December 7th, 2012
As I’ve said before, the question of the hour isn’t “What is the status of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?” As second in line in the Ugandan Parliament’s order of business, its status is what it always was: it’s on standby as a handy distraction to unite the country once Parliament completes President Yoweri Museveni’s oil grab.
Which means that the real question is “What is the status of the Petroleum Bill?” That’s the bill which, if Museveni gets his way, will place the entirety of nation’s newly discovered oil wealth into just one pair of hands: Museveni’s hand-picked Energy Minister. And with no one looking over his shoulder as he negotiates and signs lucrative oil exploration and drilling licenses, Uganda will enter a whole new era of corruption, the scale of which will make some of the more recent scandals look like round-off errors.
And so what is its status? Well, things are more or less stalled. Parliament typically doesn’t meet on Fridays and Mondays, but human rights observers in Uganda speculated that there might be an exception today, especially since Parliament is expected to break for Christmas on December 14. But no order papers were posted on Parliaments web site this morning, which means that MP’s continue to haggle over the contentious Petroleum Bills. With no new progress this week, Museveni personally intervened yesterday and convened a special meeting of the National Resistance Movement caucus yesterday. He lectured the NRM, his ruling party which makes up more than 70% of Parliament, on his demands to approve a controversial change to Clause 9 which would cut the independent Petroleum Authority out of its oversight role in awarding oil licenses and concentrating that power in the Energy Minister. Museveni even walked his caucus through a mock vote as some kind of a training exercise:
Ruling party MPs turned up in large numbers following a morning caucus meeting addressed by their chairman, President Museveni. Sources said the MPs were whipped into line, held a mock vote in which Mr Museveni’s wishes for the Energy minister to retain near-unilateral powers to grant and revoke licences, and to negotiate agreements, carried the day.
That was how the independent Daily Monitor described the meeting. The pro-government New Vision’s description was somewhat more detailed:
The NRM caucus seating at Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of empowering the Energy minister to grant and revoke licenses to extract oil. Over 130 MPs voted in favour, 7 voted against while 1 abstained.
…According to the Minister of State for Luweero Triangle, Rose Namayanja, who is holding the portfolio of the information minister, Cabinet resolved that the original provisions of Clause 9 of the Bill must be maintained. “We do not want to make a law that is vague. He who hires must have powers to fire,” said Namayanja, adding that Cabinet believes it is not good to make the minister share power of granting and revoking licences with the authority.
But as the NTV report indicates at the top of this post, there are more than 260 NRM caucus members but only about half of them showed up for the caucus meeting. “It is not clear if some boycotted the caucus meeting, only to turn up in the House and oppose the government position,” NTV Television reported. MP Waira Kyewalabye Majegere (NRM-Bunya County East) appeared on NTV to say that he was among those who wanted to be assured of “some checks and balances.” Speaking of the NRM’s 70% majority in Parliament, Majegere said, “We have the numbers, but there is also the issue of convincing the brains. It’s not just a matter of having the numbers.” When the House session resumed after the caucus meeting, dissenting NRM members joined the opposition to block a vote on Clause 9, resulting in the current stalemate.
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.