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Uganda: Court Strikes Down Anti Gay Law

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Big news out of Uganda – the country’s Constitutional Court just struck down the draconian anti gay law on a technicality.

Think Progress reports:

Uganda’s Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, has struck down the infamous Anti-Homosexuality Law, ruling that Parliament passed it illegally. House Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, a proponent of the policy, ignored a quorum call before holding a vote last December with less than a third of lawmakers present. As one of the judges explained, “The illegal act of the Speaker tainted the process and rendered it a nullity.” The Court did not weigh the merits of the bill, which criminalized homosexuality and advocacy for gay rights with life sentences in prison.

So, basically, there’s nothing to stop them from passing it again the “right” way. But still…

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Anti-Gay Ugandan to Become President of United Nations Assembly

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Sam KutesaThe rotating annual position is due to go to a man who claims most Africans abhor gays.

Pink News reports:

An anti-gay Ugandan politician is set to become the next head of the United Nations General Assembly, causing outrage among rights groups. Sam Kutesa serves as Ugandan Foreign Minister under President Museveni, who recently introduced a strict anti-gay law in the country, with heavy punishments for offenders. Kutesa, who previously claimed that the majority of Africans “abhor” homosexuality, will become President of the General Assembly next month without a single vote cast, having been selected by the African Union in a traditionally unchallenged appointment. The annually rotated position is “elected by acclamation”, with incumbent John William Ashe selected last year by the UN’s Latin American and Caribbean Group.

It’s disgusting that someone with such a terrible civil rights track record would be chosen to lead the UN Assembly.

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I Declare This Mount Gay!

Friday, April 25th, 2014

GottliebMountain-1

A mountaineer climbed Uganda’s highest peak to plant a rainbow flag.

Joe.My.God reports:

Mountaineer Neil Gottlieb climbed to the summit of Uganda’s tallest mountain, posted a rainbow flag, and claimed the peak in the name of gay rights. He then issued an open letter to President Yoweri Museveni: On April 16, 2014, after a 6-day climb, I summited your country’s tallest peak, Mount Stanley’s 16,753 foot tall Margherita Peak, and mounted a gay pride flag at its summit in protest of your country’s criminalization of homosexuality. Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.

You gotta love this story – a little gay island in the heart of Uganda.

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Uganda: Anglican Bishop Provides Haven for Gays

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Reverend Christopher Senyonjo

Photo by Michael Key

And now for our Hero of the week – an Anglican Bishop in Uganda who is standing up to the country’s harsh new anti gay law.

The Washington Blade reports:

Rev. Christopher Senyonjo’s makeshift church in the Ugandan capital of Kampala has attracted many gays who are familiar with his sympathetic views in a country where anti-gay religious fervor has encouraged public anger and violence against homosexuals. The AP reports: “They said I should condemn the homosexuals,” he said, referring to Anglican leaders in Uganda. “I can’t do that, because I was called to serve all people, including the marginalized. But they say I am inhibited until I recant. I am still a member of the Anglican church.”…

“Our relationship is one of giving support to each other. The backlash that we receive is equally the same,” said Pepe Julian Onziema, a prominent gay leader in Uganda, who added that Senyonjo has taken “a very courageous and brave stand.”

If only more men and women of faith in Africa would stand up for the oppressed LGBT community there. Kudos to Reverend Senyonjo.

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Uganda: Pastors Lead Anti-Gay Pride March

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

Things continue to get uglier for Uganda’s LGBT community. On Sunday, a group of anti-gay pastors led a march through West Budama to “abolish” the gays.

Gay Star News reports:

Religious leaders marched in Uganda to drum up yet more hate for LGBTI people and back the new anti-gay law. Pastors led people through West Budama, east Uganda, yesterday (23 March) to show the public is in favor of ‘abolishing’ homosexuality. In a video posted on YouTube, a religious leader can be repeatedly seen shouting ‘No gays! No gays everywhere!’ to the sound of cheers and chanting.

In related news, the US is considering more cuts in aid to Uganda.

Joe.My.God reports:

Unnamed sources tell Buzzfeed that the Obama administration will take four new and immediate steps in reaction to Uganda’s criminalization of homosexuality. Money will be shifted away from the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, a group that has publicly come out in support of the anti-gay law and has received millions of dollars in grants from the United States to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some $2.3 million will continue to go to the IRCU to continue treatment for some 50,000 current patients, but an additional $6.4 million intended for the IRCU will go to other organizations.

And a retired Ghana MP thinks Africa should continue on its anti-gay path, despite boycotts and aid cuts.

