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Thread: Uganda is doing it all wrong with its new Anti-Homosexuality Bill

  1. #1
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    Angry Uganda is doing it all wrong with its new Anti-Homosexuality Bill

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa...ill/index.html

    Why is Uganda attacking homosexuality?


    (CNN) -- As a gay man in Uganda, Frank Mugisha is used to the taunts, the slurs and the daily harassment of neighbors and friends.

    But if a new bill proposed in the east African country becomes law, Mugisha could be put away for life, or worse, put to death for having sex with another man.

    "Right now, you can't go to places that are crowded, because the mob can attack us or even burn us. We can't walk alone. We are ostracized by relatives. But if this bill passes, it will become impossible for me to live here at all. And that part hurts the most," Mugisha said.

    The Anti-Homosexuality Bill features several provisions that human rights groups say would spur a witch hunt of homosexuals in the country:

    Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at minimum, to life in prison

    People who test positive for HIV may be executed

    Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty

    The bill forbids the "promotion of homosexuality," which in effect bans organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention

    Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it would risk up to three years in prison

    "Who will go to HIV testing if he knows that he will suffer the death sentence?" Elizabeth Mataka, the U.N. Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa, told reporters last week. "The law will drive them away from seeking counseling and testing services."

    Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda under colonial-era laws. But the bill, introduced in October, is intended to put more teeth into prosecuting violators.

    It applies even to Ugandans participating in same-sex acts in countries where such behavior is legal.

    "They are supposed to be brought back to Uganda and convicted here. The government is putting homosexuality on the level of treason," Mugisha said.

    Lawmakers have indicated that they will pass the bill before year's end.
    It has the blessing of many religious leaders -- Muslim and Christian -- in a country where a July poll found 95 percent opposed to legalizing homosexuality.

    The Rev. Esau Omara, a senior church leader, said over the weekend that any lawmaker opposing the bill will pay for it during the next election, according to local newspaper reports.

    And a leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has called for gays to be rounded up and banished to an island until they die.

    Several media outlets also have inflamed sentiments in recent months by publicly pointing out gays and lesbians.

    Who will go to HIV testing if he knows that he will suffer the death sentence?
    --Elizabeth Mataka

    In April, the Observer newspaper published tips to help readers spot homosexuals. And over the summer, the Red Pepper tabloid outed 45 gays and lesbians.

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has not publicly stated his position on the bill, but last month blamed foreign influence in promoting and funding homosexuality.

    "It is true that, if the president has said that, he must have information that European nations are promoting (homosexuality) and recruiting homosexuals," government spokesman Fred Opolot said. "You must note that the president or the legislators are responding to the concern of the citizenry of the country."

    At the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago late last month, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he pulled aside Museveni to deplore the bill.

    "We find them inconsistent with, frankly, I think any reasonable understanding of human rights, and I was very clear on that with the president of Uganda," Harper told reporters.
    In the United States, a coalition of Christian leaders released a statement Monday denouncing the bill.

    "Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God's children, worthy of respect and love," the statement read.

    Human rights groups have called on Western nations to withhold aid from Uganda if the measure passes. About 40 percent of the country's budget comes from international aid.
    "This draft bill is clearly an attempt to divide and weaken civil society by striking at one of its most marginalized groups," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at the New York-based Human Rights Watch. "The government may be starting here, but who will be next?"

    Opolot, the government spokesman, said consideration of the bill in parliament is merely "democracy at work."

    "We as a country are engaging and debating a pertinent issue," he said. "So if a foreign country chooses to cut aid simply because Uganda is debating its destiny, then it is quite outrageous and quite wrong."

    Mugisha, who now heads the group Sexual Minority of Uganda, said he is working with lawyers and other activists to change minds and defeat the measure.

    "I have put a lot of effort in this struggle. I just want to live freely every day," he said. "I want to be happy knowing that if I'm going to meet someone, I'm not going to be taken to jail forever."

  2. #2
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    Thanks for bringing this up. I was so shocked and upset when I heard about this story the other day. It's unbelievable.

  3. #3
    their country their rules thats why we dont live there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbarella View Post
    their country their rules thats why we dont live there.
    That's all well and good for us, but what about the people who do live there? Not every Ugandan has the means to leave.

  5. #5
    This is the same country that gave birth to Idi Amin Dada who was a documented cannibal and found the livers of children to be a delicacy!
    If it flies, floats or fucks its cheaper to rent!

    I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
    Sir Winston Churchill

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  6. #6
    I'm just wondering what and how long it's gonna take before Western/Industrialized countries should ignore 3rd world countries like these. I understand that people have different cultural/religious beliefs, customs and what not, but sometimes in the end we just need to call a spade a spade....they're just backwards.

    Just knowing that there are millions/billions of dollars worth of aid helping these countries like these and it seems that it's getting worser all the time. The West needs to stop using the whole "we used to colonize your contenient" as the guilty reason to help this countries.

    Best we just avoid these type of places until they actually smarten up.
    I'm just here for the intellectual atmosphere

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    they don't give a rat's ass what we think

    afterall, these people think the AIDS virus is a CIA plot to kill them.....and they believe raping a virgin child will cure them of aids....

