Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts

October 17, 2019

A Brutal Killing of A Gay Activist in Uganda

Relatives of Brian Wasswa carry his coffin during his funeral on October 6, 2019.
Relatives of Brian Wasswa carry his coffin during his funeral on October 6, 2019. 
© HRAPF 2019
(Kampala) – Ugandan authorities should thoroughly investigate the fatal attack on October 4, 2019, on an activist for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today. The death of the activist, Brian Wasswa, comes as the Ugandan government calls for reintroducing an anti-homosexuality bill that would provide the death penalty for consensual same-sex acts.
Wasswa, 28, was attacked at his home in Jinja, a city in eastern Uganda. Wasswa had worked since 2017 as a paralegal trained by Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), a legal aid organization that supports vulnerable communities, including LGBT people. Wasswa also worked as a peer educator with The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), a Ugandan nongovernmental organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care, where he conducted HIV outreach to LGBT people. Justine Balya, a legal officer with HRAPF, said Wasswa was social, well-loved, and committed to counseling young people living with HIV about the importance of adhering to treatment.
Days after Wasswa’s murder, Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo told reporters that parliament planned to introduce a bill that would criminalize so-called “promotion and recruitment” by gay people, and would include the death penalty for “grave” consensual same-sex acts. The proposed measure echoes Uganda’s 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, which criminalized the undefined “promotion” of homosexuality and early drafts included the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” The Constitutional Court nullified the 2014 law on procedural grounds. Nevertheless, its passage contributed to violence, discrimination, evictions, and arbitrary arrests of LGBT people, as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented.

Relatives of Brian Wasswa carry his coffin during his funeral on October 6, 2019. 
© HRAPF 2019
“In the wake of the horrific murder of Brian Wasswa, the Ugandan government should be making it crystal clear that violence is never acceptable, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Oryem Nyeko, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Instead, a government minister charged with ethics and integrity is threatening to have gay people killed at the hands of the state.”
Uganda has experienced a rise in homophobic rhetoric from the government at high levels in recent weeks. In addition to Minister Lokodo’s threat to revive the anti-homosexuality bill, Security Minister Elly Tumwine claimed in an October 3 television interview that LGBT people were linked to an alleged terrorist group.
Wasswa, who lived alone in a house in a fenced compound containing other houses, was attacked in his home on October 4. Edward Mwebaza, deputy executive director of HRAPF, said that neighborhood children found the door open at around 5 p.m., went into the house, and found Wasswa unconscious, lying in a pool of blood. Neighbors rushed Wasswa to Jinja Hospital, where doctors found that he was still alive but had been struck on the head multiple times by a sharp object. When Wasswa did not respond to treatment, on October 5, his colleagues at HRAPF requested an ambulance to transfer him to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, one hour away. Wasswa died in the ambulance en route to Kampala.
Police from Jinja’s Central Police Station have opened investigations. They identified the murder instrument, a short-handled hoe found in Wasswa’s home, and interviewed one witness who saw another man in Wasswa’s home several hours before Wasswa was found unconscious, HRAPF reported.
Mwebaza told Human Rights Watch that Wasswa was openly gay and gender non-conforming, sometimes describing himself as transgender. HRAPF urged the police to investigate the possibility that the murder may have been a hate crime.
Mwebaza said that three other gay and transgender people had been killed in Uganda in recent months, amid the climate of increasingly hostile statements by politicians around LGBT rights. On August 1, a group of motorcycle taxi drivers beat a young transgender woman, Fahad Ssemugooma Kawere, to death in Wakiso District, near Kampala, HRAPF and other Ugandan activists reported.
HRAPF itself has also experienced previous violent attacks. In February 2018, two security guards were seriously injured during a violent break-in at the organization’s Kampala offices, and in 2016, a HRAPF security guard was beaten to death. No one was brought to justice for either attack. Other organizations working on sensitive issues, such as land rights and the rights of journalists and women, also have experienced break-ins and in some cases attacks on security guards.
“It is incumbent on the Ugandan authorities to deliver justice for the murder of Brian Wasswa,” Nyeko said. “Police should conduct thorough investigations, and political leaders should refrain from any rhetoric that might encourage violence against LGBT people.”

October 13, 2019

Why The Issue of Death Penalty to LGBT by The Government Keeps Popping Up?

