January 7th, 2010
The State Minister for Investments, Mr Aston Kajara, yesterday said the government was looking at the Bill with the possibility of withdrawing it. “The government\’s official position is that we have enough laws to cover homosexuality acts,” Mr Kajara said. “Government did not sponsor this Bill. It is a private member\’s Bill. The government is studying it and we may talk to the honourable Member of Parliament (David Bahati) to consider withdrawing it.”
On December 11, a senior adviser to President Yoweri Museveni published an 0p-ed in the state-owned New Vision calling on Parliament to drop the bill. At the time, we considered that a very encouraging sign, since nothing gets printed in New Vision unless it has some backing from within the government. That followed an op-ed posted just a few days earlier on the Uganda Media Centre web site, which normally operates as an official governmental clearing house for press statements. That op-ed said that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was not needed and that Parliament had other more important things to worry about.
Since then, there have been reports in outside media that others within the government were considering dropping the death penalty, but keeping other aspects of the wide-ranging and draconian bill intact. Some of those same reports were reported in Uganda’s independent press, but suggestions that the bill would be dropped have not been made publicly by members of Uganda’s government to Ugandan press. Until now, which is why this may well be a very significant development.
This doesn’t mean the bill is dead. Ardent supporters of the Bill vow a nationwide rally on January 19. It has not been withdrawn, but it is encouraging that a member of Moseveni’s cabinet has given the government’s “official position” that the bill is not needed.
Update: Geoff Magga at Afrik.com also reports on Kajara’s statement. He also has this from Kajara, indicating that Uganda’s reputation is suffering among foreign investors:
“We are not happy with what is being said about Uganda because of the anti gay bill. Ever since the anti-gay bill was tabled, there has been outcries not only here but from allover the world against it. This is likely to affect the flow of foreign investors into the country,” Aston Kajara said.
The BBC has also picked up on the story, citing AFP as a source. But of course that is not the full story. Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsabe Buturo, who is also a member of the secretive American evangelical group known as The Family, insists that the bill will be ready for Parliamentary debate within the next three weeks.
Update: As I said, the bill is not dead. MP David Bahati, who introduced the legislation as a private member’s bill, refuses to budge.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.