Gay Star News reports:

Mike Ocquaye, deputy speaker of Ghana’s Parliament until January last year, believes that a closer relationship with Asia and refusing to buy products produced by Western nations will allow African countries to resist efforts to curb the persecution of LGBTI people across the African continent. ‘They should think again,’ Ocquaye was reported as saying by GhanaWeb over the weekend, ‘The balance of trade between African nations and Western nations shows that they have huge surpluses in their favor.’ ‘Western Banks, telephone companies, oil companies, cocoa-buying companies benefit tremendously from us.’

Where is the support in most of Africa for the LGBT community there?

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Cartoonist Mark Fiore Calls Out Anti Gay US Preachers

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Scott Lively - Mark FioreCartoonist Mark Fiore just released a video calling out the anti-gay preachers who went to Uganda to preach hate, and now are shocked, SHOCKED at the anti gay law there.

Joe.My.God reports:

Since Uganda’s anti-gay law was signed recently, it’s been amusing (and maddening) to watch various religious right characters scurry for cover. When nobody was watching, the holier-than-thou set have been visiting Uganda preaching their extreme anti-gay views. Now that people are appalled at Uganda’s life-in-prison-for-homosexuals law, the “evangelical” right-wing preachers are laying low or rewriting history.

How fantastic to see these pompous hate-mongers get skewered.

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Uganda: Lawsuit Filed Against New Anti Gay Law

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

It looks like Uganda’s LGBT community is not going down without a fight. A lawsuit was filed against the new harsh anti gay law yesterday.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

Today advocates from the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRSL) filed a constitutional challenge to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA). The team that filed the petition consists of seven advocates from five law firms, who have consulted with at least 20 lawyers worldwide. The petitioners maintain that the recently enacted Anti-Homosexuality Act violates the LGBT community’s right to privacy, freedoms of expression, assembly and association which are all guaranteed in the Ugandan Constitution.

We have no idea what the lawsuit’s chances are in this homophobic country, but it’s refreshing to see at least a small step in the right direction there.

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Living Under Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Richard LusimboLast Friday, Richard Lusimbo woke up to discover his face on the front of the Ugandan tabloid, Red Pepper, which had been outing known homosexuals all week. The headline beside Lusimbo’s photo read “How I became Homo.”

LusimboLusimbo is the research manager for SMUG (Sexual Minorities in Uganda – Facebook) and as of last Monday, February 24th, his organization was officially declared illegal when President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Law. I caught up with Lusimbo last week after he spoke on a panel at RightsCon in San Francisco, a conference hosted by Access, an international human rights organization that defends and extends digital rights of users at risk around the world.

“What happened when you discovered your face on the front of Red Pepper?” I asked Lusimbo. “At that moment I felt weak, not because I was scared for being outed, I felt weak because I didn’t know what the reaction was going to be; the info was misleading. “When I logged onto Facebook I found so many hate messages. ‘If I see you I’m going to kill you. You are such a disappointment.’ I had to deactivate my Facebook account. My phone wouldn’t stop ringing. My father was very disappointed. He always said, be whoever you are, do what ever you do, but don’t be in the media and there I was being exposed.”

Authored By Paul Hunter – See the Full Story at Towleroad.com

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Daughter of Ugandan President Comes Out As Gay (UPDATE: Original Source Revealed As Prank!)

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

UPDATE: After doing some digging, it’s been determined that the original source article for the dissemination of the story (which can be found here) is from a satirical website (note the fact that the site’s name, “Abril Uno,” is Spanish for “April First”). Carry on, folks! Apologies, and remember: Always be careful with sources!

Diana Kamuntu, the daughter of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, has come out as gay during a live radio talk show interview.

Destiny Connects reports:

Kamuntu apparently came out during a radio talk show in Mbarara, Uganda last week. She said that although she loves her father unconditionally, she was revealing her sexuality in protest to the controversial anti-gay legislation her father had signed into law just days earlier.

 

“I am gay, I am homosexual. I have known this since I was a little girl. Also, I have been Christian all of my life, so I will not tolerate any law of this supposedly democratic nation, that will place hate on any person just because of what his or her sexual orientation happens to be,” Kamuntu is reported to have said.

The radio station which aired the live interview reportedly cut its feed seconds after the announcement. Codewit World News reports:

The radio host, James Kasirivu noticeably was in shock, and could not seemingly get words out of his mouth.

 

The live radio broadcast was abruptly shortened and was put off air after a few hours of repeated commercials.

Uganda: Things Go From Bad to Worse

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Uganda - Google Maps

from Google Maps

After President Museveni signed the anti gay bill yesterday, things have gotten rapidly worse for the country’s LGBT community.

Museveni, in addition to signing the bill, had some seriously f*cked up things to say about gays.

Pink News reports:

He said: “I have failed to understand that you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women and be attracted to a man.”

“That is a really serious matter. There is something really wrong with you,” he said. “Homosexuals are actually mercenaries. They are heterosexual people but because of money they say they are homosexuals. These are prostitutes because of money,” he said, asserting that he had taken the time to get scientific advice before signing off on the law.

