The real purpose of Uganda’s Kill the Gays bill
February 13th, 2012
As we have noted here many times, homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. And though the most odious of its several vile clauses would allow for the execution of gay people who have sex twice in their lives, it is unlikely that the primary purpose of this bill was to enact wholesale genocide on gay people. As we have noted, this bill would make it very easy to exact punishment or revenge on political opponents or others whose only connection to homosexuality is an accusation; but that too probably did not motivate the bill.
Rather, I think, this bill shares its purpose with other bills proposed both in Africa and around the world – including the referendums to be on the ballot in North Carolina and Minnesota to ban marriage equality; it is an effort to hold back, or at least delay, a change in social beliefs and values.
Neither Uganda’s Rep. Bahati nor North Carolina’s Sen. Brunstetter want kill gay people, necessarily, or even incarcerate them for the rest of their lives. In fact, neither of these men probably care much at all about ‘the act of homosexuality’; what someone does in their bedroom in secret doesn’t really much interest anyone else. But Bahati and Brunstetter do very much care about what that person – and society around them – believes about homosexuality. Refusing to see homosexuality as vile is the real offense and it is towards that offense that these restrictions are driven. (AFP)
Bahati said the bill was now focused on stopping the promotion of gay rights, and retains a proposal to criminalise public discussion of homosexuality with a heavy prison sentence.
It is not sex that is the crime, it’s disagreeing. The feared act is not using one’s penis in a way that they find objectionable, rather it’s daring to do so without feeling shame or suffering rejection.
Both Bahati and Brunstetter see a future that is coming in which their values are rejected and gay people are treated with the same respect as heterosexual people. And both hope that by acting quickly – before public sentiment turns against them – that they can establish or further entrench official rejection of gay people. While the provisions are dissimilar – imprisonment is not in the same universe as denying marriage rights – the motivation and the purpose are the same. What Rep. Bahati and Sen. Brunstetter want is a world, a society, a culture in which all people agree with them that homosexuality is inherently bad.
Sadly for them, neither of these legislative efforts will hold back the social change that is coming.
Disgusting Protest At Murray, KY
December 29th, 2008
Last month, we noted the innovative event sponsored by Murray State University’s Gay-Straight Alliance, in which alliance members performed “live homosexual acts” on campus’s Free Speech Zone. Those “live homosexual acts,” of course, consisted of reading books, chatting, studying, having coffee — that sort of thing.
Of course, things aren’t always that enlightened in that small southwestern Kentucky town. A reader from Murray wrote to me to describe another recent protest taking place in that fair city:
Ours is a small, conservative town, where protests and other forms of “making waves” are discouraged, message aside. Thus it was all the more disturbing to see this man, his wife (presumably) and his child doing the corner preacher thing. The center sign in the picture I’m sending you is the truly disturbing part of this whole ordeal.
Just a reminder that anti-gay fire exists everywhere, even places where the movement has made strides and opened minds, and even places where the anti-gay current is typically status quo and not incendiary.
The child in the middle, who looks to be about eight years old, is holding a sign reading “2 gay rights: AIDS and hell.” Gee, it’s a good thing they don’t hate us.