I try to be very careful of how I critique issues in other countries and cultural contexts so I will keep this very short and to the point. But I am deeply disturbed by the anti-gay law that will most likely pass in Uganda.
Uganda’s parliamentary speaker said she wanted to pass as a “Christmas gift” for Ugandans an anti-gay law, which rights groups have criticized for its draconian penalties against homosexuals.
The bill had initially proposed the death penalty for gays in the conservative east African country but still presents an array of jail terms for convicted homosexuals, including life imprisonment in certain circumstances.
Existing legislation already outlaws gay sex. The new bill prohibits the “promotion” of gay rights and punishes anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”.
Kadaga said it was still possible to pass the bill this year although there was little time remaining before the House went on recess for Christmas holidays.
“It’s very, very possible, we can do it,” Kadaga said.
While we fight for marriage equality in the US, gay Ugandans are hoping for the right to exist. I can not speak for them, but this blatant violation of human rights is reckless and counterproductive. It is based on dangerous misconceptions about queer people. It disenfranchises and criminalizes people who could otherwise contribute positively to their community. It threatens the lives of many who were already experiencing discrimination.
For now, we can only hope for the best and align ourselves in solidarity.