Ugandan activists told CNN they have noted worrying trends of arrests and attacks on the LGBTQ community.
Last Friday, a young gay paralegal, Brian Wasswa, was bludgeoned to death at his home in Jinja, LGBT group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) said.
According to Justine Balya at the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), this is the third murder her organization has recorded of an LGBTQ community member in just two months. On August 2, a transgender woman was murdered in a mob attack by motorbike taxi drivers. On August 12, a gay man was beaten in Kampala and died six days later from the injuries he sustained, according to HRAPF.
"We are concerned about the current political environment and homophobic comments being made by government personnel," said Balya, referencing Lokodo's announcement, as well as Ugandan Minister for Security Gen. Elly Tumwine's claim that LGBTQ people are connected to "terrorism."
"All this is feeding the homophobia and violence against LGBT people," she added.

How two female playwrights are risking their lives fight homophobia in Africa


Bobi Wine, a Ugandan musician-turned-opposition politician - who has made 
homophobic comments publicly in the past - are false and a distraction tactic,
 activists say. 
Byarugaba told CNN that the proposed reinstatement of the bill is likely being used
 as a "political decoy from the spate of the government's crackdown on Bobi Wine."
Trinah Kakyo, an LGBTQ fashion designer and activist, said that she believes the 
issue continues to resurface because "queerness confronts the oppressive systems
 we have in place, so it's been the main target of deviating the Ugandan public from
 actual social issues."

Alice McCool, for CNN

November 3, 2016

Ugandans Emphasize Police Use Torture to Proof Homosexuality

It was early in the morning when Jackson Mukasa was awakened by the chants outside his Kampala home. 
"The homos are in there!" the crowd yelled, banging spoons on metal cooking pots. 
Mukasa, a 21-year-old gay man living in the Ugandan capital, was terrified. 
"We opened the door, and there were police and people everywhere. The local councilman was there, yelling 'Out with the homos! You are scaring people in the area.' I still have scars from the beatings that followed," Mukasa said. 
It was January 2014. After being beaten by the mob, the police took Mukasa and a male friend staying with him in for questioning, he said. 
They were both subjected to forced anal examinations, said Mukasa. 
"We were questioned, beaten again, forced to admit to homosexuality. They took us to … (a) clinic in Kampala where we were examined," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
"It is so painful. The doctor puts a machine up your rectum. It hurts so much, and there is blood," he said in a phone interview.  

Photo taken on February 14, 2010 shows Ugandans taking part in an anti-gay demonstration at Jinja, Kampala. Trevor Snapp / AFP/Getty Images

Uganda is one of 36 countries in Africa where homosexuality is illegal, and one of eight countries globally where Human Rights Watch has compiled evidence of the use of forced anal examinations to "prove" homosexuality. 
Emilian Kayima, a Kampala police spokesman, denied that forced examinations took place. 
"We do not need anal examination to prove a person is gay. When we arrest gay people, we take them to the courts of law because what they are engaging in is illegal under the laws of Uganda," Kayima told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
"If any gay person claims they have been tortured or forced to undergo anal examination, they need to come forward with evidence stating when and where it happened instead of running to the press to make baseless claims," Kayima added. 
The Ugandan health ministry declined to answer questions from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 
However, local rights campaigners and Human Rights Watch say Mukasa is one of several victims of forced anal examinations in the east African country. They say while the practice is used ostensibly to prevent the transmission of HIV, it is merely a form of discrimination and abuse. 
Uganda lawyer Nicholas Opiyo is preparing a constitutional case to ban forced anal examinations. He believes the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act is used illegally, as an excuse to "prove" homosexuality. 
"They are using the law as an excuse to carry out the examinations. We want them banned," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Kampala in a phone interview. 
"In all the cases we have dealt with, people are arrested and taken to certain clinics," he said, describing how Mukasa's case was typical. 
Like most of sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda is highly religious and socially conservative. Violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is common and politicians have long tried to pass legislation that denies basic rights to the LGBT community. 
A law passed more than two years ago, punishing gay sex with long prison terms, provoked an international storm of protest and led some donor countries to withhold aid. 
The constitutional court overturned the law - formerly known as the "Kill the Gays" bill because a first draft included the death penalty for gay sex - on a technicality in August 2014. 
Cases like Mukasa's are not designed to get LGBT people convicted in court, according to Opiyo. "The examinations aren't used as evidence, they are used as a tool to dehumanize and stigmatize," he said. 
Mukasa, who used to work in a restaurant, said police and authorities made no attempt to hide his identity. "I cannot walk the street, I cannot get medicine, I do not have any money and cannot claim benefits because I am a homosexual," he said. 
According to experts such examinations have no validity, either legally or medically. 
"There is absolutely no value in such examinations for this purpose," Vincent Iacopino, medical director at Physicians for Human Rights, said by phone from the United States. 
He said the examinations were unethical, harmful, and in some cases, torture. 
Asger Kjaerum, advocacy director at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, agreed. "These practices lack both scientific value and violate international standards on the ban of torture and ill-treatment," he said in an email from Copenhagen. 
Homosexuality was banned in Uganda in 1952. In recent years, assaults against LGBT people have been on the rise, according to Human Rights Watch, fueled by the anti-gay policies of President Yoweri Museveni's government. 
"Heated discourse around the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and its draconian provisions appears to have led to an increase in harassment of persons perceived to be LGBT by civilians and the police alike," Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a report this year. 
Human rights lawyer Opiyo is currently preparing his case, and expects to file it within the coming months. "Anal examinations are a form of torture, a violation of the Ugandan Constitution, the African Charter, and international human rights. We want them banned," he said. 
"If the court declares the practice unconstitutional, the examinations will be unlawful, meaning anyone engaged in performing the examinations could be sued," he said. 
Mukasa's case was eventually dismissed due to lack of evidence, but he says he feels convicted, and is serving a sentence - albeit out of jail. 
He has changed his identity since the case, and is now living in a shelter, isolated from family and friends. 
"I have lost my job because of the case," he said. "People know who I am, I can't leave my house. I cannot get a taxi, I cannot get a job, all because of the case.”


