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Posts for February, 2014

VIDEO: Ugandan TV Covers the Five Year History of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2014
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VIDEO: Ssempa, Kyazze Celebrate Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2014
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Pastor Michael Kyazze of the Omega Healing Center, a Kampala church, celebrates President Yoweri Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law:

“A law of love, a law of order has been signed, and your future since will be better than what other perpetrators were trying to promote. There is no one who is going to kill homosexuals. No one is going to kill the homosexuals, the law doesn’t say so, but the law says the habit itself is unnatural and the habit itself, if it is promoted by anyone, that person is liable for punishment.

Pastor Martin “Eat Da Poo-Poo” Ssempa also celebrates:

“The biggest problem here is confusion. Homosexuals are boys who think they are girls, and girls who think they are boys. So the issue is they want to confuse us, but Africa said, “No confusion!”

In October of 2012, Ssempa, Kyazze, and three others were convicted by a Uganda court of conspiring to tarnish a rival pastor’s reputation by accusing him of homosexuality.

NTV also interviews other Ugandan officials and reviews reactions from retired South African Desmund TuTu and and the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay.

VIDEO: Ugandan Morning TV Devotes Segment to Anti-Homosexuality Bill Debate

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2014
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In this video, Morning @NTVhost Simon Kasyate dues his best to referee a debate between and Anti-Homosexuality Act support and virulently anti-gay pentecostal pastor Martin “Eat Da Poo-Poo” Ssempa, and virulently anti-gay pentecostal pastor but Anti-Homosexuality Act opponent Solomon Male, who calls it “a populist bill, it is opportunistic, it is based on nepotism, and it is based on lies.” Male’s still as anti-gay as ever though. One of his objection now seems centered on an incorrect reading of Uganda’s gener-neutral law against pedophilia which madates the death penalty for anyone convicted of child sexual abuse. Male contends that with the removal of the death penalty from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, that homosexual child abusers (as though they are the only kind of homosexuals in existence) will now have a lesser penalty than heterosexual child abusers. In 2012, Solomon voiced his opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, accusing security agencies of covering up for prominent people who were supposedly “luring” children in to homosexuality and calling it “a waste of precious time, financial and other resources that should have been applied more productively elsewhere.”

Ssempa counters that Uganda “has joined the group of superpower nations such as Russia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, in taking a strong stand against sodomy.” Ssempa has designs to take the bill to the parliament of the East African Community and then to the African Union.

Male is a former Ssempa ally. In October of 2012, Male and Ssempa were convicted by a Uganda court of conspiring to tarnish a rival pastor’s reputation by accusing him of homosexuality.

VIDEO: Ugandan TV Coverage of Signing of Anti-Gay Bill, Reactions from Supporters

Jim Burroway

February 25th, 2014
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MP David Bahati, who introduced the private member’s bill into Parliament, reacted to the signing:

This is a victory for the family of Uganda, the future of our children and certainly a triumph of our sovereignty as a country that got independence fifty years ago.

Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo (a defrocked Catholic priest) dismissed the potential international fallout from the bill:

Because I know any sensible person will take this positively and say, oh, this bill as asserted their position, they’ve asserted their mind, and let’s respect them as they are and we’ll continue relating.

The NTV report erroneously states that first-time offenders against the new Anti-Homosexuality Act “would face up to fourteen years in jail.” In fact, the final act as signed into law sets a penalty of lifetime imprisonment regardless if whether it is a first conviction or not.

VIDEO: Museveni Speaks To Reporters After Signing Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2014
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You can see the live signing beginning at about the 53:00 minute mark. You can read President Yoweri Museveni’s prepared remarks here, although he made several significant departures from his prepared remarks from time to time. At one point, he asked his scientists to introduce themselves individually.

Britain Reacts

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2014

The British Foreign Ministry has issued this statement in reaction to Uganda’s enacting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:

On 24 February 2014 William Hague said:

I am deeply saddened and disappointed that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda has been signed into law. The UK strongly opposes all discrimination on any grounds. We question the Bill’s compatibility with Uganda’s constitution and international treaty obligations. There can be no doubt that this Bill will increase persecution and discrimination of Ugandans, as well as damage Uganda’s reputation internationally.

We ask the Government of Uganda to protect all its citizens and encourage tolerance, equality and respect. We will continue to press the Government of Uganda to defend human rights for all, without discrimination on any grounds.

In 2011, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned  Uganda that countries which persecute gay people will find their foreign aid budget cut.

Ugandan LGBT Activists React

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2014

Frank Mugisha is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda:

Pepe Julian Onziema changed his Twitter name to IAMGoingNowhere:

Kasha Jacqueline heads Freedom and Roam Uganda:

Before He Signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill…

Jim Burroway

February 24th, 2014

…President Yoweri Museveni was opening a school and already making political hay.

