Monday, December 7, 2009

Uganda Homosexuality Law

My girl crush on Rachel Maddow grew exponentially when she reported on the anti-gay law in Uganda.

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So what does this bill say, which you can read here:
-any person who is a homosexual (or commits a homosexual act) can be imprisoned for life
-aggravated homosexuality (sexual acts while living with HIV, rape, incest, repeat offenders, etc.) will be put to death.
-anyone who attempts to "commit an act of homosexuality" will be jailed for 7 years.
-anyone who knows of a homosexual & does not tell can be jailed for 7 years.
-people who "promote" (ie support gay rights in Uganda) will be jailed for between 5 & 7 years.
-this is an extraditable offense. Meaning, a gay man with Ugandan citizenship living outside of Uganda who acts on his natural urges can be extradited to Uganda for punishment.

Who is behind this? Interestingly enough, the same people behind the Stupak Amendment, the Family.
"[The] legislator that introduced the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family," he said. "He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Ugandan National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda."

And how did Sharlet discover the connection? "You follow [the] money," he said. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It's not so invisible anymore. So that's how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family's work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni's kind of right-hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family's National Prayer Breakfast. And here's a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda's executive office and has been very vocal about what he's doing, in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family." (source)
How wonderful. Instead of actually focusing on real, proven ways that work in preventing HIV, some Americans are choosing to promote this kind of law, which, I imagine, will only serve to drive homosexuality underground in Uganda, but also stigmatize it in such a way that safe sex practices will not be taught, therefore causing HIV rates of infection to go up. These people are just so damn smart.

So what can we do:
-read the bill
-join Speak out Against the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality group on Facebook. They have petitions to sign & a lot more information than I am offering here.
-And, as always, email your representatives, telling them how important it is to not support this kind of legislation abroad.

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