Homophobia In The Ugandan Parliament Reaches New Extremes: A Commentary
Dear Editor ECHR Sexual Orientation Blog:
I am reacting to yours: "On Homophobia In The Ugandan Parliament Reaches New Extremes."
I tried writing back via your comments section but since I am not a member, was not able to send it.
This is a timely report and it is no doubt a point of reference for many interested in social-cultural human rights.
You made very credible analysis and I specifically agreed with you when you argued that:
"There is now no opposition to the outpourings of extreme homophobia that are a standard and consistent aspect of parliamentary debate in Uganda. No Member of Parliament since September 2014 has publically spoken against any homophobic argument or claim made in plenary debates. The apparent solidarity among parliamentarians regarding homosexuality strongly suggests that, at some point in the future, an attempt will be made to re-enact the Anti-Homosexuality Act. There may also be an attempt to include provisions that are even more draconian than those contained in the original Act, such as introducing the death penalty for particular same-sex sexual acts."
It is so saddening but not surprising. Ugandan politics has been packaged to foster voter counts and to ensure an ever existing Red Herring.
The "Gay game" as it is called is to cry Gay foulness when scandals build up in the Ugandan Parliament. The Gay are a necessary default rallying point when explanations or calls to account for certain sums of money are made.
The Gay are Uganda's Red Herring!
It is possible to increase the culture of tolerance toward Gay persons in Uganda.
The problem is with the allies who have not realized the wide diversity among the Gays (Identity diversity). If allies can support the Gay who are doing dignity advocacy in many other areas other than Litigation, Uganda will have critical numbers of rapporteur builders. Visit all those Litigation-leaning Gay organizations and look at the furniture or appliances in their offices. Look at the bellies about to burst their shirts and Saville Row suits!
Then visit the HIV/Public Health-leaning Gay organizations, you will die a little! Currently, in Uganda one only counts three-to-five names which have been made the poster child faces for the entire Gay community. Yet, there are many Gays who are doing equally necessary work in Uganda. This reductionism to a handful of valorized Gays deprives the entire Ugandan Gay community of spotlight and motivation to showcase common good public activities done by many other Gay persons who have remained unsung since 2000. Unfortunately, it is the three-to-five poster child faces who are invited to New York, London or Reykjavik to give keynote addresses on matters Gay in Uganda. They have more flying hours than the grains of sand on a small lake shore. It is no wonder they are the examples the Ugandan Parliament gives for seditious agent-provocateurs.
I personally know of a Gay medical doctor who has given many hours to health outreach work, is supporting 174 Gays living with HIV and has desires for running as MP in next elections. I know of a Banker, Teacher, Priest, Agriculturalist and Bone-Mender (Chiropractor) and so many others who are contributing immensely to their communities some even paying school fees for other Gay students. But, the so called poster child faces (the jet-set activists) do not even acknowledge these persons who are increasing the community's tolerance toward Gays. These unsung activists are articulate enough and can a rebuttal to this wonderful research material or even build strategies informed by this very paper. Yet, they are not the ones invited to embassies or UN Conferences. This means they cannot gain the kind of immunity necessary to engage Members of Parliament in candid dialogue on Gay Identity in Uganda. If only more Gay Activists were brought in the fold of immunity, you will see change in Uganda.
|Source: ECHR Sexual Orientation Blog|
Thank you for the wonderful report.