The crusade against gays and lesbians in Uganda has ties to the United States

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Thom Hartmann A...
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As radical lawmakers in Uganda push for legislation that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, the Center for Constitutional Rights is bringing a lawsuit against American Christian evangelical leader Scott Lively for his role in the ongoing persecution.  They say that Lively has contacts within the Ugandan government – including with Parliamentarian David Bahati – who introduced the legislation to sentence gays to death. 

They also allege that Lively helped write the brutal legislation.  Lively denies the allegations, but as Pamela Spees – the lead attorney in the case against Lively said, referring to his role, “He is not just involved in it as somebody who comes in and talks. He’s somebody who has the plan for how to do this, and assists people with implementing it.”  Bigotry in America has gone global. 

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mdhess
mdhess's picture
This is much more insidious

This is much more insidious than even what Thom alludes to. This "kill the gays" bill has direct ties to high ranking GOP politicians through the infamous "Family" Christian fellowship in Washington.

AMY GOODMAN: Less talked about are the ties between the anti-gay measure and the far-right evangelical movement here in the United States. The author of the bill is David Bahati, a Ugandan lawmaker who has close ties to US organized evangelical groups that operate across several African countries. The groups are members of parliamentary prayer fellowships organized by the Family, one of the most powerful Christian conservative groups in Washington, DC.

The Family, also known as the Fellowship, is so highly secretive it didn’t even admit it existed until last year, when three political sex scandals, those of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, Nevada Senator John Ensign, and former Mississippi Congress member Chip Pickering, forced it into the open. All three men lived at one time in the Family’s clubhouse on Capitol Hill, known as the "C Street House."

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/10/21/anti_gay_fervor_in_uganda_tied

 

miksilvr
There was an hour long show

There was an hour long show last year about this ... I tried to google it today, but had no luck. It talked about these African anti-gay bills being written by or inspired by Americans, including a bill or two that wanted gays to be executed. I thought it might have been Vanguard from Current TV, or Spotlight from Link TV or FSTV; I don't think it was PBS. Anyone else remember this show, and know where to find it ?

Garrett78
Garrett78's picture
Jeff Sharlet wrote a

Jeff Sharlet wrote a well-known book all about The Family.

The US Empire plays a significant role in so many atrocities, and has supported so many ruthless dictatorships. And then both its officials and cheerleading public point to those very atrocities ("See, we don't stand for that here. God bless the United States of America.") to promote the notion that the US is the greatest, most benevolent, most exceptional nation ever. It's a nifty bit of propaganda. Sort of like the health insurance industry writing health insurance legislation prior to its lobbyists and cheerleading public bashing the "government takeover of health care" (PolitiFact's Lie of the Year winner in 2010).

In another thread, one of the numerous trolls talked about how, if the US is an empire, it's a really pathetic one compared to various brutal regimes. He doesn't seem to get that most of those modern-day, brutal regimes were made possible by the US.

It's all so ridiculous, transparent and inhumane. It's honestly difficult to sleep some nights.

mdhess
mdhess's picture
miksilvr wrote:There was an

miksilvr wrote:
There was an hour long show last year about this ... I tried to google it today, but had no luck. It talked about these African anti-gay bills being written by or inspired by Americans, including a bill or two that wanted gays to be executed. I thought it might have been Vanguard from Current TV, or Spotlight from Link TV or FSTV; I don't think it was PBS. Anyone else remember this show, and know where to find it ?

perhaps this is what you're looking for:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/missionaries-of-hate/

miksilvr
Yes ! ... thank you very

Yes ! ... thank you very much. For some reason, this did not show up during my search. This was an episode of Vanguard on Current TV, but I did not see it listed on their site ... censorship by the right, or, what ? Thank you.

DRC
DRC's picture
Rachel, in her infinite

Rachel, in her infinite patience and generosity, gave Sen. James Imhoff a full interview which began with a bunch of climate change denial bs.  When she pointed out that a chapter in his denial book incorrectly said that she had criticized him about that, she produced the tape to show that it had been about his association with the "Family" and Doug Coe and the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill.

He refused to take any responsibility for this while still defending the heretic, blasphemer Coe and the whole Family influence on Ugandan Xtians doing this foul stuff.  Part of the  expose was about these American Xtian creeps saying that while it was too late in America to stop the sin of homosexuality, they still could in Uganda.  My hatred for this stuff is beyond description.

Ralph Reed, Jack's friend in the Indian gambling screw job is right in the middle again.  How I wish Jesus were really coming back to judge.  Don't let me be alone in a room with Ralph or I will commit a capital crime.

