News24

Richard Branson urges Uganda boycott over anti-gay bill

2013-12-24 17:20

London - British tycoon Richard Branson has urged companies to boycott Uganda over a draconian anti-homosexuality bill passed by its parliament last week.

The Virgin founder said Uganda must abandon the bill, which would make homosexuality punishable by up to life in prison, or find itself "ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide".

"I have been courted by various people and government officials to do business in Uganda. I was seriously considering it," Branson wrote on his website on Monday.

"However, the dreadful witch hunt against the gay community and lifetime sentences means it would be against my conscience to support this country.

"I would urge other companies worldwide to follow suit. Uganda must reconsider or find it being ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide."

He added: "Governments must realise that people should be able to love whoever they want."

Gay rights activists have vowed to stop Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni from signing the bill into law.

It sailed through the Ugandan parliament last week after a death penalty clause was dropped.

Activists fear that Museveni, a devout evangelical Christian, is likely to sign off on the bill despite an international outcry.

The legislation has strong public support in Uganda, where homophobia is widespread.

Gay Ugandans face frequent harassment and threats of violence, and rights activists have also reported cases of lesbians being subjected to "corrective" rapes.

Anti-gay moves by Ugandan lawmakers have been widely condemned, with US President Barack Obama describing the bill before it was passed as "odious" and Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu comparing it to apartheid.

Comments
  • Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-24 17:42

    Excellent! Hope other heads of business, who also don't subscribe to the farce of bronze age mythology, follow suit.

      JamesBlacksmith - 2014-01-02 18:00

      Branson is a pioneer for gay rights. Purchased a gay nightclub (Heaven) in 1982. Uganda's loss I guess.

  • Mary Molatse - 2013-12-24 17:44

    Black people should never be homophobic. Remember when it was considered immoral to have sexual relations with a black 'animal'? Racists even used the bible to justify this belief. Therefore be very careful (my black people) when you judge homosexuals. They are born gay, just like we are born black.

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-24 19:17

      Evidence, please Lewies. But you can't, because you are making stuff up as you go along.

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 07:59

      @christian- I find it fascinating that people like you, who believe in a book full of badly written fairy tales, think that you have the moral upper hand, and somehow that entitles you to decide for other people. Besides being delusional, it's also quite arrogant.

      Terence Makapan - 2013-12-25 12:24

      @Christan Parah You are aware that homosexuality isn't only found in humans? Thus meaning that it is not as unnatural as you claim it to be...didn't your God make those animals as well?

      JamesBlacksmith - 2014-01-02 18:25

      @Terence, The rejection of the opposite sex (given the opportunity) is unique to humans. Bi or (ANY)sexuality is found in the animal kingdom however. Animals often will 'do' anything.

  • Lawrence Masongwa - 2013-12-24 18:19

    the brunt of poverty borne by sanctions will only be felt by ordinary Ugandans and not Yoweri the lunatic.Sad how some religious people loose it.

  • Imani Azania - 2013-12-24 21:02

    Hey!! Branson keep your britain... r

  • Alan Smith - 2013-12-24 21:38

    I agree with sir richard

      Hartmut Balzer - 2013-12-25 21:58

      Alan maybe you homo than I feel sorry for you and will pray because you not a christian. Otherwise you know the Bible. GOD build ADAM and EVA not ADAM AND HEV.

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 22:23

      "not ADAM AND HEV.">> How old are you? 12 ?!

  • Christian Parah Mbwende - 2013-12-24 22:01

    I love a country which honours God above man. In this day when wrong is right and right is wrong. It is better to stand for what is right and suffer than to allow evil to conquer all in the name of money. If people wanted to help Uganda why has it come with a prize of selling their souls to the devil. What a sick world we live in where people have sold out to the devil. Its good to see some fearless people standing up for what is right. Its a cause which is worth it, well done Uganda God bless you.

      Seek Anfind - 2013-12-24 22:06

      you are a primitive idiot!!

