Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ugandan Lies and Death Threats

     My posts the past few weeks have been light on current events, because I was on vacation.  That said, I have not forgotten about some of the major sermons coming from "religious" people's Gospel According to Hate.

     The Christian-fundamentalist created and backed Ugandan Bill No. 18 (a.k.a. "the kill-the-gays" bill) is still pending, unresolved.  American politicians and Christian leaders continue to distance themselves from the bill, even though some of them were instrumental to the creation of the bill.

     In response to these Christian leaders, Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program published: "Op-Ed: Bearing False Witness in Uganda."  He argues against the Christians that sowed the seed of the anti-gay bill from the point of being a Christian:
     Scott Lively one of the [American evangelical] participants, who also consulted with lawmakers [about the dangers of the "homosexual agenda"], is reported to have been disappointed that the legislation went as far as it did.  How far is far enough?  Far enough to subject gay people to discredited, damaging “therapy” that seeks to change who we are?  Is keeping us from giving children a loving and permanent family far enough?  Is the denial of a life-sustaining and community-enhancing job enough?  Is it enough to make us outcasts in our families and communities?  The jail time that gay people already face in Uganda – is that sufficient?   What fruits of his lying would Mr. Lively accept?  I admonish him to remember the scriptural wisdom that we reap what we sow.
     You might argue that the real problem here was not the message but the missionaries’ misreading of Uganda.  After all, Americans have been subjected to the same views for years and there has never been a death penalty law proposed here (though private executioners commit thousands of hate crimes against us).
     Wherever they go, these people preach that it is wrong to be gay like me and dangerous for a society to let people like me be ourselves.  Even when it does not spawn atrocious legislation, it is still false witness; it is still mistreatment of other human beings; it is still lying to achieve power over others.
     My fellow blogger at GayUganda continues his courageous confrontation of the kill-the-gays-bill from within Uganda, risking his freedom and life, and the life of his partner.  Today, he posted that the Ugandan government newspaper New Vision reported that President Museveni has warned the ruling party against the bill.  Museveni reported having spoken with the Canadian and British prime ministers as well as with U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, to whom he spoke for a reported forty-five minutes about the bill.  Museveni also reported that the protest rallies lead by homosexuals in other countries (where they aren't put in jail for being out of the closet) has affected his consideration.

     GayUganda posted his thanks thanks for the all the work LGBT civil rights' activists in other countries have been doing to curb the kill-the-gays bill.  The pressure seems to be working. 
     Thanks, guys and gals out there for the pressure on YOUR governments. If anything, those are the ones that are going to do the trick. The magnified 300,000 homos demonstrating in NY, Washington(?), see how distance does magnify things!, Thanks brothers and sisters for helping out this homo in Uganda when he is under threat. We cant hold such a demonstration...! Of course. But, we can say thanks, for your demonstration did work.
      There is certainly pressure on the government to back down. Is it enough? I don't know. The President has backed back. Though not very decisively. Maybe. Lets watch and see...!
     Still, I don't think that we North Americans always understand the gravity of situation facing LGBT persons in other countries.  Sure, we don't have equal rights here in the U.S.A.  Sure, there are still homophobic, violent people who would beat and/or kill us in the streets if they saw us holding hands with our lovers, but we have free speech.  We have the right to assemble and protest.  We have hate crime legislation on the books.  The LGBT persons of Uganda and many other nations don't even have these basic rights. and protections  If they come out, they are put in jail or killed.

      In response to his blogging about gay rights in Uganda, GayUganda had the following anonymous comment left on his blog:
     WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. WE KNOW YOUR PARTNER. WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. AND WE WILL GET YOU. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT YOU WILL BE GONE ALREADY. STOP YOUR NONSENSE.IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU. CLOSE THIS BLOG.
     Death threats.  Bullying.  Condemnation.  Fear.

     These have been the tools of ruling majorities intent on crushing the different minority throughout human history.  Hopefully, the work that courageous men and women like GayUganda and others are doing will make Uganda a safer place for all people.

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