Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate
November 29th, 2012
Beginning in 2009, BTB has been closely monitoring events leading up to and following the introduction of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. These pages include links to all of our posts, and including more information that we learned after some of the events took place. These pages will be updated as events continue to unfold.
Part 1: Laying the Groundwork (Feb 24 to Sept 15, 2009): Three American Evangelical activists announce anti-gay conference in Kampala • Special invite to the conference announced in Parliament • Rwandan Genocide blamed on gays • Exodus applauds Schmierer’s participation at the conference • “Ex-gay” becomes star of vigilante campaign • Videos surface of follow-up conference • Exodus remains silent as vigilante campaign continues • Uganda Parliament debates homosexuality “problem” • Ugandan tabloid publicizes names, employers of LGBT citizens • Parliament approves resolution calling for anti-homosexuality bill • Accusations of homosexuality ensnare rival pastors • Draft bill calling for death penalty circulates.
Part 2: Parliament Proposes to Kill the Gays (Oct 14 to Dec 31, 2009): Full Text of Anti-Homosexuality Bill • Uganda’s religious leaders debate AHB • US Reps Condemn AHB • More American ties to Uganda’s anti-gay politicians • Exodus sends letter to Ugandan president • Jeff Sharlet exposes ties between “The Family” and M.P. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor • Sweden threatens foreign aid if bill passes • Rick Warren refuses to condemn AHB • Ugandan gov’t minister remains defiant over worldwide outrage • Seven Mountains Theology and the AHB • Exodus Board member dissembles on role in anti-gay conference • Schmierer also denies knowing what he was getting into (we provide counter-evidence) • “The Family” split on AHB • Rick Warren condemns AHB • Ugandan presidential adviser Opposes AHB • Advocate Val Kalende tells her story to Ugandan newspaper • More American evangelical connections to AHB proponents • Sec of State Hillary Clinton denounces AHB • EU condemns AHB • Martin Ssempa responds to Rick Warren’s condemnation • A lunch date with “ex-gay” speaker at Kampala anti-gay conference • Ugandan rally demands passage of AHB • AHB dominates Christmas messages in Uganda.
Part 3: “Go Slow On The Bill” (Jan 3 to Mar 31, 2010): Exodus board member plays “dupe” on role in Kampala conference • American Scott Lively calls AHB “a step in the right direction.” • BTB Video: Scott Lively’s “Nuclear Bomb” • Rumors that AHB may be withdrawn • Exodus board member continues to deny responsibility • “The Family” spokesman denounces AHB • American Evangelicals defend AHB • Scott Lively endorses “revised” AHB • Ugandan president urges “go slow,” announces Cabinet Subcommittee to reconsider AHB • AHB sponsor MP David Bahati to attend “The Family’s” National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. • Bahati disinvited to National Prayer Breakfast • Martin Ssempa shows gay porn in church • Andrew Wommack Ministries endorses AHB • American anti-gay activist Cliff Kincaid defends AHB • Martin Ssempa shows gay porn at news conference • Ugandan pol would kill his own gay son • Pastor wars reignite • Martin Ssempa lies about AHB in comment on BTB • Exodus president wants to apologize, but doesn’t • Exodus board finally condemns AHB.
Part 4: The Bill Stalls While Debate Rages (Apr 1 to Sep 28, 2010): ): Televangelist Joyce Meyer condemns AHB • American Evangelist Lou Engle announces rally in Kampala • Ugandan cabinet subcommittee recommends passing AHB on the down-low • Lou Engle praises AHB at Kampala rally • BTB interview with Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo • Scott Lively calls AHB “lesser of two evils” • Bishop Senyonjo describes impact of Lively’s 2009 conference • Scott Lively struggles with death penalty provision • Martin Ssempa’s “Eat Da Poo-Poo!” — the remix • Family Research Council lobbies against Congressional resolution condemning AHB • Exodus president expresses regret over Uganda debacle • Las Vegas megachurch stands by “international partner” Martin Ssempa • Nevada Health officials sever ties with Las Vegas megachurch • David Bahati declares his intention to kill every gay person in Africa • Prominent anti-gay Cabinet Minister loses election.
