New Movements in Uganda And Kenya Prove Anti-Gay Laws Are Never Dead In Africa

stopwitchhuntinggayugandansJust two weeks ago, there was great news coming out of Uganda: a court struck down the county’s jail-the-gay law, albeit on a technicality. The good news was short-lived: a move is already underway to reinstate the law. Worse still, Kenya has decided that to go one further and is considering a bill that would legalizing stoning gays to death.

The Kenya bill is just starting to gain momentum. The Republican Liberty Party has proposed making homosexuality a capital offense or at a minimum worthy of life in prison. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill would reserve the death penalty for non-Kenyans, but would broadly criminalize anything gay under the guise of “protecting the children.”

In a touch that seems directly lifted from the American evangelicals who have been promoting antigay hatred in Africa, the proposal also argues that sexual orientation is not an inborn characteristic.

Meanwhile, Uganda is shooting for a kinder, gentler homophobia. Whether or not Uganda President Yoweri Museveni was given a lecture by President Obama during his recent visit to the White House, he seems to be acknowledging, in a warped way, Western concerns. 

“We agreed to come up with a new version that doesn’t hurt our Western friends but also protects Ugandans,” Medard Bitekyerezo, a ruling party lawmaker, said.

What that means is a bill that would not criminalize consensual homosexual sex between adults, but that would make it illegal to “recruit” or to exploit economically vulnerable men. In addition, the law would institutionalize long-discredited homophobic myths, giving the government imprimatur to antigay attitudes in the culture.

That will gladden the heart of Scott Lively, our own homegrown homophobe, who has been tireless in his promotion of antigay legislation around the world. Of course, there’s still that pesky matter of the crimes-against-humanity lawsuit that Lively is facing for his work in Uganda. Of course, that’s what happens when you meddle with laws. Sometimes they come back to bite you.


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  • Stache99

    “Republican Liberty Party” Ha. There’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one.

    YOWERI MUSEVENI has seen his scamming off of the financial aid to the country getting reduced. This is all about show and greed by these pigs.

  • Jamal

    No surprise, my people are ignorantly superstitious
    and blindly religious.(mainly Christian and Catholic
    due to colonialism, and homophobic settlers)There is no room for dispelling myths
    and stereotypes about homosexuality when systematic
    oppression is involved. I wish that they would get as riled
    up about other issues the way they do about gays.
    Stop blaming us for AIDS and stereotyping us as pedophiles,
    when heterosexuals are just as guilty if not more.
    How many young baby girls were murdered
    because African men thought they could find an AIDS
    cure by raping them? Oh but we’re gonna pretend like that
    didn’t happen huh? Blame the gays for everything,
    shame on those gays for trying to live in peace!
    That’s propaganda, we should stone them!
    LIKE GET REAL!!!!!

  • jd2222248

    I will say it again, gays in America think they have it rough. I live in the Middle East, death to gays is also legal.

  • vive

    The headline is r*cist (why is this word not allowed?). South Africa had gay marriage long before the U.S. and protects gay rights in its constitution.

    (How is the first comment I post in a day “too quickly”?)

  • Jay John

    Open discussion about sexuality in Africa really began with the advent of AIDS, out of sheer necessity. Before then, African societies, like much of the rest of the world, were quite conservative with regards to sexual matters. But sex is still an uncomfortable subject for us, and thus, forcing us to talk about it so often and so openly, is, in many ways, a form of cultural brutality. Of course, homosexuality and gayness in general, has always been a part of our society, but like everything else sexual, it was accommodated in a non discursive manner. That way, nothing was turned into a controversy.

    With the advent of commercial, ‘issue based’ religion from the west into our societies, we are having to adjust ourselves quickly to what we have never been comfortable with, which is open discussion of what Africa has always understood to be private matters. Needless to say, and for public consumption, every stereotype is going to ‘come out’ of the closet, with potentially disastrous consequences. Who are the winners in all of this? Those people whose interests rest on their proven capacity to stir up a controversy, namely, commercial religionists, politicians, the media, and to a lesser extent, cultural chauvinists.

    The ‘anti gay’ law in Uganda, like much else, is a big unedifying circus. There is no merit in what either side in the debacle has to offer because neither side has actually taken the time to acknowledge that this issue, has little or nothing to do with the basic struggles and realities of the average person in Africa. Indeed, it is a sign of just how embittered and self centered the western world has become, that it finds cheap victory in imposing its domestic narratives on societies that in every other sense, it describes and considers as 3rd world.

    Think about it, Uganda spends on average $7 per child annually on education. So why would anyone in the west expect an evolved discussion on gay rights? Is that even fair? This whole thing is actually about unexamined and extraordinary western vanity, and projected western insecurity. It is about carelessly rampaging across the world, spreading ‘the gospel’ of self centered western disharmony, and dragging innocent, desperate peoples into confrontations that they are not so well equipped to deal with yet, in a more sophisticate manner. In the end, it produces the desired effect. Africans who give the ‘wrong’ answers, and a western world which can then mock, chastise, and gloat with self righteousness. What an achievement!!!

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