about?

The current laws against homosexuality are remnants of British colonialism, and were enacted as a response to certain cultural and ritual practices. Indeed, there are several documented accounts of homosexual customs in pre-colonial Africa, and around the world.
However, many people view homosexuality as a western import, and due to religious influences are keen to distance themselves as much as possible from these ‘unnatural practices’, which is not surprising when you read Bible passages like this, explicitly laying down the law:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13 KJV)

The consensus seems to be that the move towards this more severe bill has been influenced by American evangelical Christians; certainly among the strongest supporters of the bill is the Ugandan Pentecostal Pastor Solomon Male, who preaches that homosexuals actively ‘recruit’ people to their ‘ranks’, that nobody is born gay, and that homosexuals can be ‘cured’ of their ‘affliction’.

The Bible contains references in several of its books to homosexual ‘abominations’, including Genesis, Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Click here for a full list.

Sadly, having spent an extended period of time in several east African countries, I have seen the American evangelicals in action. In fact, they’re pretty hard to miss. Their billboards litter the roadsides; for every regular billboard, there are 10 depicting white Americans flashing broad smiles, encouraging the ‘morally underdeveloped’ Africans to come over to a ‘better’ way of life.

Whilst many may be evangelicals who place emphasis on mercy, forgiveness and love, there are still those that accept and teach nothing but a literal interpretation of the Bible, instead with an emphasis on God’s wrath; examples of which include passages like the one I selected from Leviticus above. Like I said, it’s pretty explicit, and there’s not many other ways in which passages like that can be interpreted.

Whether they are directly involved with the bill itself or not, they will still have blood on their hands if this bill passes, since it is these imported, fundamentalist convictions that have poisoned the minds of so many.

This bill, if passed (which it seems likely to at the moment), could result in hundreds of thousands of Ugandans losing their lives and their dignity, as they are outed in the press and brought to ‘justice’. That is, if propaganda-fueled citizens don’t beat the government to it by stoning the victims of this bill to death in the street.

If you are reading this I urge you to sign the petitions here and here in attempt to make the voices in opposition of this bill heard.

If you think that the passing of this bill is fine, then I’m sorry that propaganda and hateful religious dogma has warped your mind so much that you think it’s OK to kill someone for something that is completely natural and beyond their control. You know, kind of like killing someone because of the colour of their skin. We’ve spoken out about that, now speak out about this.
Do not let this bill pass as law.

That’s it for now.
Juliet
xx
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24 responses to “Kill the gays – Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill.

  1. Hear hear.

    I already signed it. I hope the petition actually does some good.

  2. Love, not hate!

  3. Pingback: Gay — It’s The New Red | Meddling Kids

  4. Pingback: Africa » Blog Archive » Barbarous Africa : Pharyngula

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  6. Please join us in the 21st Century? Please?

  7. I am an evangelical Christian who does not particlularly believe that for people to engage in same-sex intercourse is morally right- but I still have a problem with this bill. It does nothing for mercy, or forgiveness- core Chritian values. It goes far beyond the principles of genuine justice- the extradition part of the bill for example, as I recall is something even murderers have more rights than.

    I would however question to what extent American evangelicals have been allegedly inolved- many of those accused have in fact spoken out against it.

  8. Sadly, having spent an extended period of time in several east African countries, I have seen the American evangelicals in action. In fact, they’re pretty hard to miss. Their billboards litter the roadsides; for every regular billboard, there are 10 depicting white Americans flashing broad smiles, encouraging the ‘morally underdeveloped’ Africans to come over to a ‘better’ way of life.

    Whilst you may be an evangelical Christian who places emphasis on mercy, forgiveness and love, there are still those that exist who accept and teach nothing but a literal interpretation of the Bible, instead with an emphasis on God’s wrath, examples of which include passages like the one I selected from Leviticus above. Like I said, it’s pretty explicit, and there’s not many other ways in which passages like that can be interpreted.

    Whether they are directly involved with the bill itself or not, they will still have blood on their hands if this bill passes, since it is this imported, fundamentalist dogma that has poisoned the minds of so many.

  9. And to add to what Juliet said, here is an article that investigates links between American Right Wing conservatives and Homophobia and the criminalization of homosexuality in Africa.

    http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v24n4/us-christian-right-attack-on-gays-in-africa.html

  10. Situation Update – 12-05-2011

    Righto, here is where we stand now. The bill was taken off the agenda of the Ugandan parliament and as such is unlikely to be debated in the current session of parliament.