Part 7: The Bill Returns
February 3, 2012: Report: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill To Be Discussed In Parliament Next Week. A Ugandan online news portal reported that the Ugandan Parliament’s Business Committee will hold discussions on the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill on Monday, February 6 for possible inclusion in the Parliament’s legislative program.
February 6, 2012: Uganda Lawmakers to Bring Anti-Homosexuality Bill to Floor of Parliament. According to this news report from Uganda’s NTV, the Parliament’s Business Committee met today and agreed to move the revived Anti-Homosexuality Bill forward to the full house, possibly as early as tomorrow when the Ninth Parliament begins its third sitting following its Christmas break.
February 7, 2012: TODAY: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Being Re-Introduced In Parliament. Information is difficult to come by, but it appears that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was scheduled for its first reading today in Parliament.
February 7, 2012: State Dept: “Our Message Is Unchanged,” Opposes Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The U.S. State Department reiterated its opposition to the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill “which we view as manifestly inconsistent with Uganda’s international human rights obligations.”
February 8, 2012: BBC Gets It Wrong — Again! — On the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The BBC erroneously reported that the death penalty was dropped from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This is the second time they’ve done this. (see Feb 5, 2010)
February 8, 2012: Uganda Television Covers Opposition To Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This NTV Uganda report quickly covers most of the clauses of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and, unusual for Ugandan media, focuses on opposition to the bill from Ladislaus Rwakafuzi, a senior human rights lawyer, and Pepe Julian Onziema of Sexual Minorities Uganda. The report also indicates that Parliament referred the bill to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the same body which held hearings on the bill during the Eighth Parliament’s closing days and recomended minor changes to the bill (see May 11, 2011)
February 9, 2012: Uganda Executive, Parliament Tussle Over Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Uganda Media Centre, which serves as a press office for the Uganda executive, responded to international criticism over the reintroduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The statement, signed by Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo, lectured the international community criticisms of what he called “cultural values in Africa” and assured the world that if the bill became law, it “would not sanction the death penalty for homosexual behavior in Uganda” — which we pointed out was absolutely false. We examine the statement in the broader context of power struggles taking place between President Museveni and Parliament.
February 9, 2012: Advocate, WaPo, AP Get it Wrong On Anti-Homosexuality Bill. All three news outlets erroneoulsy report that the death penalty was dropped in favor of a life sentence for “aggravated homosexuality.”
February 13, 2012: The Real Purpose of Uganda’s Kill the Gays Bill. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. So why do they want to kill the gays? Timothy Kincaid sees it as an attempt to hold the future at bay.
February 14, 2012: Raid on Entebbe: Uganda Government Shuts Down LGBT Rights Conference. Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo personally led a raid on a human rights conference in Entebbe, claiming that the conference was illegal. “We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home.”
February 14, 2012: Ugandan TV Coverage of the Raid on Entebbe. Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo is shown declaring that the meeting was illegal because the topic of discussion was LGBT rights. Ugandan LGBT advocate Pepe Julian Onziema countered that there is nothing illegal about what they were doing.
February 15, 2012: Eyewitness Gives Account of Raid On Entebbe. Dr. Hilda Tadria, co-founder of the African Women’s Development Fund, was speaking at the LGBT conference in Entebbe that was raided by Minister of Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo, and described what happened in a statement.
February 23, 2012: Going After Ugandan Gays a Convenient Government Diversion. So says Ugandan journalist Dayo Olobade in a blog post at The New York Times. He noticed that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament just three days after President Yoweri Museveni signed a controversial oil exploration contract.
February 24, 2012: Uganda Law Society Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The civil society organization notes that the proposed legislation would “violate rights to freedom of expression, thought, peaceful assembly, association, liberty and security of the person and privacy among others.”
