David Bahati Is A Boy Scout — And Other Examples of Ugandans Talking About Gay People
December 15th, 2009
A BTB reader from Uganda sent some fascinating clips from the independent Daily Monitor, saying “people are actually talking and thinking, so… that’s another positive development.” I hope he’s right. The items he sent give us some indication of the kind of talking and thinking that is taking place as a result of the controversy surrounding the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Act.
The first item shows the negativity surrounding the discussion, with an article in yesterday’s Daily Monitor being a great example of how gay people in Uganda are blamed for just about everything including the political misfortunes of some top leaders. The Monitor runs a special feature called “Funny You Should Ask…” and yesterday Edwin Nuwagaba interviewed Mike Mukula, a former state Minister for Health. So who’s to blame for Mukula being identified as one of the most corrupt people in Uganda? Not political opponents, and of course not himself because he’s obviously a very innocent and virtuous politician. It’s gay people:
Don’t you feel ashamed after being named in the book of Shame and Fame as one of the most corrupt people in Uganda?
I don’t, because first of all that report is backed by Action Aid and it has support of the gay community. It should have been scientific that the people who have been convicted should have been the ones to be named and shamed. What happens if one is cleared by the Supreme Court? Do they go to Google and clear his image? I am a strong anti corruption crusader and tI think corruption should be fought.
So do you want to say that the gay people are against you?
Uganda is now under attack by the gay community globally, so people need to understand that prominent people in government will be taken on. This is a storm in a tea cup. It has got political origins. Corruption is a national and global matter it should never be used to demonize individuals.
But for balance, The Sunday Monitor also carried a column by Robert Kalumba, asking “Is the Church hypocritical when it comes to homosexuality?” That article recounts the various sex scandals in the Catholic Church, as well as Ted Haggard’s fall from grace along with a long line of American and Ugandan pastors that have been accused of sexual misconduct or have been forced to resign from their churches due to sex scandals. Kalumba has detected a glaring double standard:
So, according to the Bible, like homosexuality, divorce among other “vices” is forbidden. So why has the famous televangelist Pastor Juanita Bynum divorced her husband Bishop Weeks, who actually is planning to get married for the third time? Why isn’t the church throwing Mark’s verse to all church divorcees that fill their pews on Sundays? Why don’t they encourage women whose dead husbands have left no male heirs to engage in sex orgies with their brothers-in-law?
Some will argue that those biblical texts are taken out of context but the same can be said about verses that seem to denounce homosexuality.
Our reader says that the print version of this column had a cartoon of two men kissing, a rarity for Ugandan media.
In other news, Ugandan member of Parliament David Bahati, in addition to being the author of a bill imposing the penalty of death by hanging on LGBT people and criminalizing anyone who knows or associates with them, is also the chairman of the Uganda Scouts Board. There’s photo in yesterday’s Daily Monitor of Bahati receiving a scouting kerchief during a East African Scouting conference held in Kampala last Friday. We know that the Boy Scouts of America bans gays from the organization, and will drum out anyone who comes out. Given Bahati’s proposal for LGBT people, I wonder if Uganda’s scouts can earn a merit badge in tying nooses.