Must-see TV: Rachel Maddow interviews author of Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill

Last night, The Rachel Maddow Show aired the first half on an interview with David Bahati, the Ugandan legislator who introduced the bill that would make homosexuality a capital crime. Bahati, as Maddow has reported on many times this year, is connected to The Family, the secretive religious organization that claims Sen. Jim Inhofe (R, OK) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK) among its many conservative members.

As is the case when she goes head to head with people she strongly disagrees with, Maddow politely pulled no punches. The second half of the interview will air tonight. You can download the podcast for free on iTunes, or you can watch it on the TRMS site. The Maddow Blog is also publishing chunks of transcript from last night, and I assume they will do the same for tonight’s interview. Laura Conaway at the Maddow Blog said of the interview:

To me, one of the most amazing things about that conversation is that it’s able to happen at all — that Mr. Bahati’s able to say to her, “I think the bottom line, Rachel, is to make sure that we protect the children,” and she can say to him, “I think the international community is trying to decide whether or not Uganda is going to become an international pariah, a rogue state, excluded from the community of nations because you’re singling out a minority among your population for treatment that frankly is not the direction that the rest of the world is going.” They can say those things to each other and then keep talking. It’s amazing.

This issue is a matter of basic human rights, and is essential to our understanding of how American influence, and particularly conservative American influence, affects the granting and denial of those human rights around the world. This interview an example of what it looks like when we confront that reality. You do not want to miss it.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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