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Uganda social worker association endorses the Kill Gays bill

Timothy Kincaid

March 26th, 2010

NASWUThe National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) has issued a statement in response to the Kill Gays bill currently before the legislature.

The purpose of this statement is to ensure that Uganda and other nations in Africa and around the world develop appropriate policy responses to the issue of homosexuality. Professional ethics demand that professional bodies like NASWU provide guidance that is free of political influence; because when wrong policies are developed based on politically-based positions, it is members of the public who suffer or miss out on the good life they could have enjoyed. [emphasis in the original]

They begin with a history lesson. But sadly, there is little fact included in their statement. They rely heavily on the anti-gay pseudo-scientific group NARTH and anti-Kinsey writer Judith Reisman. Both of these sources have been criticized by the communities of science for radical historical revision, shoddy research, and analysis that begins with the conclusion and searches for confirmation.

They use this “history” to explain that homosexuality is changeable (by “professionals like clinical psychologists or religious leaders”) and has no genetic basis (as backed up by “all authoritative scientific studies”).

Then NASWU explains “how human behavior operates”:

1) “indulgence in a given behavior conditions an organism to continue exhibiting such behavior with greater intensity” and ceasing the behavior leads to “extinction”;

2) “social acceptance and legal approval” leads to “social learning”,

3) Human behavior may be influenced at the spiritual level. Human beings are composed of three main parts, namely: the body, the soul and the spirit. A human’s spirit can either be empty or inhabited by a good (or holy) or bad (or evil) spirit. These spiritual forces are capable of influencing human behavior beyond the voluntary control of the person possessed by them. This is why, in the New Testament Bible, Jesus cast out evil demonic forces from people exhibiting what psychologists would term “schizophrenia”, and the affected persons immediately recovered normal behavior patterns. Demonic activity can be violent or latent as in the case of Mary Magdalene, a woman whose work as a prostitute had demonic link, until she met Jesus. For this reason, Social Work should include the study of the spiritual dimension of life and how it may be applied to promote well-being and social functioning.

4) Human behavior can be influenced at the level of the soul. The soul consists of the “Mind”, the “Will” and the “Emotions”. When individuals understand with their mind the justification for not behaving in a certain way, that strengthens their ability to exercise their “Will” to “reign-in” their emotions, which are often difficult to control.

And before the usual litany of imaginary, exaggerated, and discredited ookie-spookie mental and physical plagues and weird sounding diseases they weigh in on “the question of human rights”. They decide that there is no “right to indulgence” and that those in the US who voted against marriage did not go far enough (they link to Yes on 8):

It is delusional and unsustainable, however, to allow the population to practice a behavior which they cannot consummate as marriage. Any restrictions on same-sex marriage must first involve restrictions on homosexual behavior itself.

Finally we come to their recommendations based on their “independent findings”.

Given the aforementioned information about homosexuality and human behavior and these developments in Uganda and internationally, we advise as follows:

  • 1. NASWU rejects the view that same-sex attraction is an innate “orientation”, rather, it is part of a range of feelings individuals ought to learn to bring under control as they mature;
  • 2. There is justification for Uganda to put in place appropriate legislation to comprehensively prohibit homosexuality;
  • 3. The Anti-homosexuality Bill has drafting errors in the way some offences and penalties are conceived, that should be corrected before its passage;
  • 4. The clause requiring mandatory reporting of all known homosexual offences should be amended to exempt disclosure made in counseling situations, in organizations licensed to offer same-sex counseling services, to encourage those experiencing same-sex attractions to seek professional help on behavior management. To be licensed, such counseling organizations must sign an undertaking not to dispense pro-homosexual advice to their clients.
  • 5. The Parliament of Uganda is acclaimed worldwide for writing some of the best laws in the world. The Anti-homosexuality Bill will go through the established scrutiny that all bills undergo before they become law. As in previous instances, an appropriate law will emerge from this process that even other countries may want to emulate. Members of the public as well as Social Workers should express their views to the concerned committee in Parliament to ensure that their views inform the law-making process.

It appears that while NASWU seeks to remove provisions for mandatory reporting and included provisions for forced therapy, it has no problem with death sentences or life-time imprisonment. In fact, they call for comprehensive prohibition along with a de-licensing of anyone who disagrees with their political agenda.

There is little doubt that this statement will discredit NASWU in the eyes of the international social worker community. Few western social work organizations will see this as other than ignorance, superstition, and a totalitarian instinct to stifle dissent.

