April 15th, 2011
Uganda held elections recently, and as expected President Yoweri Museveni waltzed into another term in office with 68% of the vote. Whether those elections were free and fair is another matter — Museveni’s cronies dominate the supposedly independent Electoral Commission and he has sharply curtailed broadcasters’ from allowing opposition candidates access to the airwaves. When his next term ends, he will have been in power for 30 years, which would be a remarkable achievement if Uganda were truly a functioning democracy. He is already the longest serving leader in East Africa. Unsurprisingly, Museveni has been sharply critical of the Libya uprising.
Museveni’s main rival, Kizza Besigye, has cried foul over the election results. When Museveni banned protests over the election results, Besigye responded that he wouldn’t hold a protest march, but would instead just “walk to work.” As a result, he has been arrested twice over the past few days. Yesterday, Besigye led a “walk to work” from his home in Kasangati to his party’s office in Najjanankumbi, a 20km trek which would have taken him through the heart of Kampala. Military police responded with teargas, water canon, rubber bullets and batons. Besigye was hit on his left hand by a rubber bullet and rushed to a hospital.
Forty-seven people were reportedly injured in the violence, some suffering gunshot wounds. A seven-months’ pregnant woman’s condition is described as “grave.” “Walk to work” violence has also broken out throughout western and northern Uganda. At least 220 people were arrested nationwide. The ruling National Resistance Movement itself shows signs of division over the protests. At least one “walk to work” campaign in Mbala was organized by ruling party officials to protest price increases and to denounce the crackdown on the opposition. Opposition members of parliament condemned the government’s crackdown, forcing an early adjournment.
The government banned live broadcasts of the events, and there are reports that Facebook and Twitter have been blocked. Daily Monitor, Uganda’s largest and most reliable independent newspaper, reports that its internet access was interrupted as well. NTV Uganda, which is owned by the same media company as Daily Monitor, nevertheless continued broadcasting updates and posting video on their YouTube channel.
Since Uganda’s independence in 1962, its history has been marked by a series of violent struggles between the in-caste and outcasts. As perennial outcasts, the country’s beleaguered LGBT community has served as the canary in the coalmine — as LGBT communities often do throughout the world. Uganda’s recent anti-gay campaigns culminating in an attempt to kill off its LGBT population serves as a reminder that a country that treats the least of its people with genocidal tendencies is not going to be a benign presence to the legitimate human rights and developmental aspirations of its larger populace.
If there is an upside, it is that a government that is willing to go through such drastic lengths to prevent its opposition from pointing out its flaws is also the same government that appears determined not to allow its foreign aid be jeopardized by passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. But realistically, that’s not even a slim sliver of a silver lining. William Faulkner explained the racial divisions in the Southern U.S. by saying “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” Uganda’s undead demons are still on the loose.
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.