    However, there are reports that a special session may be convened to try and get the bill passed on Friday, which is an alarming prospect. If this does not happen, and I hope it does not, it may come up for consideration in future parliaments, not least since MP David Bahati, its arch-proponent has another term in parliament.

    (Source)
    Please check http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-uganda-gays-20110512,0,6668656.story

    Activists, people and governments from the international community must ensure that pressure keeps being mounted on the Ugandan government to not proceed with barbaric legislative behaviour.

  11. Situation Update – The Parliamentary committee that was responsible for the bill has backed the introduction of the bill including the death penalty, which means that all the noises they had been making about “moving away from it” were just mendacious lies.

    Source – http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/05/12/uganda-parliament-committee-backs-anti-homosexuality-bill

  12. Situation Update – End of current Ugandan Parliamentary Session.

    The bill will not see the light of day in this parliamentary term after the speaker ruled there was not enough time to have it debated and voted upon. However, it is likely that it may be reintroduced next term following a resubmission for voting, but until then I suppose one may be able to breathe a sigh of relief, until it rears its ugly head again, as I suspect it probably will.

    Source

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/13/uganda-anti-gay-bill-shelved

  13. juliet, it is disheartening to hear you refer to homosexuality as normal. if i may ask you, what exactly is normal about this abomination?are you an offspring of homosexual parents? perhaps, sex with dogs,cats and goats will equally be validated by you as normal.My dear, Homosexuality is the work of satan whose mission in this world is to kill,steal and destroy lives and societies by fighting righteousness and reigning over the nations of the earth with abominations from the pit of hell.if you are one of those who have been lured and deceived, i pray the lord forgives you and gives you the strenght to make a change because he is a God of love and mercy. in as much as killing gays is not what our lord jesus expects from us, i want you to know that he is extremely grieved by the brokenness of his world through acts such as this.sin disgusts him and homosexuality is a sin.the bedrock of any society is the family.homosexuality is an attack on the family. i wont be here and you wont be here if our ancestors chose to be homosexuals. it is abnormal.

  14. I suspect you are a poe. However the whole point of poe-ing is that you can’t tell the difference from a genuine statement and one made by a poe, so I have approved your comment and am replying to it for the sole purpose of showing how poisonous religion can be.

    Show me your peer-reviewed research that indicates that homosexuality is not a naturally occurring phenomenon. Show me a homosexual person who claims that they chose to be the way they are, rather than being that way for as long as they can remember. And finally, show me that God, Satan and Jesus exist before you make these wild claims.

    Homosexuality is most certainly not a choice. I know of people living tragically secretive lives for fear that if they come out as gay, they will be disowned by their families and friends, ridiculed and despised, and in some situations tortured and killed. I also know of people courageous enough to have decided not to live a lie, who have suffered the consequences of an incredibly sick society. Not sick (like you say) because of homosexuality and other ‘sin’, but sick because religion has defiled, corrupted, perverted and infected it with its hateful dogma.
    The only choice these people have made is one of courage; to come out when they know they may be met with scorn and contempt. Why should anyone have to make that choice?

    How dare you suggest that your god is one of love and mercy, when it is written in your holy book that homosexuals should be killed; that keeping slaves and beating them to within an inch of their lives is acceptable; that human sacrifice makes god happy; that people who don’t believe deserve eternal torture? How dare you judge and claim that you are the moral one, when you sanction hostility and discrimination against other human beings.

    You say the bedrock of any society is the family, but religion time and time again fractures family bonds with messages of intolerance and bigotry. Homosexuals are attacking no one; they are the ones being attacked. The slippery slope argument you use just emphasises the lies and propaganda that religious people are willing to promote for their hateful message.

    Contrary to what you say, it is actually the desolate moral code and malevolent attitude towards others that is perpetuated by religion that contributes to societal decay. I hope one day you can realise that. In the mean time, I suggest you read some research on societal health, and note that secular societies have been demonstrated to be more successful than religious ones.

  15. Ah, I was wondering how long it would be before someone came around waffling about doctrine and dogma as if it constituted the absolute truth. If you are a literalist, Emmanuella, the fact that quite a few assertions made by your worldview are falsifiable by logic or by science renders your views absurd, and thus of no consequence other than being laughable.

    If you have views that don’t make any empirical claims, making a leap of faith to declare anything with certitude as absolute truth is unwarranted since all axiomatic deductive systems, as long as they are self consistent must be regarded as equally valid, firstly, and there is no way one may go from a “may be true” which is the case with unverifiable statements to an “is true” statement which is what you’ve done in preaching whatever doctrine you adhere to as fact. If you do this it is patently absurd since you are implying that a possibly empty set definitely contains an element, which is contradictory, and if contradictions are allowed then everything must be true. Logic 101.