    They will gladly take our donations though...US cash still preferred....US cash makes it much easier to deposit in the Swiss bank accounts
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits" jd

  8. #8
    Interesting responses by the contributors so far, highlights how males vs females approach and think about issues....

  9. #9
    Edmontonsubbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxBoner View Post
    Interesting responses by the contributors so far, highlights how males vs females approach and think about issues....
    It is a fascinating thread....and I don't think it's so much about gender difference...although it certainly appears that way so far. So...from the guy's point of view, I have to say I agree moreso with the replies from the ladies than the replies from the dudes. And, no, I'm not attemption gratuitous flattery, it is just that their replies were backed up with some pretty cool insight and factual information, which lends it more credibility than just an "opinion" on the matter.

    In point of fact, I am more with the guys on this thing. I have been cultured to regard homosexuality as an abomination...interestingly, as Howard Stern often points out, "bring on the lesbians!...they are great for ratings!"...and, it is true. You see it here all the time...two girls and a guy...no problem...total fantasy. Two guys and a girl?...probably not...there is talk of comfort and not touching parts...etc etc etc. So, culturally, there is a built in bias and that...is just life. No point in calling a spade anything other than what it is, a tool to bash heads or move earth. It depends on the wielder's choice.

    However, fair is fair and judging an entire nation/culture/region/group based on media portrayal is simply not fair. The leaders control the media, they control the reactions, they control the populace. So....if we here in the "West" believe that the attributes of the few are the attributes of the many....then, I believe, we are short sighted. These are people over there. Same as you...same as me. You will engage them in conversation, they have insights, opinions, thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears....just like we do. As for "testing" grounds for pharmaceuticals...I shudder to think that is true...and I am hopeful that ethical CEO's would not permit that sort of thing...I am likely naive...but I am hoping that the media spotlight will have wormed out that crap if it exists.

    Life has a way of teaching humility and I love that about it. When I was 16, my teen lover got pregnant...sigh. We anguished, talked, considered, debated, and raged. Final decision...have the kid, place for adoption. Deal done. So.....I have always wondered...where is he?....what is he doing?...how is he doing?...is he the president of some banana republic? Teen lover contacts me 5 years ago...."I have placed our names on o.k. to contact"...my reply...."good". She is contacted, he is looking. They meet. Comes the time where I meet. He is gay. I am shocked. I was looking for the banana man....I hadn't expected this. Lesson learned.

    Fortunately, I told my ex about this "unknown" portion of my past. My two babies (regardless of age, they are always babies) absolutely love the thought of having a "brother" and he is welcomed with open arms. My babies and I attend his marriage in Banff, top drawer all the way. The guy he marries is financially stable, has good moral code, and his parents are cool. What more could a father ask for???

    Back to the point.....remember always....that people cannot choose what they are dealt. Remember the song about....there but for fortune go I....or, however it goes. Whoever wrote that....had it down pat.

    This is a wonderful life.

    most respectfully,

    eddie.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holly Taylor View Post
    It's so cool that you can even recognize this - for many people, it's hard to think critically about homosexuality, or sexual norms and customs in general.

    I hope this works....I am trying the multiquote thing....I think I did it before but I can't remember if it worked. Is that critical thinking?....I sure hope so.....I am critical of all of my thinking...if I wasn't I would not put it out there. Wait, that's a lie. I have put shit out there I haven't thought too much about...

    I don't mean to burst your bubble...I wish it wasn't true. It's incredibly disturbing. But the truth is, it's more common than most people know.

    My bubble can withstand it.


    Thank you for sharing that! It really warmed my heart
    Thank you. The experience warmed mine even moreso. To have you acknowledge it....only added to that. So...thank you.

    I sure hope this all makes sense after it is posted because right now it is all just "QUOTES" and probably HTML stuff....If I knew how to work this better I would have different line of work. But....I like what I do...so the HTML stuff is best left to those that are good at it.

    kindest,

    eddie.

  11. #11
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    sigh....none of the above makes sense....obviously I don't know how to do the "reply" thing.

    Regardless, the thought process stands, my apologies for it not being slightly more legible.

    eddie.

  12. #12
    So how would people like to force them not to put in this new law.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcneil View Post
    So how would people like to force them not to put in this new law.....
    my experience with any newly enacted law is that it LIMITS my choice.....in the absence of the new law...my choices remain the same....choices. I never feel forced when a new law fails to take effect.

    Having said that, I don't disagree with the law...and i admire the law. It is fair and considered....and it corrects bad behaviour. I suppose the majority of Ugandanites...or whatever they are collectively referred to...have decided that homosexuality is something that needs legislated against. I surely hope they came to that decision in a democratic fashion without undue media manipulation to sway their thoughts. But....I am guessing there's little chance of that....they are backwater, thirdworld people incapable of little thought further than avoiding the vine in front of them upon which they might trip over. Right?

    While I can't do anything about it all...I wish I could. Having said that, I am sure I could. I could fly over there and advocate in the face of certain disagreement and probable harsh punishment. I admire advocates...I wish I felt so strongly about a cause to cause me to advocate without regard to personal circumstance. I don't...and I won't. But....I'm close....and I can think of no finer example to set for my two babies than to advocate in the face of disagreement...those things that I find fair and just. It is one thing to tell your child how to live...it is entirely different to show them.

    kindest,

    eddie.

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