August 6, 2016

Ugandan Police Attack Gay Pageant Event


Ugandan police unlawfully raided an event late in the evening of August 4, 2016, the third night of a week of Ugandan LGBTI Pride celebrations, brutally assaulting participants, seven human rights groups said today.
The event was a pageant in Kampala’s Club Venom to crown Mr/Ms/Mx Uganda Pride. Police claimed that they had been told a “gay wedding” was taking place and that the celebration was “unlawful” because police had not been informed of the event. However, police had been duly informed, and the prior two Pride events, on August 2 and 3, were conducted without incident.
“We strongly condemn these violations of Ugandans’ rights to peaceful association and assembly,” said Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer and executive director at Chapter Four Uganda. “These brutal actions by police are unacceptable and must face the full force of Ugandan law.”

The police locked the gates of the club, arrested more than 16 people – the majority of whom are Ugandan LGBT rights activists – and detained hundreds more for over 90 minutes, beating and humiliating people; taking pictures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Ugandans and threatening to publish them; and confiscating cameras. Witnesses reported that the police assaulted many participants, in particular transgender women and men, in some cases groping and fondling them. One person jumped from a sixth-floor window to avoid police abuse and is in a hospital in critical condition.

By approximately 1:20 a.m., all those arrested had been released without charge from the Kabalagala Police Station. This episode of police brutality did not happen in isolation, the groups said. It comes at a time of escalating police violence targeting media, independent organizations, and the political opposition.

“Any force by Ugandan police targeting a peaceful and lawful assembly is outrageous,” said Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), who was among those arrested. “The LGBTI community stands with all Ugandan civil society movements against police brutality.”

“The Ugandan government should condemn violent illegal actions by police targeting the LGBTI community and all Ugandans,” said Asia Russell at Health GAP. “The US and all governments should challenge President Museveni to intervene immediately and hold his police force accountable.”

LGBTI Ugandans routinely face violence, discrimination, bigotry, blackmail, and extortion. The unlawful government raid on a spirited celebration displays the impunity under which Ugandan police are operating. “The state has a duty to protect all citizens’ enjoyment of their rights, including the right to peacefully assemble to celebrate Pride Uganda,” said Hassan Shire, executive director at Defend Defenders. “A swift and transparent investigation should be conducted into last night’s unacceptable demonstration of police brutality.”

Activists called on the governments to immediately and publicly condemn the raid and to take swift disciplinary action against those responsible for the gross violations of rights and freedoms. The organizers said that Pride Uganda celebrations will continue as planned, with a celebration on August 6.

“Our pride and resilience remain steadfast despite these horrible and shameful actions by Ugandan police,” said Clare Byarugaba of Chapter Four Uganda.

