int'l affairs

The 450,000 Signatures Opposing Uganda’s Kill The Gays Bill Don’t Matter One Bit

Spearheaded by the human rights group Avaaz and helped by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the Ugandan parliament is receiving some 450,000 signatures collected online condemning the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. That’s a pretty impressive feat. It also won’t matter much at all.

Uganda’s lawmakers have made clear that they don’t care what the world says about how it governs, especially some silly fags with computers. In fact, the ethnocentrism of Uganda’s MPs is what’s bolstering support for the Kill The Gays bill in the first place; homosexuality is a Western problem, they believe, which is being imported by evil gays in Europe. The bill’s very purpose is to crack down on this.

And the last thing lawmakers — particularly David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor — are going to do is react kindly to nearly a half million people thinking they’re doing the wrong thing.

It’s a nice sentiment, gathering international support against what’s clearly an attempt to legalize human rights violations. But those signatures are best delivered to the lawmakers in the signers’ home countries, who can best put pressure on Uganda’s lawmakers. Sending — via what, email? — those names to Parliament could have the reverse effect: Inciting lawmakers to push the legislation through even faster, because nefarious outsiders are trying to infringe on the country’s sovereignty.

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  • Dionte

    These are some of the faces of evil, to think I once had sympathy for these people, no more.

  • Brent

    Ugandan activists held a 15-minute meeting today with the Speaker, and they presented him with the petition in person. You can read about it here, with pics:

  • A now confused John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    Roll eyes. Don’t agree with Queerty.

    What needs to happen is stopping Aid. If you claim they want take kindly to people telling them not to kill people but yet they will take your money?

    I don’t get it.

    What is globalisation? What is the UN?

    Nothing if one shouldn’t do anything a la Queerty!

    But if this was happening in NY…one bets you guys would be all over it getting people to sign petitions!

  • Larry

    I’m not optimistic that the politicians of Uganda will change their minds because of the petition signatures. Bahati, Ssempa & Co. believe in the self-evident righteousness of what they are doing, so any appeal to reason, morality or even kindness will do little more than strengthen their resolve. These are, to put it simply, bloodthirsty, evil men who are devoid of human feeling or compassion.

    I would say that the signatures may make ordinary Ugandans reluctant to see this go forward if it means the possibility of not getting aid and seeing their country become an international pariah, but I’m not completely hopeful. For one, if Western countries cut off aid, the Ugandans will probably go crying to the Chinese, who would gladly give aid to even the worst regimes if it helps their economic interests. Second, according to UN regulations, singling out gays for extermination doesn’t fit the definition of “genocide” (because it doesn’t include sexual orientation), so I don’t see much more than nominal opposition from other countries, and certainly not from most African and Middle Eastern countries.

    I think the best thing we can do is try to get GLBT Ugandans out of that country and get them asylum here.

  • trickstertara

    They don’t like European involvement in their countries human rights policies? America either? No?

    Let’s see how much they object to our interference when we cut their funding. Pull PEPFAR out of there, too. Killing and imprisoning gay people won’t stop the spread of AIDS in a nation where condom use is heavily stigmatized and the western virtue of abstinence is a virtual impossibility (it certainly hasn’t passed muster in America or anywhere else).

    If they don’t want our help, then let’s take it back.

  • paulcanning

    Maybe the petition on its own makes no difference but coupled with all the other international pressure it certainly does.

    Why do you think there’s been discussion of amending the bill, dropping the death penalty? Internal Ugandan pressure?

    Museveni himself has commented on it and – what’s more important – Ugandan LGBT activists are *asking for the international pressure.

    Let’s not forget either that the reasons for the bill existing are another sort of international pressure: the legacy of Pepfar and the activism of non-Ugandan evangelicals.

    Do Uganda’s leaders want to be internationally isolated, to find it harder to attract investment, to drive out NGOs and charities? The international pressure makes it very clear to them that that’s the choice they’re making.

  • terrwill

    If they are so damm against any Western influence how bout if we cease sending the <half a billion dollars per year in foreign aid the United States sends to these subhuman hate filled scumbags???

  • ewe

    Dumb dumber dumberer dumbest. These people are ignorantly storming down the road of EVIL.

  • schlukitz

    Under PEPFAR, Uganda received nearly $90.8 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2004, more than $148.4 million in FY 2005, approximately $169.9 million in FY 2006, and $236.6 million in FY 2007 to support a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment program. PEPFAR is providing $283.6 million in FY 2008.

  • A now confused John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    I just wish you Americans didn’t go to Africa in the first place with all this beautiful hate stuff.

  • Jadis

    Of course signatures don’t matter. What would make a difference are the following:

    – Withdrawal of aid money and Western doctors
    – Sanctions, especially for military and police hardware
    – Freezing all Ugandan assets abroad
    – Airlifting queers from the country
    – Printing fake Ugandan money to create an inflationary spiral
    – Outright invasion

    I would have suggested providing money and weapons to one of the rebel groups, but I imagine that they’re even worse.

  • Totakikay

    I wish I could save and even airlift LGBT Ugandans and other LGBT people from countries that harshly oppress them. I am praying they will stay safe, for now, and find asylum. I would feel happy if they could find asylum in California, USA where I live and have the law protect them.

  • Jadis

    We must pressure our respective governments to recognize and accept LGBT Ugandans (as well Saudis, Sudanese, Yemeni, Jamaican, etc) as legitimate refugees.

    If the law passes, we need to think about an underground railroad, maybe by buying plane tickets to get them out. We can’t just leave them to be torn apart by howling mobs.

  • Storm Christopher

    There’s an effort underway to boycott all coffee and tea from Uganda and Kenya. Boycott the companies and businesses that sell and distribute coffee from these countries. Coffee and tea are the largest exports from these countries. Money and their wallets are the only things that will make an impact.

  • paulcanning

    Who is organising a boycott? Are lesbians and gays from those countries asking for this?

    For one thing the situation in Kenya and Uganda are completely different. In Kenya, yes there was a mob attack in one small town on the coast but there is also organisation of LGBT and they are supported by many human rights and civil society groups. There is no move to change the law, infact there is no move to enforce the law.

    This is so dumb. You may as well boycott everything from the whole of Africa, minus South Africa (and even there we have problems). Or how about boycott products made from Iraqi oil?

    US pressure which led to Obama and Clinton’s condemnations, plus those of other leaders have already led the political rulers in Uganda to reconsider. They are talking and thinking about the consequences of being internationally isolated.

  • Darrell6tt

    “KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – Landslides in a mountainous region of Uganda killed at least 43 people overnight and left more than 100 others missing in the East African nation, a police commander said Tuesday.”

    Is this God’s punishment for Uganda’s anti-gay attitudes?

  • Michael P.

    It is laughable how gays portray themselves to be these loving people, however, want to inflict suffering on a people who have bigger issues than accepting a lifestyle. Because being gay is more important than starvation and healthy living conditions. But I assume you don’t believe the bible’s teachings of turning the other cheek. You people here need to remember, that there are some that practice your lifestyle in this country, so cutting off aide, you are condoning the murder of your own kind, so you’re no better than the rest of “us”.

  • tazz

    Being gay is not a “lifestyle”, it’s part of life.

    I know you religious idiots love pushing the idea of it being a choice and everything but at some point you’ll hit an epiphany and understand that logic and rationale have much more validity than indoctrination and stupidity.

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