Although I had heard from a friend last week about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that Uganda is currently considering, it was not until just now that I really read up on it.
According to the news post on IPS, this bill would not only make homosexuality illegal, it would make homosexuality punishable by death in some cases and life sentences in all others, punish homosexual supporters, and force family members, friends, teachers, and all other people to report suspicion of homosexuality (sounds like a repeat of Stalin’s Great Purge to me—how does one prove homosexuality?). This bill also criminalizes any help given to homosexuals (medically and educationally), therefore, it refuses homosexuals basic human rights.
What is additionally upsetting to me, as an American, is that this bill began as a result of a group of U.S. fundamentalist Christians berating homosexuality as a “threat to ‘family values’” at an event in Kampala. I do hope that these groups understand the effects their words will have on many, many lives; I also personally hold these individuals partially guilty for what is going to happen (mass murders of homosexuals and heterosexuals who are “turned in to” authorities). I cannot imagine this group had no idea what their claims would result in.
What is further terrifying is that this bill crosses country lines as Ugandans anywhere can face punishment.
While this started as a result of a concern for family values (apparently homosexuals cannot have children and therefore, the family ideal is destroyed), the bill in itself is a threat to families everywhere. First of all, forcing family members to oust each other to authorities for homosexual behavior (excuse me, suspicion of homosexual behavior) doesn’t necessarily promote a healthy family dynamic. Secondly, as in America and elsewhere, there are numerous examples of healthy families that include homosexual individuals—both homosexual parents and parents parenting homosexuals (and why do we need examples anyway? Shouldn’t this be common sense by now?). A bill such as this then does not protect families but, rather, is a threat to Ugandan families. In this way, it is a threat to all families everywhere and to all homosexuals everywhere (this destructive mentality is as contagious as H1N1).
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