“Celebrating with LGBTI people and demonstrating solidarity in calling for their rights to be respected is as basic a show of free expression and association under human rights law as you can get,” said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Ugandan authorities should not only refrain from trying to stop such activities, but they have binding legal obligations to ensure others do not interfere in this fundamental exercise of basic rights.” 

April 30, 2016

Shocking Report on Ugandan Treatment of LGBT

                                                                          \A Ugandan woman holds a placard as she takes part in an anti-gay demonstration in Jinja, Kampala.                                                                          

 The ground-breaking report: And That’s How I Survived Being Killed, reveals the violence, humiliation and wide range of human rights abuses LGBT Ugandan’s have to endure.

Sexual Minorities Uganda have released a shocking report detailing beatings, forced anal examination and persecution experienced by the LGBT community in the country.

In addition to 264 verified cases of human rights abuses against sexual and gender minorities in Uganda, the report also features testimony from LGBT citizens who have experienced first hand the violence and persecution behind the statistics.
Asiimwe, 26, who lives in the central Ugandan town of Bukomansimbi, told researchers that he made a date with another man after meeting online.

“It all started by someone sending me a friend request on Facebook who later called me out for a date and to sleep over,” Asiimwe explained.

“On my arrival at the guy’s place I found a bottle of wine on the table. But when I was drinking other two guys entered the house and sat down and then my date called me in the bedroom and started asking me where I learnt to become gay. And then I just kept quiet.”

What happened next put Asiimwe’s life in serious danger: “The guy changed attitude and started shouting calling his friends in the bedroom to see how a gay man looks like,” he reccalled.

“They came and started beating me up telling me to give them money so that they let me free but I didn’t have money on me, they continued to beat me up seriously and then threatened to burn me. I shouted for help but no one was coming and it was 1:00 am.

“Fortunately the last in the neighborhood heard and she came into the house and asked them why are they were beating me up. They responded that I am a homosexual. Then she told them to let me go then she held my hand and took me out gave me first aid and called a boda guy to take me home and that’s how I survived being killed.”

Asiimwe isn’t the only one who has had to endure extreme violence because of his sexuality, In January, 2015 Daniel [not his real name], was arrested for “engaging in crimes against the order of nature.” He was tied up with rope, beaten, and forced to walk through town along with his friends Ssali and Emmanuel.

He told researchers: “While in prison we were denied visitors because we are a “sodomy case.” I was beaten by fellow citizens. Ssali and myself suffered a lot. When they were beating us they said, “a sensible man how can you sleep with a fellow man?” And when in hospital we were forced to take HIV tests and anal tests.”

As well as detailing arrests, expulsions and beatings, the report also catalogues and highlights four main areas of human rights violations. These include 132 reported cases of physical threats and violence between May 2014 and December 2015, 103 evictions, exclusions and loss of property and 24 cases of termination of employment in the same time period. When the healthcare human rights violations are included, this produces a total of 264 reported cases against the LGBT community in 18 months. That’s an average of 14 violations a day.

Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda [SMUG] said: “This report demonstrates the vast array of human rights abuses which stem from Uganda’s state-sanctioned homophobia and transphobia.

“The Ugandan state deems LGBT people as less than human, and as a result that is how we are treated; by the landlords, by employers, by healthcare professionals, even by our families. These testimonies make it abundantly clear that the situation for LGBT people in Uganda has not improved, despite the Anti-Homosexuality Act being struck down.

“As long as Uganda continues to have laws that make LGBT Ugandans criminals, we will continue to be victims of these abuses.”

As well as calling on the Ugandan government to do more to protect its LGBT citizens the organisation also calls on the UK’s Forign and Commonwealth office to review the report and act on it.

Jonathan Cooper, Chief Executive of Human Dignity Trust, also commented on the report, saying: “Criminalisation means the full force of the state is levied against LGBT people. The law sets norms, it determines attitudes.

“These laws are therefore principally to blame for the myriad of atrocious human rights abuses SMUG evidence in this important document. This multi-faceted persecution arises from homophobic and transphobic attitudes, which are permitted, and often encouraged, by politicians, state officials, and, of course, the law.”

You can read the full report, And That’s How I Survived Being Killed, at

January 19, 2016

American Pastor Sued by Ugandan Gays for Inciting Violence

 Scott Lively

An American pastor is publicly appealing for donations after experiencing “major financial hardship” as the result of a lawsuit in which he is accused of inciting violence and discrimination against the Ugandan gay community.

