January 28th, 2011
An editorial posted online for this morning’s edition of Kampala-based Daily Monitor addresses the brutal murder of LGBT advocate David Kato. While noting that police have not officially determined the motive for his killing, Daily Monitor editors say this murder “reminds us of the homophobia that is widespread in our country and society – and the deadly consequences of not dealing with it.” The editorial goes on to touch briefly on several salient points: the deterioration of the overall atmosphere following the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the role that “foreign actors” play in the debate, and the “extreme positions of moral self-righteousness.”
But the editorial makes the mistake of presenting both sides as though there were an equivalency between the two. The editors ignore the overwhelming disparity of power and influence between the two sides, with one side wielding the power of state, culture, faith and media; and the other side scrounging for whatever scraps of safety and dignity they can muster. Instead, they pretend that there is some sort of equivalency or parity between the two side. We’ve seen this before, not only in Africa but here in the U.S. and in Europe. This editorial is not particularly remarkable in the way it tries to take a sort of a “pox on both houses” position. These notions of false equivalence intended to reinforce the fiction of two opposing and equally valid arguments do very little to shed much light on the debate.
After having set up that false equivalency, the editorial also draws this unremarkable conclusion.
People like David Kato and others who might be gay are Ugandans and enjoy the same rights and protections of the law as heterosexuals. We cannot send them into exile neither, lock them away, or hang them.
We need to have an honest discussion about how to ensure that their rights are upheld without violating the rights of other Ugandans.
Peaceful and stable societies only emerge when we understand and try to accommodate those who are different from us, or who disagree with us – not by ostracising or killing them.
And yet, this editorial is among the most remarkable editorials I’ve read in years. What makes this editorial remarkable is that it is being printed in Uganda’s largest and most influential independent newspaper, and it expresses the need to ensure the rights of LGBT people are upheld in a nation whose leadership refuses to recognize gay people as humans beings deserving of human rights. That’s remarkable, and a most welcome addition to the debate.
Update: GayUganda also sees this editorial as “a real big deal.”
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.