February 24, 2012: PBS Gets It WRONG: Uganda’s Death Penalty Clause Has Not Been Removed. PBS joins a host of other news organizations to spread the false report that the death penalty had been removed from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
March 2, 2012: Ugandan Association of Women Lawyers Oppose Anti-Homosexuality Bill. FIDA, the Ugandan Association of Women Lawyers, warned that “Attempting to enforce the proposed Bill would amount to a gross and unjustified intrusion into the lives and privacy of all people in Uganda, for it would require constant surveillance of all bedrooms to ascertain who is having sexual intercourse with whom and how.”
March 14, 2012: Lawsuit Filed Against Scott Lively For Instigating Anti-LGBT Persecution in Uganda. The Center for Constitutional Rights announced that they were filing a lawsuit in Federal District Court on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) against American anti-gay extremist Scott Lively for his role in “the decade-long campaign he has waged, in coordination with his Ugandan counterparts, to persecute persons on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation and gender identity.”
March 15, 2012: Lively Responds to Lawsuit. “I am an American citizen [being targeted] over the persecution of homosexuals as they define it as a crime against humanity – for speaking the truth of the Bible in a foreign country,” Scott Lively, of Abiding Truth Ministries, told World Net Daily.
April 6, 2012: PBS Reports on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Newshour segment doesn’t cover much new ground for regular BTB readers (although this time they do correctly state that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill still contains the death penalty — see Feb 24, 2012). What’s perhaps more interesting is an accompanying blog post describing the difficulties they had in finding anyone in the government to go on camera to talk about the bill.
April 17, 2012: Ugandan TV Covers “American View” of Uganda’s “Battle Lines Over Gay Rights”. NTV, Uganda’s largest independent television station, broadcasted a series titled American View, which portrays an how Uganda comes across in America. This segment, titled “Battle over Gay Rights” is probably more accurately described as a Ugandan view of the American view of Uganda.
June 12, 2012: Ugandan Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox Bishops Call for Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s Revival. In a worrying development, top religious leaders from across the country asked Parliament to enact the Anti-Homosexuality law to prevent what they called “an attack on the Bible and the institution of marriage”. Thie represents a turnaround for the Caltholic Church. Roman Catholic Archbishop Lwanga’s Christmas message of 2009 included his opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Dec 24, 2009), and reiterated that message the following January (see Jan 11, 2010) He was also a signatory to a multi-faith letter in 2010 which criticized the bill (see Mar 13, 2010). More than a year later, we learned that prior to the Archbishop’s statements, the Vatican had intervened with its opposition to the bill (see Sep 11, 2011). This statement now appears to be an about-face on the part of Lwanga.
June 18, 2012: Uganda Police Raid Gay Rights Meeting. Ugandan police raided a gay rights workshop in Kampala sponsored by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. Human rights advocates from Canada, Kenya and Rwanda were detained and questioned. NTV, the nations largest independent television station, reported that they were tipped by the Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo about the raid.
June 19, 2012: Ugandan Parliament Leader Says Anti-Homosexuality Bill Will Be Taken Up In Next Session. Buried in a follow-up report on yesterday’s police raid on a gay rights workshop was an announcement by the ruling party’s caucus leader in Parliament and sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, M.P. David Bahati, that the bill would be taken up in the next session of Parliament.
June 20, 2012: Uganda to Ban 38 NGOs Over Gay Rights. Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo announced that 38 non-govermmental organizations will be banned for being “channels through which monies are channeled to (homosexuals) to recruit.”
June 22, 2012: Ugandan Gays Now Allowed To Meet? Anti-Homosexuality Bill “Shelved”?. That’s what the Associated Press reported, but neither assertion appears to be correct.
August 6, 2012: Uganda’s Gay Pride. LGBT advocates in Uganda managed to pull off a gay pride celebration on the shores of Lake Victoria.
August 8, 2012: Uganda’s Dr Semugoma: Optimistic and Living With Hope. The formerly anonymous blogger GayUganda is no longer anonymous. Dr. Paul Semugoma gave a rousing talk in Washington, D.C. for the International Conference on AIDS. In a video, Dr. Paul talks about how discrimination and homophobia pose tremendous barriers to AIDS prevention, and he describes his own process of coming out recently and the difficulties that posed in his country and in his practice.
