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Uganda: The Anti-Gay Bill and Its U.S. Ties

December 10, 2009

Rachel Maddow has the unique journalistic talent of opening viewers’ eyes.  For this, I send her a “thank you.”

Previously I had view Uganda as primarily a third-world country, struggling as third-world countries do.  I had given the country kudos for at least providing a somewhat safe environment for the Silverback gorillas.  Naivety – the best blinders in the world.

On December 2, 2009, Reuters reported that Uganda was set to pass an anti-gay bill, perhaps to appease donors.  And myself, being too focused on Tiger Woods – that man who proved to be only human after all – completely missed what was happening in Uganda.  The Reuters article went on to suggest that the country was pushing to pass legislation that would outlaw homosexuality.  David Bahati, the writer of the bill, claims that this proposed legislation fosters “family values,” pushing homosexuality on the forbidden list.  Bahati’s bill includes the death penalty for “serial offenders.”  But, there is more.  The bill includes the criminalization of “anyone who acts as an accomplice or attempts to promote or in any way abets homosexuality, and a person in authority who aids, abets, councils or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality .”  Quite a bill.   At this point, one could wonder what could possibly influence a country to adopt and impose such a biased and hate-driven thought system.  We can begin with Yoweri Museveni, the country’s President.  Museveni has implied that homosexuality is a “Western import,” and un-African.  

Bahati’s bill has now been labeled “the anti-homosexuality bill of 2009.”  At this time, Rachel has pointed out that the bill includes a life sentence for being gay, death by hanging if one is found being gay and HIV positive, imprisonment for three years for acknowledging that someone is gay but not reporting them to authorities.  Rachel has brought more enlightenment to this bill by linking the measure to conservative politicians and activists in the United States.

The Family, operating quietly from their C Street location in Washington, D.C., has been bestowing their “anti-homosexual” thought systems on Uganda.  In Maddow’s transcript of December 8, 2009, she states that the Family as been “interventionist” in Uganda, and has been “bragging about their influence in that country.”  The Family reportedly counts among its Uganda “members” the legislator who introduced the “kill the gays” bill (Bahati), and the country‘s president, Yoweri Museveni.  In his book on the Family, journalist Jeff Sharlet describes the President Museveni as “the Family‘s key man in Africa.”  Millions of dollars have reached Uganda through The Family, which includes Congressman Joe Pitts and Bart Stupak.  Their monetary influence on Uganda can be witnessed in abstinence-only and anti-condom programs, which have to the programs’ credit, decreased HIV and AIDS.  Uganda is being bribed by donations to adhere to beliefs which are  held by many religious activists of the United States. 
My thoughts regarding this issue is how I view any movement  anchored by hate.  Hate is easily disguised in a myriad of costumes, and in these costumes, it easily seeps into the world’s thought systems.  Few recognize the tiny embers of hate …. until they ignite and roar into a large fire storm.  The United States, so entrenched by hate and fear in many avenues, is joined by yet another country.
BTW:  If any gay-bashers read this post, Richard Cohen and his book, “Coming Out Straight” may sadly be for you.
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