November 30, 2009

The fuck did you say?: Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill

Right, well I didn't really want to face this because it is quite literally like staring at the yellow sign and I've been driven up about 5 or 6 walls now as it is. And you all know or should know just how I fail about the utter failure of us as a species and then THIS SHIT last week. So I thought I'd try a go at it at least once, let's see how I do:

I'll link you to ONTD_P because it's pretty extensive but let's review this shall we? Bear with me as I can't give you the benefit of cuts or anything.



APRIL 20, 2009



1. The Principle

The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between people of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions as healthy, normal or an acceptable lifestyle, including in the public schools, through or with the support of any government entity in Uganda or any non- governmental organization inside or outside the country.

In other words, protecting the traditional family from the evils of homosexuality. If you live in the United States and so happen to be gay/pay attention, you're probably very familiar with this already only this is quite serious and government sanctioned. Therefore horrifying.

It goes on:

Research indicates that the homosexuality has a variety of negative consequences including higher incidences of violence, sexually transmitted diseases, and use of drugs.

[citation fucking needed]

The higher incidence of separation and break-up in homosexual relationships also creates a highly unstable environment for children raised by homosexuals through adoption or otherwise, and can have profound psychological consequences on those children. In addition, the promotion of homosexual behavior undermines our traditional family values.

Given Uganda’s historical, legal, cultural and religious values which maintain that the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman is the basic unit of society. This Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family. These threats include: redefining human rights to elevate homosexual and transgender behavior as legally protected categories of people.

My other favorite part (you'll see the rest) because it basically boils down to, as usual, denying a marginalized group their humanity because they're a threat to you. How? Different!

This legislation is aimed at halting the advance of the “sexual rights” agenda, which seeks to establish additional legally protected classes based on sexual preferences and behaviors, as well as claims that people have rights based on these preferences and behaviors. Sexual rights activists have created new euphemisms to promote this agenda such as “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “sexual minorities” and “sexual rights.”

This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic and that people who experience this mental disorder can and have changed to a heterosexual orientation. It also recognizes that because homosexuals are not born that way, but develop this disorder based on experiences and environmental conditions, it is preventable, especially among young people who are most vulnerable to recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle.

The Republic of Uganda needs comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect our cultural, legal, religious, and traditional family values against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on Uganda.

There is also need to protect our children and youths who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexuals to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care, or otherwise.

2. Defects in the existing law.

This legislation is designed to fill the gaps in the provisions of the constitution of Uganda and the penal code Act by establishing that, in Uganda, marriage is only between a man and a woman and that no other sexual unions or relationships will be recognized by the government.

The Penal Code Act (Cap 20) does not directly address this issue of homosexuality. It instead talks about unnatural offenses under section 145. This section does not specifically talk about homosexuality as an offense. It does not even have any reference to homosexuality. Not surprisingly the Act does not have a definition for homosexuality in the definition section.

The Penal Code Act does not explicitly address the issue of same sex unions and gender identity disorders which are damaging the social fabric of our nation at an alarming rate. There are no provisions in the Penal Code Act panelizing the procurement, promotion, disseminating literature and other forms of report for the offenses of homosexuality hence the need for legislation to provide for charging, investigating, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing of offenders on the above law. There is need for equal treatment of man and woman before the law in regard to homosexual offenses.

This legislation comes to complement and supplement the provisions of the Constitution of Uganda and the Penal Code Act by not only criminalizing same sex marriages but same -sex sexual acts and other related acts.

I'll let you read the rest of that without my commentary at the link up top. If you've come this far you may be thinking, "This shit CAN NOT be reality. I mean...what?"

Or some variant of that. Maybe that's just my mind. But let me show you the "objectives" of the bill:

3.1. The objectives of the Bill

The objectives of the Bill are:

(a) To protect marriage as that only between a man and a woman in Uganda;

Let me just get this out of the way: I'm really tired of the notion that marriage is some sacred cow that needs defending. It needs exactly not that, it needs redefining. Why? I mean, we basically redefine what marriage means every other decade to century, mostly to fit privileged male and/or heterosexist needs and, really, depending on who you ask no one seems to mind this terribly (that are still alive and in recent memory anyway). But same sex couples? Oh noes! Fuck this noise. You aren't protecting marriage.

