March 31st, 2009
The campaign of forced public “outings” of alleged LGBT individuals have continued in Uganda, including allegations against a popular Catholic priest and gospel singer, among others:
In his remarks, [Paul] Kagaba also named an employee of a Kampala city hospital and a European residing on Entebbe road among the prominent gay promoters in the country.
Meanwhile, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) held a sparsely attended news conference to call for the protection of equal rights for that nation’s LGBT citizens:
Victor Mukasa, the coordinator of the Uganda Minority Sexual Rights group says the campaign against homosexuals in the country is based on wrong information that homosexuality is an acquired behavior which can be taught to people.
Mukasa says homosexuals are naturally born attracted to people of the same sex and do not “change like weather”. Mukasa says it is wrong for Langa and his group to accuse homosexuals of being in a campaign to recruit and change school children into homosexuality. He says these allegations are aimed at making Ugandans to hate homosexuals and force the government to become punish homosexuals.
One interesting detail from this Uganda Pulse article is this very obliquely stated allegation:
But the Family Life Network recently presented a group of former homosexuals who claimed they used to recruit students through offering them money and friendship. Mukasa says the people claiming to have been working to promote homosexuality in schools have been paid to talk bad about homosexuals in order to make Ugandans hate homosexuals, instead of appreciating their differences. [Emphases mine.]
This brings to light earlier allegations about George Oundo that I have heard privately from anonymous sources. Those private sources have told me that the widespread belief in Uganda’s LGBT community is that Oundo “switched sides” for financial gain.
As we’ve noted, the charge that gays are “recruiting” Ugandan children has been a recurrent them in this and past anti-gay campaigns. Oundo threw more fuel on that fire when he became a centerpiece for an anti-gay press conference carried live by three Ugandan television stations. At that press conference, Oundo claimed that after having been a gay activist, he is now — only five months later — heterosexual. He also claimed that during his time as an activist, he was paid by wealthy foreign activists to recruit children into homosexuality. If this were true, that would mean that Oundo admitted to having committed the crime of child sexual abuse. But that technical detail is being overlooked as Oundo threatens to publicly name private individuals from among Uganda’s beleaguered gay community.
We published some background information on Oundo’s transformation from gay activists to gay denouncer, which included several arrests and detentions by police and a surprise appearance in the hated Ugandan tabloid Red Pepper last October. That paper had led previous anti-gay vigilante campaigns by outing private gay citizens to employers, neighbors and police. The Red Pepperarticle included Oundo’s complaints that the gay community was refusing to provide financial assistance.
The private reports that I had received alleged that Oundo had come to believe that LGBT activism was a lucrative trade and he began demanding his cut, and they cite his appearance in the hated Red Pepper as a public gambit for payment. That allegation is certainly consistent with the main theme behind the Red Pepper article.
Now SMUG’s chairperson has gone on record with similar allegations, saying that Oundo’s turning away from the LGBT community has less to do with suddenly finding Jesus, and more to do with finding the highest bidder:
A confession by George Oundo and his claim that he has abandoned homosexuality seems to be nothing more than him trying to get back at the LGBTI movement in Uganda since he accuses the leaders of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) of neglecting him and his friend when they were in need.
…Oundo also said that the other eight men who confessed are people who also have grievances with the LGBTI movement in Uganda.
…Frank Mugisha, Chairperson of SMUG said that George Oundo expected too much from the LGBTI movement.
“It is bad that he is using his sexual orientation for selfish gains. When his demands were not met by the LGBTI community, he sought a new tactic. We believe he has not changed he is still gay and will always be, it is a matter of time before we will all find out that he is lying”, Mugisha concluded.
Update: Minutes after posting this, an email newsletter from SMUG landed in my inbox. It contained this update:
The situation is still hostile, minutes after holding our press conference, the anti gay religious groups with ex-gay Ouudo George also held a press conference. In the press conference they ‘outed’ more LGBTI people, our partners and uttered continuous false accusations, insults and threats.
The outings and threats continue…
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