Yesterday South African anti-apartheid activist and former archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote an op-ed urging members of the Uganda parliament to reject the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. While the new legislation no longerseeks to punish “offenders” with the death penalty, jail terms up to life in prison will await those found guilty of engaging in queer sex or “promot[ing] gay culture.”
Tutu’s piece, published in the Daily Monitor, utilizes a religious argument against discrimination and compares contemporary homophobia to colonial racism. While he places a conservative emphasis on tolerance—a far cry from true acceptance or celebration of queer life—Tutu still presents a pretty radical idea of interdependency. He writes:
One thing that Ugandan legislators should know is that God does not discriminate among members of our family. God does not say black is better than white, or tall is better than short, or football players are better than basketball players, or Christians are better than Muslims… or gay is better than straight. No. God says love one another; love your neighbour. God is for freedom, equality and love.
…The ideology of racial superiority that was once used to justify the colonisation of our lands is part of our recent history. Today, we face a new challenge. We must overcome the notion that sexual orientation defines one’s identity or determines one’s station in life – or unjustly elevates one class of people over another.
In case you were feeling too cheery, though, the reader discussion following the article serves as yet another reminder of the cardinal rule for Staying Sane on the (Non-Feminist, Unmoderated) Internet: never, ever read the comments.