November 30th, 2012
The lead paragraphs in this Associated Press article states:
The Ugandan lawmaker who originally authored an anti-gay bill proposing death for some homosexual acts said Friday that a new version of the proposed legislation doesn’t contain the death penalty.
Parliamentarian David Bahati said the bill, which is expected to be voted on next month, had “moved away from the death penalty after considering all the issues that have been raised.”
“There is no death penalty,” he told The Associated Press.
And because its the AP, the lie that has been heard at least fifteen times around the world over the past three years is embarking on yet another world tour, first in the New York Times, Washington Post and Fox, and from there to local news outlets. LGBT outlets and blogs — all of which have no excuse for not knowing better — are picking it up, including Queerty and Pink News. Even Huffington Post has jumped on board to turn its erstwhile progressive pages over to Bahati’s publicist.
But despite these latest reports you’ve read — or the fifteen or more before them — the death penalty has not been removed. That can only happen when the full Parliament decides to vote on the Legal and Parliamentary Committee’s recommendation to remove the death penalty from Clause 3. And that will only stand the greatest chance of happening if the Legal and Parliamentary Committee actually recommends making that change — which its members claims was done but can’t show you the committee’s draft report because its a “secret.” Which should be a red flag the size of North Korea’s because the last time the Legal and Parliamentary Committee claimed it recommended removing the death penalty, it actually did no such thing.
What short memory spans everyone has. It was just last week when the BBC — per its usual jumping-the-gun instinct — announced that the decision to drop the death penalty was a done deal. In case you’re counting, that’s at least the third time the BBC announced the death penalty’s demise, and its third announcement proved just as wrong as the earlier two. So when an unnamed source at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala confirmed to the Washington Blade that:
…the committee can only compile a report on the bill for recommendations to the bill, and can’t make changes to it. That means the panel can’t take out the death penalty provision for “aggravated homosexuality,” which media sources reported was removed.
But as we’ve said repeatedly, it has never been removed. And we will never tell you that it has been removed until and unless, you know, it has been removed — which has never happened in the bill’s entire three year history. Although the bill’s supporters have done their best to try to convince you otherwise.
And by the intensity of the campaign to try to convince media outlets that it either has been dropped or will be dropped, I don’t believe it will go through Parliament without it. Maybe if they tell you the same lie for the seventeenth time, that will be the time you should believe it. But not me.
As we go forward in this process, please keep these links handy for future reference:
How a Private Member’s Bill Becomes Law In Uganda: When someone says the death penalty has been removed or any other change was made to the bill, remind yourself to ask at what stage in the process is the bill in?
Don’t Believe It Until You See It: News Reports Claim Uganda Drops Death Penalty From Anti-Gay Bill: And when someone says the death penalty has been removed or the bill was dropped, remind yourself of the many other times you’ve heard that story before.
And by the way, even if a miracle happens and the death penalty is removed at some point, there are still nineteen odious clauses of the bill, each of which, on their own, represents a serious threat to human rights in Uganda for gay and straight people alike:
Clauses 1 and 2: Anybody Can Be Gay Under the Law. The definition of what constitutes “homosexual act” is so broad that just about anyone can be convicted.
Clause 3: Anyone Can Be “Liable To Suffer Death”. And you don’t even have to be gay to be sent to the gallows. There has been talk of removing the death penalty — which has not happened yet; it’s just talk — and replacing it with a life sentence. But can anyone seriously imaging that spending a lifetime in Uganda’s notorious Luzira prison is any better? Especially once your fellow prisoners learn that you were sent there for “aggravated homosexuality”?
Clause 4: Anyone Can “Attempt to Commit Homosexuality”. All you have to do is “attempt” to “touch” “any part of of the body” “with anything else” “through anything” in an act that does “not necessarily culminate in intercourse.”
Clauses 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10: How To Get Out Of Jail Free. The bill is written to openly encourage — and even pay — one partner to turn state’s evidence against another.
Clauses 7, 11, and 14: Straight People In The Crosshairs. Did you think they only wanted to jail gay people? They’re also targeting family members, doctors, lawyers, and even landlords.
Clause 12: Till Life Imprisonment Do You Part. And if you officiate a same-sex wedding, you’ll be imprisoned for up to three years. So much for religious freedom.
Clause 13: The Silencing of the Lambs. All advocacy — including suggesting that the law might be repealed — will land you in jail. With this clause, there will be no one left to defend anyone.
Clause 14: The Requirement Isn’t To Report Just Gay People To Police. It’s To Report Everyone. Look closely: the requirement is to report anyone who has violated any the bill’s clauses.
Clauses 16 and 17: The Extra-Territorially Long Arm of Ugandan Law. Think you’re safe if you leave the country? Think again.
Clause 18: We Don’t Need No Stinking Treaties. The bill not only violates several international treaties, it also turns the Ugandan constitution on its head.
Clauses 15 and 19: The Establishment Clauses For The Ugandan Inquisition. These clauses empower the Ethics and Integrity Minister to enforce all of the bill’s provisions. He’s already gotten a head start.
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.