In a Dec. 28 post on his website, Scott Lively, an American pastor, lawyer, and president of Abiding Truth Ministries, appealed for support to continue running his ministry. Lively said in a subsequent post that he’s “paid a heavy price” for his work “exposing and opposing the now-global homosexual movement” in countries like Uganda, and facing off against an “enormously wealthy and powerful international homosexual network.”

In the federal lawsuit against him, first filed in Massachusetts in 2012, the Ugandan group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), accuses the well-known pastor of a crime against humanity for allegedly inspiring a movement aimed at stripping away the rights of the Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community using legal, political, and social persecution.
Lively is being represented pro-bono by Liberty Counsel, a legal firm that also represents Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who was jailed after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples last year. Despite this support, Lively says the lawsuit is threatening the future of his ministry, writing that “SMUG v Lively is truly a David v Goliath battle.”

The suit was filed under the Alien Tort Statute, a legal tool which allows foreign citizens to sue in US courts for violations of international law. It is headed to a Massachusetts district court this fall and will be the first federal crimes against humanity trial dealing with the persecution of sexual minorities abroad—a precedent that Ugandan gay rights activists hope could stop the influence of Western religious extremism in Africa.
SMUG is being represented pro-bono by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York.

An activist holds a banner during a gay rights protest outside Uganda House in Trafalgar Square, in London December 10, 2009.(Reuters/Stefan Wermuth)
Uganda is one of at least 34 African countries where same-sex sexual acts are illegal, mandating life imprisonment for anyone who engages in “carnal knowledge” (i.e. sexual intercourse) “against the order of nature,” according to its Penal Code Act.
Pam Spees, senior staff attorney at the CCR, said in a statement that Lively found support in Uganda with “a very specific and detailed methodology for stripping away the most basic human rights protections, to silence and ultimately disappear LGBT people.”
SMUG and CCR cite Lively’s work in Uganda since 2002, in particular his participation in an anti-gay conference in Uganda in 2009, and public “fear-mongering” of the gay community, including statements that homosexuals sexually abuse children and “recruit” minors for gay activities.

Additionally, Lively is accused in the lawsuit of collaborating with Ugandan religious and political leaders to craft the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. (His legal team denies this characterization.)
The 2009 legislation, nicknamed the “Kill the Gays” bill, called for the death penalty for acts of “aggravated homosexuality,” including repeated, consensual sex with same-gender partners. It also required citizens to report suspected homosexuals as well as those involved in LGBT advocacy, or the “promotion of homosexuality.”
The bill provoked an outcry from the international community, prompting Western donors—including the United States—to pull about $118 million in aid to Uganda. A revised version of the bill, which imposed life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality,” was struck down for procedural reasons in August 2014. Ugandan lawmakers are reportedly looking into resurrecting the legislation.
While Uganda’s anti-sodomy law dates back to British colonial rule, Frank Mugisha, SMUG’s executive director, believes that targeted violence against the gay and transgender community quickly escalated after Lively and local pastors began an anti-homosexuality crusade in Uganda more than a decade ago.

“Before, there was [name calling] and people disagreeing with homosexuality in general, but we didn’t have the idea of a ‘gay agenda’,” said Mugisha. “That exportation of hatred is something new in Uganda.”
A July 2015 report by a consortium of Ugandan human rights groups documented 89 violations against Ugandans based on their sexual orientation in 2014, including “increased mob attacks, family rejection, evictions and media outings.” A number of the recorded violations were perpetrated, or supported, by police, the consortium found.

A man identifying himself as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community participates in a parade in Entebbe, southwest of Uganda’s capital Kampala, August 8, 2015(Reuters/Edward Echwalu)
The report cited the influence of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, saying that since its introduction in parliament in 2009, human rights violations against the LGBT community had increased. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented similar violations in a 2014 report.
SMUG argues that Lively’s characterization of the LGBT community, such as stating gays are more likely to sexually abuse children, escalated acts of discrimination, including an increased number of arbitrary arrests, house raids, and public outings of gay Ugandans by the local press, according to the complaint.
“In a way, violence toward LGBT people in Uganda has almost been normalized,” Mugisha said.

Lively asserts his work in Uganda is protected under the First Amendment right to free speech. His legal team also contests allegations in the lawsuit that he assisted in the shaping of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.
“Scott Lively is even more confident today than he was at the beginning of the case that he will be vindicated and that this case will be exposed as a frivolous enterprise that it is,” Horatio “Harry” Mihet, senior litigation counsel with Liberty Counsel, said.
Mihet added that “SMUG has no evidence to prove its allegations,” which he says were crafted on a “cleverly devised a false and fictional narrative.”
Both parties agree SMUG vs. Lively will likely set a precedent for future cases involving the persecution of sexual minorities abroad.