August 6, 2012: How Not To Support LGBT People of Uganda. The Internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous hijacked the web sites of Uganda’s office of the Prime Minister, posting an an obscene message along with a salutation to local LGBT advocates. But their paternalism actually had the effect of placing Ugandan LGBT people in danger of of a possible backlash, while Anonymous sat safely in their basements. That same day, Sexual Minorities Uganda issued a statement denouncing the hacking attack.
August 20, 2012: Pro-Gay PLay Staged in Kampala. A stage play, “The River and the Mountain,” premiered in a little-known theater in suburban Kampala after the government banned its performance at the National Theatre. So far, and contrary to expectations, police didn’t raid the venue. LGBT advocate Pepe Julian Onziema praised the play’s staging as “revolutionary,” saying it could help reduce the stigma suffered by homosexuals.
September 13, 2012: Ugandan Police Arrest British Producer of Play About Gay Community. Hopes that the undisturbed performance of “The River and the Mountain” the previous month may have signaled a small shift in the government’s policies toward LGBT issues were dashed with the play’s producer, David Cecil, was arrested, charged with “disobeying lawful orders,” and ordered held without bail. If found guilty, Cecil faces a two year sentence. NTV, Uganda’s largest independent television station, followed with a video report.
September 14, 2012: Ugandan Gov’t Web Site Admits Anti-Gay Laws Are Foreign Imports. One recurrent theme inside Uganda is that the arrest of Cecil David, a British national, further proves that homosexuality is “un-African” and is a western import. In an undated post, the Uganda Media Centre, which serves as a press office for the Ugandan government, has picked up that theme and goes further. In an op-ed penned by Joseph Jabo (who has a habit of railing against gay people) and posted on the Uganda’s Media Centre’s web site points out that Uganda’s anti-gay laws are British in origin.
September 17, 2012: Uganda Court Grants Bail for Producer of Pro-Gay Play. David Cecil has been granted bail and released. He was freed on bail of 500,000 shillings (US$200) and was ordered to surrender his passport.
October 3, 2012: Martin Ssempa (the “Eat Da Poo-poo” Pastor), Five Others Convicted by Ugandan Court Over False Sodomy Charges. Martin Ssempa and Solomon Male were among four Ugandan pastors, along with a business man and a musician, who were convicted by a Kampala court for conspiring to tarnish a rival pastor’s reputation by accusing him of homosexuality. This particular case revolved around charges that Ssempa, Male and others made against Pastor Robert Kayanja of the Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral of being a homosexual, along with “a group of other pastors.” These false charges were a part of a larger round of “pastor wars” that broke out in 2009 (see May 14, 2009). NTV followed with video coverage.
October 10, 2012: Ugandan MP Failed In Call for Africa-Wide Support for Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Uganda is marking its 50th anniversary as an independent nation with dignitaries flying in from all over the world. But Uganda’s proposal to execute gay people has become a “blot” on that nation’s Jubilee celebrations when the subject came up in the otherwise languid Pan African Parliament.
October 17, 2012: Martin Ssempa Begins Serving Sentence. And he brings the cameras along to turn what was supposed to be punishment for wrongdoing into a canonization of St. Ssempa.
October 31, 2012: Uganda’s Parliament Speaker Promises to Revive Anti-Homosexuality Bill Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga returned home to Entebbe Airport to a hero’s welcome after attending a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Quebec, Canada. The rally at Entebbe’s airport was organized by religious leaders, former Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, and Anti-Homosexuality Bill sponsor M.P. David Bahati. She told supporters and the press that she would instruct the chair of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee “to quickly bring the report on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill” to the House floor for a vote. Kadega made those remarks in response to criticisms by Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird over Uganda’s proposal to execute gay people and for its refusal to protect LGBT people in the country.
November 1, 2012: Uganda Parliament May Vote On Anti-Homosexuality Bill By Christmas. Parliament passed a resolution applauding Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s triumphant return from Canada. The resolution also urged the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee to immediately produce its report on the Bill for general debate. The committee’s chair, Steven Tashobya, promised to complete the bill and send it to Parliament before Christmas recess.
