Guest Blogger

Ugandan 'Kill the Gays' Bill Is Back

Filed By Guest Blogger | August 21, 2011 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: anti-gay legislation, anti-homosexuality bill, David Bahati, Kill the Gays bill, Melanie Nathan, Uganda

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Melanie Nathan is an equality and human rights activist. She is the publisher of Gay USA, the Movie and Blog.

The Ugandan parliament is set to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, under the sponsorship of MP David Bahati. While inisting that the bill will not be heard until November 2011, sources in Uganda have informed Paul Canning of LGBT Asylum that the bill could pass as soon as within two weeks.

I have started a petition designed to inform the Ugandans of the consequences should this bill pass, further criminalizing homosexuality. In it, I note:

"Our stand shall be the same, whether or not the death penalty clause is taken out. We will not stand for the criminalization of a natural orientation. It is a human right to be true to one's nature, the way one was born. There is no such thing as recruiting gays. It is simply not possible to force someone to be attracted to a member of the same-sex. The entire premise for the Bahati bill is flawed and Ugandans should not be duped by the self-serving rhetroic and myth."

If this bill passes it will register that Ugandans are ascribing to the view that "homosexuality is not a human right," as MP Hon. David Bahati told me.

The bill may be passed within a fortnight, surreptitiously; but that cannot silence the world. The petition on sets out typical consequences that activists around the world plan to pursue, as follows:

Ugandans must know ahead what the consequences will be; let us tell them now:

  1. American and International Corporations will not be able to function in a Country where employers cannot send gay and lesbian executives, employees, representatives;
  2. The U.S. Government and other countries would be placing its gay and lesbian envoys, employees at risk - regardless of diplomatic immunity -
  3. The LGBT communities around the world and allies will be calling for trade boycotts and divestment from Uganda;
  4. Tourism to Uganda will be boycotted by the International community;
  5. Ugandan Coffee importers will be targeted in the U.S.A.
  6. Uganda's interests in the U.S.A. and other countries will be targeted for protests;
  7. The world LGBTI community and allies will continue to pressure President Zuma to remove Jon Qwelane from Uganda and to stop South African investment in Uganda;
  8. The Gay communities of the world will demand the U.S.A. and U.K. and other Western countries offer asylum to LGBTI people in Uganda and safe passage to other countries.
  9. Activists will target the Banks that provide services in Uganda with boycotts and account closures;
  10. Uganda will be excluded from international sports;
  11. U.S. will be pressured to stop aid to Uganda;

The world will not tolerate any country criminalizing homosexuality, arresting and sentencing homosexuals; gays, lesbians and transgender people, live as others do; living one's natural orientation is not a crime.

Uganda must understand that notwithstanding the fact that it is a sovereign nation and that its parliament can pass any laws, if it plans to impinge on basic human rights such as the right to one's natural orientation, it will, as a country, isolate itself and must be prepared to live accordingly.

The above will apply even if the death-sentence is removed from the bill.

Thank you to the world for caring about all people.

In Solidarity with our African family, and in memory of our brother David Kato.

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While it'd be nice to see those consequences and I think we should campaign desperately to stop this heinous law passing - I don't see those consequences happening. There are already countries that execute GBLT people - and more that criminalise being gay - and the international community doesn't do these things - or even try to.

Still, we have to push what we can

Thanks to Bilerico for allowing this guest post - is where you can sign the petition. @Sparky - yes we still have to push. I must say I have had many instances in my life where I was told by experts that something was not possible. I never gave up and tried out of the box ways, to achieve sometimes surprising results. SO I am a strong believer in NOT holding back based simply on what most may think impossible.

Johanna Rothe | August 21, 2011 6:50 PM

Hi, I firmly oppose this bill and am in solidarity with the Ugandan activists who have spent years fighting against its passage. I also have some concerns about how this blog entry frames the issues. First of all, I think how it refers to t...he bill in the title is excessively dramatic and identifies the bill with its most excessive item, and this does not further a clear-headed critical position. While I understand its appeal as a tool to show to as many people as possible that the bill is cruel, I think it is also very problematic in that it precludes that one actually tries to understand why some people would want to pass this bill. I believe that trying to understand this (und not fall into "they are simply crazy / homophobic / cruel / hateful") is really important in order to lastingly fight it. Addressed itself primarily to a U.S. / "Western" or "international audience, the blog entry also plays into racist fantasies of Africa as a place of special cruelty.
Secondly, I was appalled to read that the interests and the power of U.S. corporations was paraded proudly, followed by a list that included trade sanctions etc. (no indication, to my knowledge that any local activists favor international s...anctions). Proponents of the Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda often claim that homosexuality is a Western thing and does not belong in Africa. This blog post seems designed to confirm this position.

Johanna , I understand the points you are making; however this Blog post is not about the Bill per se, it is about a Petition that I drafted as a tool to inform Ugandans what steps will likely be taken if it passes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. I have written extensively in other BLOGS about the Bill and my usual readership know exactly where I stand. This Petition was modeled after the sanctions that were implemented against South Africa during apartheid. Those sanctions had a huge impact on bringing the SA government to its knees, the release of Madiba and ultimately the demise of apartheid as we knew it then.
I believe the header was applied by the editor of Bilerico, who clearly feels as strongly as I do about the intent of the Bill and is not afraid to call a spade a spade.