“Being the first case of its kind, it’s likely to have an impact, which is why it’s so important for the right of American citizens to speak their conscience worldwide,” said Mihet.
Regardless of the outcome of SMUG v. Lively, Mugisha hopes activists will be able to pursue legal action against other religious leaders and Ugandan politicians accused of being involved in hate speech and the anti-gay legislation.
“Our war is how we get foreign extreme Christians from exporting hate speech,” Mugisha said. “If we can reduce the hate trade from the missionaries then we definitely will reduce the violence against the LGBT community.”

Complaint against Scott Lively

"The Ugandan government had declared war on LGBT people – first it wanted to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality, and when that didn’t work it settled for life imprisonment. There’s been a raft of US preachers supporting the Ugandan government’s cause and now SMUG has filed a case against evangelical Christian preacher Scott Lively on the grounds that he has incited the persecution of homosexuals.
Lively has said that he preached nothing but the Gospel when he was in Uganda. Nevertheless, he is being sued under the “Alien Tort Statute”. This enables non-US citizens to sue Americans in US courts if they are accused of breaking international laws.
Lively is part of the ex-gay movement and believes, of course, that homosexuality is a choice, and something of which the sinner can be “cured”. He works for Abiding Truth Ministries, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He is also the author of, among other fruity titles, a book called The Pink Swastika (1996). This argues that a certain amount of Nazis were gay, and that the gay man is a natural fascist who would take away your rights if you give him half a chance, that sort of thing. Actual historians have dismissed it as nothing more than hot air. Nevertheless, Lively aims to take away LGBT rights before the gay man takes away everyone else’s. Or something like that.
Lively is accused of conspiring with religious and political leaders in Uganda to promote anti-gay hysteria based on the ideas put forward in his writings. It is an important case because it sends a signal about how to legally oppose the increasing amount of US Right Wing Christians who are taking their sideshow on the road and poisoning the rest of the world.         [Polari Magazine]

December 5, 2015

The Pope Talks About Christian Martyrs inUganda but Forgot the Gays Which are Being Persecuted NOW

LGBT was not in the mind of this Pastor, teacher (as he calls himself) in Uganda

 This a Christian who may be gay may be not but was killed by ISIs. Uganda only wants it for Gays. Wouldn’t that be a nail on Christ when you judge your fellow h u m a n not by crime but by whom they are as humans.

(LifeSiteNews) – What our readers have been telling me they like about LifeSite is that nobody else is reporting what we report.

A great example was this week’s true story of the Ugandan martyrs, which came up when Pope Francis visited Uganda but which the Pope barely touched on. The true story is that the King Mwanga II of Buganda – what is today southern Uganda – killed 45 or 47 of the country’s first Christian converts (roughly half were Catholic and half Anglican) in his royal court because they rejected his homosexual advances.

Pope Francis isn’t the only one who left out this obvious but inconvenient truth. So did news organizations both liberal and conservative. The very liberal National Catholic Reporter glossed over the homosexual aspect, saying the martyrs were “burned alive for their faith under a persecution by a local king.” The National Catholic Register and the Catholic Herald in Britain, both conservative, also left out the homosexual aspect., which reports on the mainstream news media’s coverage of religious issues, found one secular news organization that  got it right: CBS-AP. Get Religion faulted two of the most reputable for leaving out the homosexual angle: the New York Times and the BBC.

Since it’s right there in Wikipedia for even a lazy reporter to find, and since a story mixing religion and aberrant sexuality ought to be an easy call for any journalist, and since the African Church’s persistent hostility to homosexuality is a hot issue currently, this omission begs for an explanation.

The reason, I believe, is that the story doesn’t fit the prevailing narrative, which is that Africa’s “homophobia” is an import from Evangelical America. This I first encountered in 2010 at a lecture on Uganda’s then unpassed but highly controversial anti-homosexuality legislation. Giving the talk was a local professor whose topic was “Politics and the ‘Word of God’: Tangled Webs of Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill.”