November 6, 2012: Uganda “Kill The Gays” Author Claims 40 Companies “Recruiting Minors in the Gay Business”. Ugandan M.P. David Bahati, author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, gave a talk to “thousands of parents” at a Kampala Kindergarten Association event at a Kampala suburb, in which he warned parents to watch their children closely during the upcoming Christmas holidays because, he said, close to forty companies were “recruiting minors” into homosexuality. “We have already reported to the Ministry of Internal Affairs about these funders and parents need to be careful with where their children go. They could be targeted this Christmas season.”
November 12, 2012: Report: Uganda’s Speaker Promises To Pass Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Two Weeks. That was according to an obscure news outlet, which more or less confirmed other similar reports.
November 12, 2012: Major Uganda Broadcaster Turns Cheerleader for Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Uganda’s NTV is normally a reasonably reliable source of information, but this report suggests that the influential independent channel may have become yet another cheerleading outlet promoting the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Toward the end of NTV’s coverage of a rally by religious leaders in Uganda’s parliament (featured speakers included former Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo and M.P. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor), the announcer attributes the bill’s failure in the Eighth Parliament to pressure from “western countries and wealthy gay activists.” It also falsely reported that the death penalty “for adults found guilty of raping young boys” had been dropped.
November 13-26, 2012: Clause-By-Clause Through Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Because of renewed media interest in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and because there has been a history of inaccurate reporting of what the bill would do if it were to become law, we launched an eleven-part review of each of the bill’s nineteen clauses.
Clause By Clause With Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill:
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.
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.
November 16, 2012: Uganda Parliament Speaker Demands Anti-Gay Bill Be Brought to House Floor on Tuesday. Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has demanded that Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee bring Anti-Homosexuality Bill to the House floor for debate and a vote by Nov 27.
November 21, 2012: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Appears On Uganda Parliament’s Agenda. The Anti-Homosexuailty Bill appeared on the Orders Paper for the Ugandan Parliament under “Notice of Business to Follow.”
November 21, 2012: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: Why Now?. The United Nations issued a report condemning Uganda’s meddling in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five European countries have suspended aid over the discovery of massive corruption in the Prime Minister’s office, and President Yoweri Museveni is trying to push a set of controversial Petroleum Bills through Parliament that would set the stage for a massive swindle of the country’s newly-discovered oil wealth. Passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill might be a way for the government to divert its restive population’s attention away from the wholesale kleptocracy that is thriving in what has been called the most corrupt country of eastern Africa. (For further analysis of the bill’s place in a broader Ugandan political context, see Nov 26, 2012)
November 22, 2012: US Ambassador to Uganda: No Aid Will Be Cut. Britain, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have already announced they were freezing aid payments to Uganda due to massive corruption. Sweden and Britain have previously stated that they would either cut foreign aid if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law (see Nov 28, 2009 and Oct 10, 2011). But with so many reasons for the U.S. to cut aid to Uganda or at least to have a serous sit-down with Ugandan authorities, US Ambassador to Uganda Scott H. DeLisi made the rounds in Kampala to say that there are no plans to cut U.S. aid.
November 23, 2012: Conflicting Reports Emerge About U.S. Sanctions Against Uganda. Despite assurances from the U.S. Ambassador to Kampala to the contrary, reports continue to circulate of sanctions against Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passes.
November 23, 2012: When a Ugandan Politician Claims The Death Penalty Was Dropped But He Can’t Show You The Draft Recommendations Because They’re Secret, Then The Death Penalty Has Not Been Dropped. WBS Television in Uganda broadcast a report featuring members of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee saying that the death penalty would be dropped. But they can’t show you the draft recommendation because it’s a secret.
November 23, 2012: Don’t Believe It Until You See It: News Reports Claim Uganda Drops Death Penalty From Anti-Gay Bill. The BBC was quick to announce, incorrectly, that the death penalty had been dropped from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This is now the fourth time the BBC has made such a mistake (see Dec 10, 2009, Feb 5, 2010, and Feb 8, 2012). We run down at least fifteen examples over the past three years in which it was announced that either the death penalty or the entire bill was dropped.
