Why Bahati’s “anti -Gay” Bill needs to be withdrawn!

Posted on November 26, 2012

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(2) Why Bahati’s “anti -Gay” Bill needs to be withdrawn!

by Drew Ddembe on Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:45am ·

The best thing that ever happened to Gay activists in Uganda is the stupid Bahati anti homosexual bill.

There is no such thing as bad publicity! In elevating a non problem to a problem, Bahati and this stupid government have diverted debate from issues of more importance to Ugandans while whipping up hate for a small minority about whom many Ugandans too busy trying to survive have never really given a damn nor spent time on!

Most Ugandans until ‘Pastor’ Sempa forcefully educated them in his infamous “Eating da pupu” video, wouldn’t have a clue what goes where in gay relations nor have the sophistication to even imagine it, let alone that it happens! Many would probably blow a gasket in their brains if they tried to get their heads around the idea that there is any other way of having sex other than the missionary position between a man and a woman! So victorian in their mores are they that they are more British than the British!

Ugandans take religion literally. Its no wonder that many American episcopal churches opposed to homosexuality chose to follow Ugandan Anglican leadership and break from the Church of England. the bible says that sodomy is a sin so to many religious Ugandans, that kind of settles the question.

In general Ugandans do not do “Public displays of affection” including heterosexual, so culturally insensitive and ignorant gay activism is bound to fail and even whip up hostility! for many what happens behind closed doors is none of their business but when rubbed in their faces in broad daylight, then it becomes their business!

All societies have mores and norms that define what is normal and abnormal behaviour. Ugandans are no different to any other society in that regard and have for long defined normal as being heterosexual penile -vaginal sex and anything else as abnormal.

The idea however that Ugandans kill those they consider to be abnormal is new however! This has been propagated in the western press which gives the impression that Ugandans go around hunting and killing gay people for sport! Quite frankly I have never seen nor read of any evidence to support that view. Ugandans attitude in general is one of indifference … what they do not know does not kill them and does not concern them!

The main piece of ‘evidence’ put forward to support the idea that Ugandans kill gay people because they are gay is the unfortunate death os the late Kato a publicly gay man and advocate for gay rights. Unfortunately the example is a fraudulent one as there is no real evidence that he was killed because he was gay. His death is no doubt unfortunate and his killer should be prosecuted and punished but to continue to peddle the idea that he is a martyr for gay rights is a falsehood and a fraud as the evidence todate suggests that his death was an ordinary crime of passion. One that may even point to an exploitative relationship between an adult gay man and a vulnerable recently jailed juvenile delinquent. how many other vulnerable young men did he exploit before this oe killed him?

But then again in the pursuit of politics, truth is always the first casualty and nowhere is this best demonstrated than in this enduring claim by ignorant wilfully or otherwise gay activists worldwide. This claim was recently repeated by a Canadian minister leading to a strong response from the speaker of the Ugandan parliament rebecca Kadaga who unfortunately has since appeared to have championed the bill if not its contents!

As a recent victim of a ‘katayimbwa’ attack who only survived narrowly I can testify that violent death is a common event in Uganda with this mode of killing using a crowbar blow to the head becoming increasingly more common. Specifically Mukono where the late Kato lived was the epicentre of such deaths which led to a public campaign by the area MP against the killings and police inaction and ineptitude! in speaking to Ugandans of Kato’s death and the international community’s near hysteria over it, I am struck by many Ugandans response which ranges from anger to frustration which all boils down to one question -why is the international community so concerned about one mans death yet they have never ever expressed any concern about the many more men and women killed daily by criminals in similar circumstances as well as the violence of the state? Are the rights of one man or one small minority of more importance than those of other Ugandans, the majority? This is not because they are not sensitive to Kato’s death for its the reality that they live everyday!

There is dishonesty on both sides of the debate. Gay rights activists like to give this impression to no doubt ‘ignorant’ Africans that gay rights are universally accepted in their own lands. This is not true. While there is at least one western gay head of state there is no universal acceptance of gay rights in the western world. in many states they do not have rights to marriage, they suffer financial penalties for not being legally accepted as couples, have no rights to adoption and may still be subjected to discrimination and violence! Nowhere are these contradictions more apparent than in the united States of America where certain states still carry laws that discriminate against gay people.

The idea that international aid should be tied to gay rights that the donor community itself does not award its own citizens smirks of imperialism and neocolonialism and should itself be resisted. until the federal government is ready and willing to overide the decrees and laws of its states using financial sanctions against states that fail to pass laws recognising gay rights, Hillary Clinton has no right to threaten other international states with sanctions in exchange for toeing her idea of gay rights. There are basic rules that govern how states and peoples communicate with each other and there is nothing more likely to backfire than bullying!

The idea that people in the west are ‘civilised’ and accept gay rights is a myhth only held by those who are dishonest or have never lived in the west. There are sniggers behind the back, nasty conversations and even reports of violent attacks. Gay teenagers still get bullied and ‘starts’ hide their sexuality and even engage lawyers to ‘defend’ against rumours and charges of being gay! This is a myth propagated by gay activists trying to pull a fast one over ignorant Africans!