And such proclamations not only reflect poorly on NASWU, but they harm the greater population of the nation and the continent. Such endorsement of exorcisms and the rejection of legitimate science seems intuitively out of place in a modern world and will lead to further dismissal of the Ugandan people – and all Africans – as backwards, third World, and intellectually inferior.

But this statement does add confirmation to those of us who see the current anti-gay upsurge in Uganda to be related to anti-gay advocacy imported from America. Throughout the lengthy piece runs two contradictory themes: the moral superiority of Ugandans, and the complete reliance on American sources, American beliefs, and American actions.

While homophobia is undoubtedly deeply rooted in Ugandan culture, they seem to be seeking American permission and confirmation for these attitudes, exactly the sort of permission and confirmation that was provided by the anti-gay conference in March 2009 attended by American holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge, and Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer.

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



Timothy (TRiG)
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

This is shocking and disgraceful.


Paul in Canada
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

Oh my!! I hope that the true ‘professional’ organizations around the world go public both condeming this statement and, pointing out it’s flawed arguments!

Why do I suspect there is strong arm twisting and/or back deal making behind this? Timing is everything……

Richard W. Fitch
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

If any international professional associations have accepted these groups as members, they should be censured and stripped of any credentials immediately.

Eric in Oakland
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

“The Parliament of Uganda is acclaimed worldwide for writing some of the best laws in the world.”

haha ha!

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

I wonder what connections there are between the leaders of this group and the Museveni dictatorship.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

Isn’t there a single secular organization in that nation?

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

demons. evil spirits. christians.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

Human behavior may be influenced at the spiritual level. Human beings are composed of three main parts, namely: the body, the soul and the spirit.

What about the Humours? I mean, if you’re going to be this backwards, you might as well go ALL THE WAY back.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

“Demonic activity,” huh? Sounds an awful lot like the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

I wonder if anyone at Talk To Action has looked into NASWU?

Zoe Nicholson
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

isn’t it ironic that many of my queer friends are social workers who love the unloved and lonely. This report, this group tears apart a potential for heart, a profession that calls for heart. It breaks my heart.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

wow. social workers attempting to re-invent the wheel using a sadly outdated manual containing 2000 year old fables from the middle east.

if these are qualified social workers, they must have bought their qualifications off the street.

Ben in Oakland
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

When the people who are supposed to be educated and supposed to care can make statements like this, it sort of tells you why Uganda had Auntie Idi.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

Sad, sad people looking for acceptance from the most despicable humans on the face of the earth. Keep being parrots for powerless bigots here, allowing them vicariously live their hatred through you. What pathetic morons, only prolonging their colonial submission through these actions.

March 26th, 2010 | LINK

“Such endorsement of exorcisms and the rejection of legitimate science seems intuitively out of place in a modern world and will lead to further dismissal of the Ugandan people – and all Africans – as backwards, third World, and intellectually inferior”

“Third World” doesn’t really belong on your list. Being backwards and intellectually inferior are things people don’t want to be considered. Being from the “third world” isn’t something anyone should be embarrassed about.

paul j stein
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

UGANDA is full of players and con artists. All the problems can be traced to corruption and greed of the ruling officials. Human life is cheap if not worthless in that country. Most of the populace is beyond poor and trying to just stay alive. Backing up Gay Rights is something an average citizen cannot afford to do,lest they be next on the right to kill list.

Lynn David
March 26th, 2010 | LINK

Fracked up crap.

March 27th, 2010 | LINK

The president of NASWU is Charles Tuhaise, who also happens to be chairman of the board of ACT (Agape Community Transformation). Here are some of his other views on the kill the gays bill. Warren Throckmorton is onto him.

March 27th, 2010 | LINK

here’s more on the kill the gays bill from the president of NASWU.

March 29th, 2010 | LINK

strange… i tried posting a comment days ago, but it wouldnt appear (until today)… so i posted a shorter version which appeared immediately.

Lisa Maurel
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

And this is why all professional associations in the US and around the world need to stand with science and stand against the tyranny of religiously motivated psychological torture.

While those who claim to only “help” those who are seeking to change their unwanted homosexuality…the reparative therapists, ministries and pastors who offer reparative therapy are contributing to the kind of beliefs, attitudes and prejudices that drive lgbt people into their arms seeking solace from the the very organizations and institutions that create their suffering.

The problem is not being gay, lesbian, bi or trans. The problem is the fear, prejudice and hatred for anyone who does not conform to the heterosexual ideal espoused by these groups.

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