November 25, 2012: Bryan Fischer Cheers Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He tweeted, “Homosexuality now against the law in Uganda, just as it was for 200 years in the US. It can be done.”
November 25, 2012: Scott Lively Tickled Pink Over Imminent Passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He wrote, “This is a huge blessing for Uganda and for me personally after having been vilified globally (and falsely) for two years by the leftist media as the accused mastermind of the death penalty provision. Please give this story your best push for maximum exposure.” He was doubly excited that his side of the story was picked up by Drudge.
November 26, 2012: What Does Oil Have To Do With Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill?. Furthering our earlier analysis (see Nov 21, 2012, we look at the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in the broader context of Ugandan politics.
November 27, 2012: U.S. State Dept. Envoy Meets With Ugandan Leaders on Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokesperson, said that Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson met with Ugandan leaders last weekend and raised concerns about the bill. Nuland refused to say whether Carson raised the possibility of cuts to American aid to Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law.
November 27, 2012: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Moved to Top of Uganda Parliament’s List. Today’s Order Paper (DOC: 45KB/3 pages) for Uganda’s Parliament shows the Anti-Homosexuality Bill moved to the top of the section titled “Notice of Business to Follow.” Parliament business however is tied up over controversial clauses in two Petroleum Bills which are currently being considered in Parliament.
November 27, 2012: Where Are The Religious Leaders?. So far, the most prominent names among religious leaders talking about Uganda are Bryan Fischer and Scott Lively (see Nov 25, 2012). The Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins, while not addressing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill directly, praised Uganda over the weekend as “a modern example of a nation prospered by God.” So far, that’s it. Major religious leaders against the bill have been conspicuous by their silence.
November 27, 2012: Uganda Parliament Descends Into Chaos Over Oil Bills. The Parliament session today collapsed into chaos during the debate over the controversial oil bills, which would empower a single person in President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet to negotiate and sign contracts for oil exploration, drilling, refining and transportation. The bills also provide virtually no oversight or transparency in the process, which is sure to cement Uganda’s reputation as eastern Africa’s most corrupt country. If Parliament does clear the two Petroleum Bills, then the Anti-Homosexuality Bill may become politically useful to many members of the government who will want to distract the public from the massive theft of oil wealth that is about to take place. This may explain why the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is next on the list. Which means that Uganda’s oil policy can be summed up this way: yes, we’re going to steal your oil wealth — but look over there! Homosexuals!!!
November 27, 2012: Where Are The Religious Leaders? Ctd. This follow-up includes an acknowledgment of Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s heroic efforts against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill over the past three years. It also acknowledges another surprising voice against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill: Ugandan anti-gay pastor Solomon Male, who called it a ” hurried populist, opportunistic and hypocritical bill against homosexuality… It is a waste of precious time, financial and other resources that should have been applied more productively elsewhere.”
November 27, 2012: How a Private Member’s Bill Becomes Law In Uganda. A helpful tutorial of the road that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will have to follow in order to become law.
November 28, 2012: Catholic Bishops Give Grants to Uganda. And meanwhile, in an entirely 100% coincidental move that has nothing at all whatsoever to do with US concern over the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill, the US Catholic Bishops have chosen today to announce new piles of cash being sent to Uganda and her neighbors.
November 28, 2012: Uganda Parliament Speaker Suspends House Sessions. The contentious House session dealing with the assignment of control over the nation’s oil resources to the government (without oversight) ended on Monday when the Speaker stomped out the door.
November 29, 2012: American Jewish World Service Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. And they see parallels between Uganda’s attempt to wipe out gay people from their country and another historical precedent.
November 30, 2012: AP Is Wrong: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Still Has The Death Penalty. Here we go again. The AP uncritically quotes M.P. David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, as saying that it was “moved away from the death penalty after considering all the issues that have been raised.” And from that, AP headlines proclaim that the death penalty has been dropped. But of course it hadn’t and we explain why in terms that even an AP reporter can understand.