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
Quote:As radical lawmakers in

Quote:
As radical lawmakers in Uganda push for legislation that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, the Center for Constitutional Rights is bringing a lawsuit against American Christian evangelical leader Scott Lively for his role in the ongoing persecution. They say that Lively has contacts within the Ugandan government – including with Parliamentarian David Bahati – who introduced the legislation to sentence gays to death.

This means trouble.

Or not.

You see, Thom, anti-gay laws have been part of the criminal code of Uganda and other former British colonies, for more than a century.

So an intelligent person would ask: how often are people convicted for homosexuality in Uganda? If the answer is: never, then you have to ask two things? 1) Are there no homosexuals in Uganda? 2) Why aren't people being prosecuted?

The answer is simple. Even though the British era criminal code may criminalise homosexuality, most of the countries received very progressive CONSTITUTIONS during the 1990s, long after British rule, which ended between 1960-1965.

So you have a situation where you have these progressive constitutions, with extensive anti-discrimination clauses whose language has been lifted straight out of United Nations Charter for Human Rights.

These are likely to rending even the EXISTING ANTI-GAY LAWS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

So if some fancy evangelical comes along, and pays legislators to introduce even more draconian anti-gay laws parliament, those laws are likely to be even more anti-constitutional.

The only purpose I can see, is to make Uganda seem far more anti-gay than it actually is. The real homophobia doesn't come from the law, it comes from the Christian Church.

So let's look at the Ugandan constitution:

Quote:
21. Equality and freedom from discrimination.

(1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

(2) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.

(3) For the purposes of this article, “discriminate” means to give different treatment to different persons attributable only or mainly to their respective descriptions by sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.

(4) Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from enacting laws that are necessary for—

(a) implementing policies and programmes aimed at redressing social, economic, educational or other imbalance in society; or

(b) making such provision as is required or authorised to be made under this Constitution; or

(c) providing for any matter acceptable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

(5) Nothing shall be taken to be inconsistent with this article which is allowed to be done under any provision of this Constitution.

Question: how is any 'kill the gays bill' consistent with Article 21 of the Ugandan Constitution?

Obviously, the second question is: have homosexuals been proteced by the Ugandan constitution before?

The answer is: yes, sort of.

On 12 September 2008, in a case against the Attorney General of Uganda, brought by GLBT activists Yvonne Oyoo and Juliet Mukasa, the High Court through High Court Judge Stella Arach set a precedent and stated affirmatively that at least articles 23, 24 and 27 of articles 20 to 45 of the Ugandan Constitution do apply to the GLBT community.

Human Rights Victory: Ugandan Transgender, Lesbian, and Gay human rights upheld in the high court of Uganda

If you really want to the details of Uganda's laws, you should try to contact Uganda Supreme Court Judge Stella Arach, or maybe the Uganda Law Library.

Hon. Lady Justice Stella Arach-Amoko, Deputy Principal Judge of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ)

Judge Stella Arach is also on the board of trustees of Human Rights Focus (HURIFO)

So, before anyone panics about the law in Uganda, first do some background research on what is or is not Constitutional in Uganda.

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
Keith Harmon Snow on

Keith Harmon Snow on STOPKONY2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCzLFnigMAk

mdhess
mdhess's picture
RC, who gives a shit about

RC, who gives a shit about what is or isn't "constitutional" in Uganda when people have already been incited to commit murder.  The issue goes beyond whether or not the law passes. But, in fact, in Uganda the government not only does not presently protect homosexuality but it actively seeks to extinguish it. There have already been murders because of the mania drummed up by American evangelicals.  Homophobia may be a legacy from colonial days but until recently the homophobia was contained to a general sort of disdainful attitude among the population (much like America until only recently).  There was no active campaign of hate and violence until the hatemongers from America showed up to foment it.

 "Homosexuality is already punishable by life imprisonment in Uganda"

http://allafrica.com/stories/201202280519.html

International Uproar over Uganda Anti-Gay Bill, Study Finds American Evangelicals Encouraging Homophobia

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/25/international_uproar_over_uganda_anti_gay

Uganda gay rights activist David Kato killed

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12295718

 Uganda newspaper publishes 'gay list,' calls for their hanging

  http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-20/world/uganda.gay.list_1_anti-gay-measure-david-bahati-uganda-newspaper?_s=PM:WORLD

Uganda editor publishes second list of gays in spite of attacks

http://digitaljournal.com/article/299659

DRC
DRC's picture
You know Roger, I could

You know Roger, I could appreciate your interest in Africa a lot more if you were not always willing to defend thugs and bigots because Americans might have a "dark continent" ignorance and prejudice.  In the case of the Xtian heretic Lively and the connection to the Ugandan regime by "the Family," there is good reason to be concerned.  Post-colonialism includes the toxicity of Christian Fundamentalism and its ignorance.  Along with Pat Robertson and blood diamond trafficking, we have some very bad missionary Evangelicalism causing a lot of crap.  Prejudice cannot be explained away.