    I see your lack of comprehension of elementary logic goes far far beyond being ignorant of basic premises such as the principle of non-contradiction, for starters, how bloody dare you compare two people indulging in consensual sex with bestiality where there is no way of discerning the consent of animals? It is a piss poor non-sequitur and a very dodgy slippery slope argument.

    Calling something an abomination and asking others what is normal about it is not on either, burden of proof, y’know, you claim something, you provide the evidence, and never mind that your putrid dogmatic wibblings still won’t mean anything even if you were to provide evidence since it will run into the unsolved problem of the is-ought fallacy.

    You may also want to read this http://news.stanford.edu/pr/95/950310Arc5328.html for a bit of an overview regarding the biological basis of homosexual behaviour, a lot of which has to do with genetics and fetal development, none of which are under one’s control sensu strictissimo,.

    Next, spare us the sanctimonious proselytizing, please, evidence or you cannot make absolute assertions, you may want to know that agnosticism in the absence of evidence is the only thing that holds, the moment that you assert that something is absolutely true you MUST provide evidence or shut up.

    Now let us move on to a smattering of other blind assertions you have made, Satan? Gimme a break, evidence for this entity? Loving and Merciful God? Does NOT hold unless one rejects teachings of the OT at least (the deadly trilemma is absurd, you know, where in different places it is claimed that Love is God, Love is not Jealous and I, thy Lord thy God, am a jealous God) which is absurd?

    It is ridiculous that a piece of scripture that makes ridiculous empirical claims (cud chewing rabbits anyone?) and is clearly not internally consistent (deadly trilemma, see above) can stand for anything if one is aware of elementary logic, which by the look of things you clearly are not.

    The idea that anything that prevents people from having offspring is an abomination is also based on the false premise that people somehow ought to be producing offspring. The last thing that a lot of people need is to be told to procreate in conditions where birth control (by choice of course) would be recommended, and this is precisely what proponents for doctrine oppose (see, for instance, the impoverished slums of West Bengal and the opposition to contraception and birth control by the “Missionaries of Charity” in said area)

    It isn’t people doing things consensually without harming anybody else that is an abomination, it is dogmatists who are, in their delusion, convinced with certitude that whatever wibblings they believe in are true and that they ought to be imposed on everybody else. Here is a little clue for you, there have been plenty of equally self-consistent axiomatic deductive systems and they are all valid, and in every case wherein someone has asserted absolute truth with certitude they would have faced the prospect of being forced to accord the same amount of certainty to any other system as long as they were logically consistent.

    There also is the fact, uncomfortably for you, Emmanuella, that at least some units of the Anglican Communion do NOT regard homosexuality as an abomination, they actively elect clergy regardless of their sexual orientation and also bless same-sex unions. There is no rational way by which you can argue that any interpretation of Christianity that declares homosexuality an abomination is superior or more truthful than the Anglican or Episcopal view unless you provide empirical evidence, but once you start using scripture to make empirical claims or to hold it as authoritative you end up falling into the abyss of absurdity, and if this happens you will have to believe that every proposition is true and nothing is false. I will end up being the pope, to quote Bertrand Russell, if you were to commit that folly.

    There is no empirical evidence supporting your premises, there are branches of Christianity (as valid as any other if they don’t make empirical claims) which have no problem with homosexuality and any interpretation founded on inerrantism is absurd.

    Next.

  16. I was studying something else about this on another blog. Interesting, your linear perspective about it is diametrically opposed to what I read earlier. I am still pondering over the various points of view, but I’m tipped to a great extent toward yours. And regardless, that’s what is so great about modernized democracy and the marketplace of thoughts online.

  17. Greeeeeeeeat Blog Love the Infomation you have provided me .

  18. “Ugandans engaging in same-sex sexual activity outside of Uganda can be extradited back to the country and punished”

    Actually they almost certainly could not, because it would be up to the country from which Uganda would be seeking extradition, which would decide:
    1) (in most developed countries) Homosexuality is not an offence here
    2) (in Europe) We don’t extradite if the death penalty could be imposed
    3) It’s outside Uganda’s jurisdiction
    Any one of these on its own would prevent extradition.

    • Sure, but it remains a bit of a concern insofar those parts of the world where it is still illegal is concerned, especially several countries within Africa. Moot point now, really, because the bill is currently not in the legislative limelight.

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  20. Beautiful essay, got the pleasure of reading

  21. You are my role models. Thanks for the article

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