November 30, 2012: Germany Announces Three Year Suspension of Aid to Uganda. We have the full announcement from the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ). While the debate over the Anti-Homosxuality Bill is mentioned in the BMZ’s announcement, the main catalyist for the cuts appear to be the massive corruption scandal that was exposed in the Uganda Prime Minister’s office and the UN report alleging Uganda’s covert support for the M23 rebels in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
December 3, 2012: More on Germany’s Aid Cut to Uganda; Local Papers React. Mark Bromley, chair of the Council for Global Equality, told The Washington Blade that the announced cuts were related to direct governmental assistance and wouldn’t affect programs. But Uganda’s Sunday Monitor, the nation’s largest independent newspaper, contends that Germany’s ambassador to Kampala, Klaus Dieter Düxmann, has denied Germany was cutting aid.
December 4, 2012: Uganda May Consider Anti-Homosexuality Bill This Week. A brief update on Parliament’s Orders Paper and what it may mean for bringing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill up for a vote.
December 4, 2012: Ugandan Activist Speaks Out Against Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) and the 2011 winner of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. She narrowly escaped arrest last February when Ugandan police raided a gay rights conference in Entebbe (see Feb 14, 2012). She spoke on Uganda’s NTV against the bill.
December 5, 2012: TIME Is Right And TIME IS Wrong. There is so much to love about Tim Padgett’s column in TIME magazine this week. Padgett, a Catholic, examines the rhetoric of the Church and of conservative Christians generally demonizing gay people in the U.S. during recent marriage campaign, and, noting the influence some American Christians have in Uganda, connects their rhetoric to what’s happening there now. In one blemish in an otherwise wonderful column, Padgett erroneously reported that the death penalty had been dropped from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
December 5, 2012: Uganda Parliament Continues To Argue Over Oil. The controversial Petroleum Bill continues to occupy Parliament’s time.
December 6, 2012: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Distracts From Uganda’s Real Problems, Including Birthday Parties. While Parliament continues to argue over the Petroleum Bill, police broke up a birthday party held by opposition politicians celebrating President Yoweri Museveni’s 75th birthday. The problem? Museveni says that he’s only 68, and is not subject to the constitution’s mandatory retirement age of 75. Meanwhile, papers report that a deal has been reached that would allow the Petroleum Bill to go forward in Parliament.
December 6, 2012: To the Twitter!. The cry used to be “to the baracades!” But in the social media-verse that we inhabit today, it’s all about Twitter. Now that a deal appears to have been reached clearing the way for the Petroleum Bill’s passage, Ugandan LGBT activist Pepe Julian Onziema called for “a twitter blast directed at the Ugandan Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi. In this twitter blast, we’re asking him to speak out against the Bill. Please send multiple tweets with the tags #stopthehate @AmamaMbabazi. Please be reminded to keep the tone of your tweets polite.”
December 7, 2012: Anti-Homosexuality Bill Update: Parliament Stalled Over Petroleum Bills. It’s Friday, and Parliament normally doesn’t meet on Fridays and Mondays. With yesterday’s announcement that a deal had been reached over the Petroleum Bill, it had been expected that Parliament might move quickly on it, and in the process, bring the Anti-Homosexuality Bill up next for consideration. But reports emerged that a rebellion in the ruling National Resistance Movement against the Petroleum Bill has not yet been quieted by yesterday’s deal.
December 7, 2012: Report: Uganda Parliament Passes Controversial Oil Bill Clause. Despite no Orders Paper being published on Parliament’s web site, reports emerged that Parliament was sitting in session, and had given its approval to a controversial clause to the Petroleum Bill that gives the Energy Minister unrestricted powers to grant and revoke oil exploration and drilling licenses.
December 7, 2012: Uganda Passes Controversial Oil Bill, Moving Anti-Homosexuality Bill Up On Agenda. After giving its nod to a highly contentious clause in the Petroleum Bill, Parliament moved swiftly to pass the entire bill, which moves the Anti-Homosexuality Bill up as the next order of business to be considered when it resumes the following week.
This page is in the process of being updated. You can follow more recent developments here.