The idea that someone should be put to death or imprisoned because of his or her sexual orientation is preposterous and one that should be resisted by all right thinking people. The idea too that the state has got the right to supervise what adults do within the confines of their own privacy is also preposterous and again should be resisted.

Sodomy is practiced by both men and women including, in Uganda. I know that for a fact that Ugandan heterosexuals are like everywhere else in the world experimenting with and indulging in anal sex! Please do not ask me how I know this as I may fall foul of Bahati’s bill! nature is democratic in that respect. Is Bahati going to prosecute consenting heterosexual couples who enjoy sodomy? Within the confines of the bedroom there is a lot that happens that would make other people go gagga or loose their hair! But does that make it illegal, prosecutable or worthwhile of a death sentence?

Every state has got the right to determine its own laws at its own pace but that should be within the confines of certain basic rights including the rights of minorities. the gay community is an emerging phenomenon in Uganda which while it may make other Ugandans uncomfortable has as much right to be protected by the state and our laws as any other community.

My parents are like most Ugandans “homophobic”. Not homophobic in the sense that they go around hunting and killing gay people but homophobic in the sense that they would be horrified at the details of MSM. its completely outside their own experiences. They am sure have no personal knowledge of a gay person and have never known one in their own community. But no way would i force my own views on the subject down their throats. They do noit have to ‘recognise’ gay rights. They are not an issue in their world, not a part of their experience. in your face activism would only make them uncomfortable and maybe even hostile. but there is no way they would advocate the death of a person for being different! Many Ugandans are like my parents! This is a debate that only detracts from their day to day struggle to survive .. one that is not even relevant for them!

I personally have no personal knowledge of a Ugandan gay person yet I spent my high school in a boys boarding school where half my classmates had been in boarding school since year one of primary school under the tutelage of abstaining brothers of Christian instruction. Not once did I ever hear of a story of a brother touching a male child sexually in all of those years of boarding school and trust me, the brothers were not exactly abstaining! I could regale you with stories many second hand of brothers caught in flagrante with female teachers and nuns but never of any rumour of pederasty or homosexual behaviour.

One male medical student who was always considered to be funny because he spent all of his time with girls and behaved like one, went on to get married to a man in South Africa. The story is that when he brought his partner home to meet his parents, they rejected him … but they did not kill him! There was one story unproven of purported gay experimentation between two students one of them the son of an NRM politician. Both guys are married with children and were considered to be heart throbs among the girls schools we associated with. that of course does not prove they are not gay.

There is an obsession with predatory behaviour which is the pretext for this anti Gay bill. The idea is that gay people are ‘recruiting’ young people through money and rape. I know of no published study demonstrating this.

That there are Ugandans gay and heterosexual practicing anal sex is not in doubt. That they are a national emergency and a crisis is not true unless one is looking at HIV and the public health implications of of having a community with a communicable disease not confined to that community outside the reach of health services.

I recently had to provide a recommendation to a Ugandan doctor with five years experience of working in TASO after she applied to work in a sexual health clinic in a western country. I had to remind her that in the community she was going to work with lots of people with HIV are gay. I also had to let her prospective employers know that while she had extensive experience of working with HIV patients, she did not have as much exposure to working with gay people as her new job would require. This kind of stupid bill will only exacerbate this problem!

There is also the idea that MSM among prison populations in Uganda is unique to Uganda which again is not true. like many other things gay sex may be opportunistic or facultative and the phenomenon of the ‘down lo ho’ is not unique to Uganda. Worldwide MSM happens in prison populations and these men when they come out do not become gay … most will go back to normal sexual relations with women!

Bahati needs to withdraw his bill. He has received enough attention from it already. From an unknown politician with nothing to recommend him and no achievements to his name, his name is now known worldwide! He should also be prosecuted under hate laws and trying to whip up violence towards a minority! By bringing up this debate, he has significantly increased the risk of violence towards gay people than before when most people were plodding along in ignorance!

In debating this bill, Ugandans who do not wish to see gay activity being promoted play right into the hands of gay activists! The best thing that will happen to gay activists is for this bill to be passed for then it will be a reason for gay rights and the agenda of international gay activists to stay on the agenda at the expense of other more deserving causes Ugandans need to work through -like providing basic rights for everybody including gay people. Rights to life and security of person and property, rights to health services, housing, employment and food etc -all rights to which they have no guarantee at present!

Ugandans have got better and more important things to do with their time than policing their neighbours sexual activity and orientation!***********************

The Ugandan Penal code already addresses the concerns of the issues that are being presented in the anti gay bill. We can agree or disagree about the contents but the reality is that there is already an existing law and it has been on the books for decades!

This issue is used as a cynical ploy by Museveni and his government to divert public attention from issues more pertinent to them.

Thanks to Mary Grace Ssuuna, for digging the relevant section out.

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UGANDA PENAL CODE ACT

(Sections)

145. Unnatural offences.

Any person who—

has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;

has carnal knowledge of an animal; or

permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,

commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences.

Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

147. Indecent assaults on boys under eighteen.

Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a boy under the age of eighteen years commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without corporal punishment.

148. Indecent practices.

Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Posted in: Uganda