In a voice dripping with condescension, the professor portrayed Ugandan mainstream Christianity (Catholic and Anglican) as primitive, emotional, and childlike. Ugandan “Christianity seems to have bypassed the Enlightenment and the Reformation,” he told us, making it clear that this was definitely a Bad Thing, because it meant that Scripture, in Uganda, would not be subjected to Reason.

Because of the Ugandans’ alleged guileless immaturity, the professor continued, they were easy marks for Yankee Evangelical Christians peddling homophobia. And while it is true that several important American Evangelicals – Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries and Don Schmierer of Exodus did give workshops in Uganda warning religious leaders, quite justifiably, of the U.S.-led campaign to normalize homosexuality worldwide – what the learned professor left out was…well, the Ugandan martyrs.

Why? My guess is because those martyrs gave the lie to his presumption that the poor dear Ugandan Christians could not have come by their anti-homosexuality naturally or, more accurately, indigenously. It had to be an American import. This ignores not only the martyrs, but the inescapable fact that all across middle Africa, there has long been and is now a strong aversion to homosexuality in places the Americans never visited.

The professor had another putdown for Uganda. Noting that its leaders were vowing to set an example to the world by resisting the homosexual juggernaut with their tough law, he mocked them gently for thinking their little country could show the world anything.

So this professor not only left out the martyrs (as he later admitted to me, because he wasn’t sure it was important), but also somehow missed the Ugandan miracle: the country’s controversial success in turning back another juggernaut, not unrelated to homosexuality – the AIDS epidemic. Here Uganda had shown the world, and the world did its best to cover what the little country had to show.

While the rest of Africa adopted a three-part approach that was unsuccessful, based on risk reduction with condoms, testing, and drug treatment, Uganda developed its own ABC campaign, for abstinence, being faithful, and condoms if necessary.

The AIDS establishment, led by American homosexuals, pushed a methodology that stayed away from both traditional morality and behavior modification, because the Africans were deemed incapable of changing their innate promiscuity. But condom campaigns in Africa, honest observers were admitting, did not so much prevent infection as encourage multiple partners, whether or not condoms were worn (and frequently they weren’t, and aren’t, even available).

But in Uganda, the government teamed up with the churches and mosques and promoted behavior consistent with Christian and Islamic morality: no sex before marriage, and fidelity within it (“zero grazing” was how it was cleverly phrased for this pastoral people). Condoms were added as the final method not so much as an afterthought, but as a sop to the international aid agencies, for whom condoms had assumed sacramental status and who controlled the purse strings.

Uganda reduced AIDS prevalence in adults from 15% to 5%, a turnaround unparalleled in Africa. But with a third of the country’s GDP coming from foreign aid, it had to bow to the AIDS establishment eventually, sending its prevalence rate climbing to 9%.

Why is the AIDS establishment so opposed to behavior modification? Many homosexuals identify their sexuality with specific unnatural practices. They argue that giving them up would be an admission that there is something wrong with or abnormal about the practices (which certainly make it easier for men get AIDS).

This has turned into an article of faith: nobody should change his basic sexual practices to fight AIDS.

Just as the Iron Curtain once descended over Europe, in Winston Churchill’s immortal phrase, now a veil of silence is falling over public discourse, cloaking all negative references to homosexuality – in scholarship, in politics, in public health policy and foreign aid, and even in the Catholic press. No facts can stand in the way of the LGBTQ march toward normalization and celebrity.

June 11, 2015

Ugandan Academy of Science Endorses Being Gay as a “Natural Phenomena"