Tucson Pizzeria Refuses Service to Arizona Lawmakers

Jim Burroway

February 21st, 2014

In the wake of Arizona’s legislators’ enacting a special-right-to-discriminate law for religious people, Tucson’s Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza has posted a sign on its front door reading, “We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona Legislators.” Rocco’s has received an outpouring of support on Facebook:

Hey, just want to say that all we want to do is cook you some dinner. Not trying to be anything but your neighborhood pizzeria. Thanks for the support!

Also, this:

Same Sex Marriages To Begin in Chicago Tomorrow

Jim Burroway

February 21st, 2014

A Federal judge in Chicago rulled today that same-sex couples don’t have to wait until Illinois’s marriage equality law goes into effect in June to get married:

There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said in her ruling.

…Cook County Clerk David Orr said his office will issue licenses immediately at the downtown office, and couples can get married as soon as Saturday.

Because the Cook County Clerk’s office was the named defendant in the class action lawsuit, the decision applies only to Cook County.

Update: The Cook County Clerk’s office has announced that they will stay open late for an extra two hours until 7:00 p.m. tonight. The announcement also quotes County Clerk David Orr: “I’m thrilled same-sex couples who want to get married won’t have to wait any longer. We are very excited to celebrate this historic milestone with every loving couple from today onward.”

LGBT Advocate Won’t Be Deported To Uganda

Jim Burroway

February 20th, 2014

Dr. Paul Semogoma being greeted by well-wishers following his release by South African immigration authorities. (Via Coalition of African Lesbians)

The South Africa-based Coalition of African Lesbians has posted on its Facebook page that South African immigration authorities have released LGBT/AIDS activist Dr. Paul Semugoma from custody and will not deport him back to Uganda. What’s more, CAR says that he now has a work permit which will allow him to remain in South Africa indefinitely.

Longtime BTB readers may remember him as the formerly-anonymous blogger GayUganda. He formally revealed his identity at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., where he spoke passionately about the  challenges of confronting HIV/AIDS in a country where rampant homophobia makes it dangerous for LGBT people to disclose themselves to their doctors.

By then, he had already moved to South Africa where he had applied for residency. Yesterday, we learned that Semugoma had been detained by South African immigration authorities and was being held at OR Tambo Airport and pressured to board a flight to Uganda. He was detained as he was returning from a meeting in Zimbabwe.

If he had been forcibly returned to Uganda, he would have become dangerously subject to that nation’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The bill will not only further criminalize homosexuality with life imprisonment, but will also criminalize providing services to LGBT people or engaging in any advocacy on their behalf. This will make Dr. Semugoma a three-times criminal: he’s gay, he’s a doctor providing health care to LGBT people, and he’s an advocate.

Peter LaBarbera and Scott Lively Are Getting Hitched

Jim Burroway

February 20th, 2014

They’re joining forces to form a new anti-gay organization:

A press conference will be held to announce the formation of a new organization, the Coalition for Family Values, whose purpose is to unify and coordinate pro-family groups around the United States and the world to more effectively oppose the now-global LGBT agenda.

Press Conference Details

When: Friday, February 21, 10:00 a.m.

Where:
National Press Club,
Zenger Room,
529 14th Street N.W.,
Washington, DC

The coalition is being organized by Dr. Scott Lively of Defend the Family International, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), based outside Chicago, Illinois — with the assistance of other existing pro-family groups and leaders in the United States and abroad.

The first action of the coalition will be to issue a statement of support for the Russian pro-family laws of 2013 and 2014 — e.g., the prohibition of pro-homosexual propaganda to minors — and to urge other nations of the world to follow the Russian example.

This is the first instance I’ve noticed where Lively has appended the word “International” to the name of his outfit.

Ugandan TV: Canada Threatens to Cut Ties

Jim Burroway

February 19th, 2014
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NTV Uganda reports:

The Canadian government has threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Uganda if the Anti Homosexuality bill is signed into law. Ugandan Ambassador Alintuma Nsambu says he was summoned on Monday by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister to explain why Canada should not take that step. Nsambu says if signed, several western countries could isolate Uganda.

Ugandan Press Secretary: Museveni “Cannot Be Intimidated”

Jim Burroway

February 18th, 2014
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In the above clip from NTV Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni’s press secretary Tamale Mirundi responds to US President Barack Obama’s statement blasting Museveni for agreeing to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Mirundi tells reporters that Museveni “cannot be intimidated.” On the question of foreign aid, Mirundi said, “we can do without that aid.”

Ukraine Poised to Follow Russia’s Anti-Gay Example

Jim Burroway

February 17th, 2014

There’s a larger debate right now taking place in Ukraine over the question of the country’s future direction: will they look to the West or Russia. That larger debate, of course, isn’t settled, as the country continues to be rocked by protests against the pro-Russian government. While that is going on, LGBT activists in Ukraine sound the warning that the nation’s Parliament will consider six draft laws regarding homosexuality, with many of those proposals sounding eerily similar to those already adopted in Russia:

In particular, the last phase of passing the Draft Law No.0945 (former 8711) entitled “On the Introduction of Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine (regarding the protection of the right of children to a safe information environment)” will be soon held. It will include the presentation of profile Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information, headed by Mykola Tomenko, on withdrawal of this draft law from further consideration.