Okay, resume:

(b) To prohibit homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family;

(c) To safeguard the health of Ugandan citizens from the negative effects of homosexuality and related practices;

Still haven't seen any evidence of this, get back at me.

(d) To establish progressive legislation protective of the traditional family that can serve as a model for other countries;

(e) To prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act;

(f) To ensure that no international instruments to which Uganda is already a party can be interpreted or applied in Uganda in a way that was never intended at the time the document was created;

(e) To withdraw from any international agreements to which Uganda already is a party, or file reservations to them, which are re-interpreted to include protection for homosexual behavior, or that promote same-sex marriage, or that call for the promotion or teaching about homosexuality as being healthy, normal, or an acceptable lifestyle choice, or that seek to establish sexual behavior, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or sexual minorities as legally protected categories of people; and

(f) To prohibit Uganda from becoming a party to any new international instruments that expressly include protection for homosexual behavior; promote same-sex marriage; call for the promotion or teaching about homosexuality or homosexual relations as being healthy, normal, or an acceptable lifestyle choice; and/or seek to establish sexual behavior, sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual minorities as legally protected categories of people

Well this is a damn mess. And that's only the beginning of the bill--I'm sure you've heard by now that the bill prohibits homosexuality as if one could just quit being gay and other such unnatural behaviors and put gays infected with HIV TO. DEATH.



Let alone if you, knowing anyone that is gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, the hell ever, if you do not call the police on this person you AND that person will be jailed. Why? Because LGBT is a crime! I--what?

Oh you must be screaming by now and/or staring at your screen numbly but no, we're not finished yet. Let me introduce my other favorite part of the bill:

4. Aggravated homosexuality

(1) Any person who commits the offense mentioned in section 3 above with another person who is below the age of 18 years in any of the circumstances specified in sub-section (2) of this section commits the offense and on conviction is liable to suffer death.
(2) The circumstances referred to in sub-section (1) are as follows: -
(a) Where the person against whom the offense is committed is below the age of 14;
(b) Where the offender is infected with HIV;
(c) Where the offender is a parent or guardian or a person in authority over, the person against whom the offense is committed;
(d) Where the victim of the offense is a person with disability; or
(e) Where the offender is a serial offender.

(3) Any person who attempts to commit the offense of homosexuality with another person below 18 years in any of the circumstances specifies in sub-section (2), commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
(4) Where a person is charged with the offense under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.
(5) Any person who without the consent of an adult victim being under their authority or not commits the offense mentioned in this section

And *thud*

Timely enough I just swiped forwarded article from SexGenderBody addressing some of these, er, more unsavory points--stop screaming a minute I can't hear myself think--and here you go:

Uganda hits back over gay criticism

The government yesterday responded strongly to international criticism over the proposed anti-gay law, saying the process would continue uninterrupted.

Speaker Edward Sekandi told Daily Monitor that it was necessary “to do whatever we can to stop” homosexual liaisons in Uganda. “We don’t support that practice,” Mr Sekandi said yesterday.

...oh. I tricked myself into thinking this would be the exact opposite of what it is. Damn.

But international pressure was mounting on Uganda to rethink a law that would make this country one of the most dangerous places for gay people.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean nation that is hosting the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reportedly raised the issue with President Museveni. And the Canadian government, which is conservative, reportedly described the proposed law as “reprehensible, vile and hateful”.

Even CONSERVATIVES. IN CANADA. Have STANDARDS! Thanks for being decent.

“At the Commonwealth summit, we’ll convey Canada’s position that if that law is in fact passed, Canada would consider it unacceptable and a gross infringement of human rights in Uganda,” said Peter Kent, Canada’s minister of state for foreign affairs, according to a recent report in The Canadian Press.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), now before the House’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, proposes life imprisonment for acts of homosexuality and introduces a serious crime called “aggravated homosexuality”.

According to the proposed law, offenders must face death if they have sex with a minor or a disabled person, or are found to have infected their partners with HIV. The proposed law, if passed in its current shape, would also punish attempted homosexuality as well as the failure of a third party to inform the authorities of homosexual activity

And you can continue reading but I think you've got the gist. Also do not peek at the comments. Don't even.

In any case if you're despairing and wondering what to do, I really have no idea at this moment other than to keep the pressure & spotlight on this fucked up fuckedupedness and hope someone has an epiphany or sees the light or just backs away from the bill really quickly in general. What a massive human rights violation and basic dignity this is.

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