The Ugandan National Academy of Sciences (Unas) has endorsed a report that says homosexuality and gender and sexual diversity are natural phenomena, which contradicts Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s stance that homosexuality is abnormal and should be outlawed. Unas and the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (Assaf) are the only academies of science in Africa to endorse the report. 
Uganda is one of a number of countries in Africa where homosexuality is a crime. At the moment, consensual adult sexual conduct with someone of the same sex is illegal in 76 countries, with a death sentence in seven countries: Iran, Mauritania, parts of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Although the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as an illness or disorder in 1990, there is still a widespread perception that there is something unnatural about being gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, and that this is “unAfrican”.
The report, entitled Diversity in Human Sexuality: Implications for Policy in Africa and published by Assaf, was formulated by 13 experts to answer whether sexual diversity is unnatural and “unAfrican”, if it can be “corrected”, whether children are at risk from association with homosexuals and if there are benefits to outlawing same-sex sexual acts, among a number of other questions.
The report, based on the latest scientific evidence, found that:
  • Gender identity (what gender a person identifies as), gender expression (how they demonstrate their gender), biological sex (which ranges from female sexual organs through intersex to male sexual organs) and sexual orientation (who a person is physically, spiritually and emotionally attracted to) is part of a continuum and that no positions on this spectrum are “unnatural”.
  • There can be no justifications to “eliminate” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from society.
  • Sociobehavioural research shows that people do not feel that they have a choice in their sexuality.
  • Conservative estimates put global prevalence of people who identify as homosexual at 5%, with no evidence that this percentage is any lower in African countries. About 50-million people in Africa – just less than the population of South Africa – are estimated to be homosexual.
  • Sexuality is not linked to the way parents bring up their children and sexual orientation cannot be “acquired” through the people with whom you associate.
  • Tolerance of sexual orientation was found to positively impact societies’ public health, civil society and long-term economic growth, and repression was found to negatively affect the general population’s health.
  • Repressive laws pertaining to sexual orientation cause major harm to public health systems and the population’s health through lack of access to healthcare for homosexuals, lack of information, particularly in the areas of HIV, TB and STI, and result in mental health problems for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals because of the stigma and repression that they experience.
  • People are not homosexual because of childhood sexual abuse.
  • Same-sex orientation cannot be changed through “reparative” or “conversion” therapy.
“We wanted a rational approach to this very irrational response [by African governments] to gender and sexual diversity,” Dr Glenda Gray told the Mail & Guardian ahead of the report’s release at the 7th South Africa Aids Conference in Durban on Wednesday night.
“[The aim] was to unequivocally make the statement that gender and sexual diversity [are] a normal variant of life,” said Gray, who is the head of the Medical Research Council and on the consensus panel. “We realised that it has to come from Africa and African scientists have to be involved in it, otherwise it will be rejected as something from the ‘West’.”
But the fact that this report originates in South Africa – despite the endorsement by Unas – means that it is likely to be ignored by politicians in Uganda, and possibly other policymakers on the continent. Dr Sylvia Tamale, a prominent academic and founder of the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project in Uganda, says: “I highly doubt that it will influence policymakers. The fact that it was developed by Assaf is also significant as it’ll give policymakers the usual excuse to dismiss it as a report influenced by whites,” Tamale says.
Museveni, in a letter to his Parliament last year, allegedly wrote: “You cannot call an abnormality an alternative orientation. It could be that the Western societies, on account of random breeding, have generated many abnormal people … The question at the core of the debate on homosexuality is what do we do with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or we do contain him/her?”
But the report “finds no reason to believe that prevalence of sexualities outside of the heterosexual is any different in Africa to anywhere else”, says Dr Jason van Niekerk, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of jurisprudence at the University of Pretoria and a member of the panel.
“There’s harm done by the idea that Africa is exempt from [this] prevalence. It allows law makers to treat the problems of people [who are not heterosexual] who are in fact their citizens, constituents and members of their communities as though they are an external threat.”
‘No evidence’
In the report, the authors liken the problematic reasoning behind the prohibition of same-sex orientations and same-sex sexual behaviour to laws against miscegenation (sexual relations between races). “They justified those laws with arguments such that ‘cross-colour’ sex was ‘unnatural’ and a hazard to public health,” the authors write. “Yet there is no evidence that couples of different races produce family outcomes any different to those outcomes where both parents are from the same ethnic or racial group ... science has long shown that there is no reliable evidence that homosexuality causes harm, either to the participating individuals or to society.”
In fact, the report finds that recent science, including a number of large-scale studies, finds that “all harms associated with same-sex orientation derive from hostile social climates that discriminate and persecute any sexuality that does not adhere to the heteronormative standards of a particular society”.
Asked what could be done to improve the lives of LGBTI people in African countries – where stigma and violence against them is widespread – Tamale says there needs to be more evidence-based research and dissemination “that homosexuality is not unAfrican, the actual effects of discriminating against LGBTI persons, [and] what the different permutations of sexual orientation and gender identity are, and not to confuse the two, and especially more data about transgenderism and intersexuality”.
Despite the likelihood that this report will be rejected by Ugandan policymakers, Tamale says that although government media houses have a “standing blackout policy of not covering news on homosexuality”, she expects other media houses in the country will pick up on the report.
Also, she believes that an important way to improve these marginalized people’s livelihoods is “using judicial means through the filing of public interest litigation cases addressing discrimination, inequality and criminalization.”  

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