Ugandan Lawmaker Would Kill His Own Gay Son

Jim Burroway

February 19th, 2010

Ugandan MP Otto Odonga

Ugandan MP Otto Odonga

Kaj Hasselriis, writing for Canada’s Xtra, reports on a human rights forum held in Kampala this morning in which a Ugandan Member of Parliament declared that he would kill his own son if he were gay.

The forum, Human Rights and Sexual Orientation, witnessed this exchange between its keynote speaker and chair of neighboring Kenya’s Human Rights Commission Makai Mutua, and MP Otto Odonga, who argued in favor of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill:

“I am baffled by the kind of hatred you spew against gay people,” Mutua said, “including your desire to be a hangman. Would you apply to be a hangman if the person to be hanged were your son?”

When Odonga nodded yes, Mutua said, “There is something deeply wrong with you.”

MP Christopher Kibanzanga also spoke out against LGBT people, and expressed bewilderment over the notion of bisexuals. “Who are bisexuals?”, he asked. “What do they do? Has it just been imported into Africa?”

Other MP’s were reportedly in the invitation-only audience of about eighty people, but they remained unidentified and refused to speak. Pro-LGBT advocates were also in attendance but, according to Xtra, they remained silent.

The task of defending Uganda’s LGBT citizens apparently fell to Mutua and a leader of an African women’s advocacy group. Mutua reportedly stole the show when he sharply rebuked those pushing for Uganda’s draconian anti-gay proposals, saying, “It’s important that we all try to expose ourselves to knowledge, to keep on growing. People who express extremist views are, in my view, always the ones who have read the least.”

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

David C.

February 19th, 2010

“Would you apply to be a hangman if the person to be hanged were your son?”

When Odonga nodded yes, Mutua said, “There is something deeply wrong with you.”

Obviously, there are a lot of people in Uganda—and elsewhere in Africa—that have something “deeply wrong” with themselves. Clearly Makai Mutua has that part right along with:

“People who express extremist views are, in my view, always the ones who have read the least.”

John

February 19th, 2010

Ugandans weren’t willing to publicly defend or oppose this legislation. These people understand this law and what it means better than any foreigner. They understand that this law isn’t really about gay people at all. It was concieved to be used against opponents of the Ugandan dictator.

None of them are really sure what is going to happen to this law now that it has become an international headache for the regime. It is all up to Museveni, since he is the dictator. There is no reason for them to stick their neck out one way or the other until it is totally clear what Museveni is going to do. If they value their jobs, homes and liberty, they will fall into line regardless of what Museveni decides.

David C.

February 19th, 2010

They understand that this law isn’t really about gay people at all. It was concieved to be used against opponents of the Ugandan dictator.

This has been clear for some time now. Which is why it is all the more important for the international community to maintain the pressure it is applying to keep such a weapon from becoming operational.

If they value their jobs, homes and liberty, they will fall into line regardless of what Museveni decides.

And the people of Uganda need to keep in mind that such tyrants do not stop with one out-group, but will persist until they themselves are destroyed by their tyranny along with all of those appeasers that played into the game of being pitted one against another.

gayuganda

February 20th, 2010

Hey,

For the defence of Ugandan homosexuals, we actually did speak.

Val Kalende gave a very powerful speech, on which Odonga Otto commented that if it was not for the bill, we would not be coming out of the closet.

As for Odonga Otto, Mutua eviscerated him very, very nicely. When a master is doing the job, we less equal mortals just stand back and watch the dissection. And, it was indeed worth watching!

Regan DuCasse

February 20th, 2010

Don’t have to go as far as Uganda. I can’t help but remember that tiny little three year old, Paris boy who was beaten to death by his own father because his father thought the child might be gay.

How many underage children were turned out by their parents only to have their lives threatened in the streets and those same parents NEVER prosecuted for child abandonment or endangerment? In so many ways it’s the law enforcement establishment allowing such an illegal outrage because of tacit approval of abusing gay children.

And because I mentor gay youth, especially those at risk, I know how many kids were beaten, young lesbians raped or threatened with it.
There is more of an undercurrent of a similar attitude as in Uganda, of parents preferring a dead gay child to a living one.

Unspeakable I know. But we’re speaking about it now, and that makes all the difference.

Jim Burroway

February 20th, 2010

Thanks for the update GUg. The Xtra article didn’t mention Val’s remarks. I wish they had. She is a remarkable and brave woman.

Richard Rush

February 20th, 2010

I’d like to ask Odonga: If you suddenly had an epiphany* where you realised that you were gay, would you turn yourself in to the authorities? Or would you spare the taxpayer expense of prosecution, and take care of the final solution yourself? Would you kill your son, but not yourself for being gay?

*This is not unrealistic. I’ve known people who insist that they did not discover their gayness until later in life. And after that discovery I’d say they were not bisexual, because they never returned to hetero functioning.

Rich Reist

February 27th, 2010

The series of articles in Xtra on Uganda have been very illuminating and have shown me how extremely brave so many LGBT Ugandans are simply being out of the closest and advocating for their rights. I found their courage inspiring especially considering my own struggles with coming out in the safety of Canada and can only imagine how much more difficult it is for them, their courage really is amazing, here’s a link to the latest Xtra article in which a community activist encourages others to stay in the closet for their own safety at this time yet many are still out http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Xtra_reports_from_Uganda_Gay_leader_urges_queers_to_stay_in_the_closet-8307.aspx If this bill does go through I hope our western nations open the doors wide to LGBT refugees fleeing the country but I wouldn’t be surprised if many decided to stay to fight on.

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