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
mdhess, Of course there is

mdhess,

Of course there is anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, but I am talking about the law. We are talking about the introduction of a law, and it's enforcement by the police and the courts.

Who has been tried and convicted for homosexuality in Uganda?

Because if they were, they could appeal to the Supreme Court, and test Article 21 of the Constitution.

And with High Court judges like Stella Arach, they could win.

So let's have it.

And think this through. If they were successful on appeal, the anti-gay laws would officially become unconstitutional, and homosexuality would be legalized in Uganda.

Which is why I was frankly disappointed when international activists put pressure on the President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, to pardon the two 'gay married' activists, instead of letting the law run it's course. And in the process interject the President into the legal process.

Garrett78
Garrett78's picture
When a constitution says

When a constitution says "sex," it's referring to gender. Not sexual orientation.

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
Garrett78 wrote: When a

Garrett78 wrote:

When a constitution says "sex," it's referring to gender. Not sexual orientation.

Do you have a reference for that, because I am very interested in putting that point to rest.

Also, there is the spirit of the law, and the Constitution goes very far in trying to cover pretty much everyone.

If you have a reference that states that the Ugandan Constitution (or any constitution), or the UN Charter for Human Rights (from which the language is taken) specifies the meaning of the word 'sex', that would be very helpful. I e-mailed the UN, but didn't receive any answer (I guess they have more e-mails to contend with).

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
Also, if 'sex' means gender,

Also, if 'sex' means gender, it could easily include gender orientation - inclusiveness would be in the spirit of Article 21 of the Ugandan Constitution.

If you have a reference for 'sex' meaning gender, that would be great.

Garrett78
Garrett78's picture
My comment was said with more

My comment was said with more confidence than I intended. What I mean to say is that I'm pretty confident that "sex" is a reference to gender. When I've seen it on applications and other forms, I always put "M" for male. I don't put "S" for straight. I figured everyone else did the same.

And sexual orientation is not synonymous with gender orientation. Actually, I'm not sure what gender orientation really is, unless we're talking about those who might say, "I feel like a man stuck in a woman's body" or something along those lines. Or stereotypical gender roles, which doesn't have anything to do with orientation. Anyway, the gay and lesbian folks I know don't have that issue. A gay man is a man. A gay woman is a woman. A straight man is a man. A straight woman is a woman.

But, even if a constitution included sexual orientation, and not just sex and those other things, I wouldn't feel too confident that the constitution will be followed. Just as the existence of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights is clearly not preventing human rights abuses on a massive scale. A piece of paper can't do a whole lot on its own. Just like rhetoric isn't policy.

Roger Casement
Roger Casement's picture
Ultimately, whether the word

Ultimately, whether the word 'sex' includes sexual orientation could be moot, because of section (1) of Article 21 of the Ugandan Constitution:

Quote:
21. Equality and freedom from discrimination.

(1) All persons are equal before and under the law in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life and in every other respect and shall enjoy equal protection of the law.

(2) Without prejudice to clause (1) of this article, a person shall not be discriminated against on the ground of sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability.

So clause (1) is extremely inclusive (all persons, all spheres, every other respect).

And clause (2) starts with "without prejudice to clause (1)", in other words, clause (2) does not restrict the groups protected under clause (1).

So clause (1) almost demands that homosexuality is included in the discriminatory areas mentioned in clause (2).

So let's have an expert on the Ugandan, Commonwealth and UN constitutions and laws on.

It would make for a very interesting show.

Garrett78
Garrett78's picture
But not all actions by said

But not all actions by said persons are considered legal. Just as bank robbery is deemed a crime, it can be determined by bigots that homosexuality is a crime.

And, again, does it really matter that a constitution says such-and-such if the constitution is ignored without consequence for those who ignore it? Does the existence of the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights prevent governments (a body of individuals) and individual persons from getting away with horrific human rights abuses at what seems an ever-increasing rate?