The Draft Law No.1155 entitled “On the Prohibition of Propaganda of Homosexuality Aimed at Children” of authorship by Vadym Kolesnichenko is also ready for discussion. This draft law could easily be adopted in the first reading. In any way this is exactly what was suggested for consideration of the Parliament within the draft resolution introduced by the profile Committee on Legislative Support of Law Enforcement, headed by Andriy Kozhemyakin.

It is also planned to conduct the last phase of passing the Draft Law No.2133 entitled “On amendments to some legislative acts (about non-admittance of adoption of Ukrainian citizens by individuals who are in same-sex marriages)”, introduced by MPs from Svoboda Party Igor Miroshnichenko and Alexander Mirny. Profile Committee on Family Affairs considers it necessary to undergo the draft law for follow-up revision

Gay-Alliance Ukraine says that additional legislation is being proposed to remove sexual orientation from the country’s anti-discrimination laws. Those laws had been passed by the previous government of ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. Another draft resolution would withdraw Ukraine from prior agreements with the European Union dealing with “implementing legalization of same-sex relationships,” despite the fact that the agreements currently do not address same-sex relationships.

Video: “We Shall Have a War With the Homosexual Lobby of the World”

Jim Burroway

February 16th, 2014

Uganda’s NTV has posted video of President Yoweri Museveni’s announcement that he will sign the Anti-Homosexualty Bill at his ruling party caucus this weekend in Kyankwanzi.

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There’s more in this broadcast of the program NTV at ONE. Skip ahead to the 25:39 mark:

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Obama: Anti-Homosexuality Bill “Will Complicate Our Valued Relationship With Uganda”

Jim Burroway

February 16th, 2014

The WHite House has issued this statement by President Barack Obama on Uganda’s pending adoption of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:

As a country and a people, the United States has consistently stood for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights. We believe that people everywhere should be treated equally, with dignity and respect, and that they should have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential, no matter who they are or whom they love.

That is why I am so deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda’s commitment to protecting the human rights of its people. It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights.

As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda. At a time when, tragically, we are seeing an increase in reports of violence and harassment targeting members of the LGBT community from Russia to Nigeria, I salute all those in Uganda and around the world who remain committed to respecting the human rights and fundamental human dignity of all persons.

Uganda TV Airs MPs’ Reactions to Museveni’s Promise to Sign Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Jim Burroway

February 15th, 2014
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Reactions include that from M.P. David Bahati, who sponsored the legislation in Parliament.

Well, the scientists’ conclusion is very clear that homosexuality is not a disease, that it is not an abnormality, there is no definitive … gene that is responsible for homosexuality.

You can read the “scientists’ conclusion” here.

 

Inconvenient Scripture

Timothy Kincaid

February 14th, 2014

In something out of Kansas called The Rolla Daily News, Jim Brock rants about the proposed pro-discrimination bill. He doesn’t think it’s very Christian:

I guess some members of the Kansas House never read Matthew 25:40-45: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”

The holy words of Bible can be so inconvenient, especially when they don’t come from Exodus or Leviticus.

Uganda President Supports Changing the Constitution to Scrap Bail for Sodomy

Jim Burroway

February 14th, 2014

On the heels of reports that Uganda President Yoweri Museveni intends to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law comes more distressing news that Museveni also supports a change to the Uganda Constitution to allow holding people suspected of breaking that nation’s antiquated anti-sodomy laws in jail without bail:

The ruling party majority yesterday resolved to back President Museveni’s proposal to deny bail for sodomy suspects, defilers and rapists and tasked Ministry of Justice to expedite the process of amending the Constitution to that effect.

Mr Museveni, in a renewed call for the scrapping of the bail window for suspects in capital offences, told the NRM Caucus retreat in Kyankwanzi that the status-quo is encouraging crime in the country.

While corruption is not part of President’s list of targeted offences, sources told the Daily Monitor that “sodomy” was included at the behest of MPs who told their party leader that it has become such an “insidious” problem in the country.

…Caucus spokesperson Evelyn Anite confirmed the latest developments to the Daily Monitor that the Ministry of Justice was tasked to kick-start the process amid cheers from the ruling party members. “The President had proposed that bail must be denied to those who rape and defile others and MPs amended it to include those that sodomise others. The proposal was overwhelmingly supported,” said Ms Anite.

It would appear that Museveni is angling to out-populist the populist Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadagga, an early supporter of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill who shepherded it through Parliament last December. She is reported to have ambitions for Museveni’s job in 2016.

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