There is no desensitizing this, especially when one has "bloggers license" and uses blogging as a platform for many hours of behind the scene activism.

This is not a mere BLOG post - this is a well thought out and crafted petition to inform Ugandans of the price they will pay should they allow themselves to be duped into thinking that failure to conform to international human rights standards will not in turn isolate them from the world.
Yes this Petition is addressed to what the West will do, because we know other countries will not. Do you think Asia and Islamic countries will support sanctions based on a gay issue?

The purpose of the piece is NOT to show that the bill is cruel, these readers already know that - the purpose is to get as many signatures and e-mails to those named in the petition so that they see we are paying attention and will not let this rest.

Please sign the petition if you agree its worth exposing the risks to the Ugandan people... or would you rather wait until the bill is passed?

Uganda is trying to kill all gays? WOW.. If they could only see that God favors gays..

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 22, 2011 4:30 AM

The 'Kill the Gays Bill' is the brainchild of religious scum like Scott Lively and Obama bbfs Rick Warren and Donnie McClurkin. Their paid operatives, along with islamist, roman catholic and anglo catholic agents criss cross Africa with their message of hate and their promotion of violence.

The bill originated in the US and all US anti-gay christer groups operating in African nations should be indicted under the Logan Act, starting with Lively, Warren and McClurkin. They're terrorists and criminals.

I think we should encourage on-going mass demonstrations at Ugandan venues in the US and the EU but that any sanctions should be implemented only after consultations with our GLBT brothers and sisters in Uganda. In any case we should shine a searchlight on this, calling it what it is - mass murder.

We should demand that US embassies and consulates in Uganda and in US occupied Iraq and Afghanistan be opened to LGBT refugees, who should be offered open ended asylum and social services.

And finally we should point out that the US sponsors of the Kill the Gays bill are promoting it as a trial run. If it leads to mass murder they'll export it - here, there and everywhere.

Thanks Bill, when drafting this petition I was further motivated by the fact that this is not only impact Uganda - but all of Africa. The remaining 37 countries that criminalize homosexuality will jump on board and start legislating death penalties. What exacerbates the problem is that politicians like David Bahati then use the issue to further their political standing, as citizens of those countries are fed "this is our culture" and the "bible says so" !

I hope the author of this report realises that the funding, political pressure, religious pressure, economic pressure, media support and ideology behind this law, mostly originates from the United States of America.

Scott Lively is the most public person in support of this, however a lot of politicians, think tanks, pressure groups, baptist, catholic and various other religious people from the USA love this law and see it as a test bed, for future laws elsewhere.

The fantasy that the author has, that other countries will have an issue with this law is purely that, fantasy.

The USA and other countries deal daily with Saudi Arabia which beheads homosexual people in a sports arena. That stadium is always fully packed.

The author of the article really needs to read through some media publications from Europe, Asia, South America and other areas to widen her horizons as she clearly has an US centric with blinkers viewpoint, of the world.

Here is how it will really play out.

• US corporations will have better functionality in Uganda as some of them have been involved in funding the media campaign for this new law, in co-ordination with US pressure groups and religious organisations. US corporations do not send LGBT people to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afganistan, etc, as they would be executed, leading to bad public relations back in the USA.

• The US has practically no LGBT diplomatic staff anyway and never sends anyone who is LGBT to countries such as Vatican, Saudi Arabia, etc as they are seen as an insult to the host countries. It would lead to more internal pressure in the diplomatic core on LGBT staff.

• The LGBT community in a lot of countries, gives active support to Palestine and Gaza, which are vehemently anti-LGBT areas and constantly attack Isreal. Israel is the only country in the Middle East which can actually have a LGBT event without everyone attending, being executed.

• Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai are vehemently anti-LGBT, yet have constantly increasing numbers of tourists from western countries, including the USA. Anal sex carries a 5 year jail term in Qatar. In Bahrain there are no official anti-LGBT laws, but transvestites are regularly jailed and gays are jailed under morality laws. The number of US tourists to those countries increases yearly. The military government of Chile (1973–1990) under Pinochet regularly killed LGBT and had increasing numbers of visiting US citizens and ever closer diplomatic relations during that period.

• No Saudi or other country that kills LGBT on a regular basis has regular demonstrations at there investments or embassies. The more LGBT they kill, seemingly the better the relationships with the USA.

• LGBT will do nothing to pressure anyone from investing in Uganda. Anyone doing so will be treated as a threat to US economic ideology and therefore will get in a lot of trouble. Any protests will be very quickly be stamped out, due to vested interests in the corriders of power.

• The only issue that western governments care about is the bottom line. LGBT groups interfering with the bottom line will find all links to government getting very quickly severed, therefore will not have any real issue beyond an initial condemnation, to be quickly forgotten.

• Anyone targetting a bank-business doing business in Uganda, will be treated as a terrorist, regardless of reason, for attacking an US business, spear heading US business interests in Uganda.

• Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Dubai, etc are not excluded from international sports for there anti-LGBT stance and anyone trying to do so, would get in real trouble very quickly.

• The USA will most likely increase aid to Uganda, as will other countries, when they realise that extreme western ideologies can be exported to Uganda with enough co-ordinated pressure.

Welcome to the real world.