No study has shown you can be homosexual by nature. That man can choose to love a man… is a matter of choice. After listening to the scientists, I got the facts. Can somebody be homosexual simply by nature? The answer is no.”

Describing oral sex as a “culture”, and the mouth as an “address”, he went on to say that it was “engineered for kissing”, and that the mouth was not meant for oral sex. He said: “One of the cultures that we detest is oral sex. The mouth is for picking food, not for sex. We know the address for sex. That address is not for sex,” he said. “The mouth is for eating not for sex. The mouth is engineered for kissing. It is not healthy. You can contract STDs. You push the mouth there, you can come back with worms and they enter your stomach because that is a wrong address. You can also contract Hepatitis B.”

Blaming the West for the presence of gay people in Uganda, he said “arrogant and careless Western groups” had been “coming in our schools and recruiting homosexuals into homosexuality and lesbianism“.

How do you respond to this level of ignorance, bigotry and idiocy? I’m seriously at a loss for words.

The law’s repercussions are starting to spread across the country.

The Advocate reports:

At least one gay person has been killed in Uganda since the nation’s president signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law Monday, imposing lifetime prison sentences for certain LGBT people and criminalizing anyone who supports LGBT equality or “promotes homosexuality.” Ugandan LGBT activists report that a suspected gay couple was attacked after a local tabloid published the names of 200 LGBT people labeled by the tabloid as “Uganda’s Top Homos.” One of the people was killed in the attack, while other prominent LGBT activists have gone into hiding to avoid becoming victims themselves.

Meanwhile, the arrests have begin too.

SDGLN reports:

Onziema, the gay activist, told AP that he had counted up to six arrests and said that more than a dozen Ugandan homosexuals had fled the country since December over safety concerns. Nicholas Opiyo, a Ugandan lawyer who runs a rights watchdog group called Chapter Four, predicted Tuesday that the new law would make life worse for Ugandan gays. “The enactment of the anti-homosexuality bill has only emboldened the … population in their rejection of anybody perceived to be gay or even friendly to gays,” he told AP. “These things are going to continue. They are going to get more frequent.”

The UN Chief is demanding that Uganda repeal the law.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday demanded that Uganda revise or repeal the law imposing prison sentences for the “crime” of homosexuality, adding to the growing international criticism of the measure signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Monday. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban cautioned that the law could fuel prejudice and encourage harassment against LGBT people, but offered UN support “for constructive dialogue.”

Norway is reducing its aid to Uganda.

Dot429 reports:

Norway has become the first country to impose consequences on Uganda for the enacting of its extremely harsh Anti-Homosexual Bill; on the grounds that the country is violating fundamental human rights, the government of Norway has announced it will withhold aid to Uganda until further notice. Since 1986, when its current president Yoweri Museveni came to power, Uganda has been the recipient of about 400 million kroner (about $73,694,800 USD) from Norway annually; according to Norwegian news site The Local, rather than cut aid entirely, Norway will lessen the aid by 50 million kroner (about $9,211,850).

The Netherlands and Denmark are making similar moves. Towleroad.com reports:

Three countries have made moves restricting AID to Uganda after President Museveni’s signing of the anti-gay bill, Al Jazeera reports: The Netherlands froze a $9.6m subsidy to Uganda’s legal system, arguing that “if the judiciary is to enforce such laws, we do not wish to assist that process”. Denmark and Norway said they would redirect around $8.5m each in government aid towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organisations.

South Africa’s ruling party, on the other hand, blocked a move to condemn Uganda.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da reports:

Mamba Online, a South African Blog reports as follows: The DA says that the ANC blocked its motion in Parliament on Tuesday to condemn the Anti-Homosexuality Bill signed into law by Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni on Monday. According to Sandy Kalyan, DA Deputy Chief Whip, ANC MPs heckled her when she raised the issue in the House, “illustrating their brazen insensitivity if not support for this shocking measure.” She said that the ANC in Parliament did not seek to propose any amendments to the motion but rejected it “in its entirety.”

Queerty notes that a simple Google search would have answered President Museveni’s questions about homosexuality, had be been serious.

According to Museveni, Ugandan scientists have told him that a person’s sexual orientation is a choice that can be affected by environment. No word on exactly who those scientists are, whether the actually believe that to be true, or if they even exist. If we had to guess, we would guess that it’s a case of experts just saying what they think powerful elected officials want to hear, whether it’s true or not. We wanted to give Museveni the benefit of the doubt. But clearly, he was not interested in what scientists really think. If he’d bothered to do a simple Google search, this is what he would have found.

Hit the link above to see the results.

It’s a terrible, terrible thing Uganda is doing to its LGBT community, and what’s just as sad is that they were encouraged, aided and abetted by US evangelicals intent on spreading their anti-gay views around the world.

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