      Livo Naledi - 2013-12-24 22:19

      Remember what the devil told JESUS on top of the mountain: If YOU bow down and worship me, all these kingdoms of the earth will be YOURS. It is the same lie he is telling people today: If you join up with prostitution, you'll make a lot of money and therefore, lead a happy life. If you kill all your political opponents, you'll become a president. the devil's offer, in exchange for money and power, is always in contradiction with THE WORD OF THE LORD GOD.@Christian

      Christian Parah Mbwende - 2013-12-24 22:58

      @ Livo well said, truly the love of money is the beginning of all evil. We as the children of God we need to stand up for the truth. Standing up for the truth wont make you popular with man but you will win favour with God. What will it benefit people to gain the whole world and lose their souls. Homosexuality isnt progressive but lets just say what it really is A SIN. I will stick to my Jesus, for He is the Truth, the Way and the Life. I am not ashamed to be a bible believing christian.

      Livo Naledi - 2013-12-25 08:56

      @psalm o'nella. what verifiable evidence for GOD do you want? Even though GOD is invisible, HIS mighty visible works can be seen by all. The heavens, the seas, the earth, human being, whom GOD HIMSELF said HE made in HIS OWN IMAGE. Those mighty work of HIS, are verifiable evidence for HIS PERSON. Remember this SCRIPTURE, neighbor: FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, AND THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT YET SEEN.(HEBREWS 11:1). GOD does equally love love us all, because we are all the works of HIS hands. That is the reason why HE sent HIS SON to save us from dead works. HE equally grants each individual that opportunity to be forgiven and saved from these evil deeds, and that is by believing in HIS SON, JESUS OF NAZARETH. Read John 3:16, Acts 4:12.

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 09:04

      @livo- So you say; but that's still not evidence.

      Phoenixx - 2013-12-25 11:04

      How quickly we forget what it was like for one group of people to be oppressed by another in the name of religion. Don't we, Christian?

      Christian Parah Mbwende - 2013-12-25 11:47

      @ Phoenixx dont you compare racism with homosexuality. As well you must understand the devil knows the bible and manipulates everything. I have never read a verse that says hate a person because of their race. Also i dont hate people but i hate the sin called homosexuality. God has never destroyed people because of their race but because of sin. The devil has clouded your mind with lies and you tolerate what ought not to be tolerated. As Lovi said God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, whether you are a thief, an adulter or homosexual God can help you. Anyone who can ask me to prove that my God exists is i will say the only evidence is ME and YOU. What other evidence do you need you do because you only want to mock God not know God. So even if i give a mountain of evidence you will find something to mock because your heart is rock hard.

      Terence Makapan - 2013-12-25 12:31

      @Christian does that thus mean you HATE divorce as well? Or what about sex before marriage? You christians are all a bunch of hypocrites who ignore 3/4 of the rules in the bible that affect you.

      Christian Parah Mbwende - 2013-12-25 13:31

      Terrence, yes i hate divorce and definitely sex before marriage. I dont believe in adultery. Dont take man's failures to be God's. I dont say i am perfect but i save a perfect God, who has delivered me from sin. Who has healed me when no doctor can. I am not talking about religion but salvation. Jesus' love is the one that can redeem us from sin. I wasnt born a christian and i was the number one doubter of the existance of God. But like the Apostle Paul, Jesus visited me and from then on my life changed. I had bitterness, hatred and i was sick and oppressed of the devil. He redeemed me and unchained me from all the things that were binding me for years which no one could help me. I have never felt so much love and joy in my life. I regretted all the meaningless years i spent without Jesus, i am not a religious person but i believe in one God and the only way to get to Him is through Christ Jesus. I now know what it means to have peace in my life all because of Jesus. I serve my God and Him alone. He was not embarrased of me so i am not of Him. Mock Him say whatever about Him it wont shift me but i will love Him more. I live for Jesus as much as He died for me. Its only my wish that people will get to know Him not the religious hogwash, i am not a just church goer but i am a washed by the blood of Jesus and bible believing child of God. Jesus's love is big that it covers a multitude of sins. Come to Him all who are heavily burdened and he will give you rest.

      QuestioningFaith - 2013-12-25 21:33

      Yep. Ol' Christian here was washed al right. Brain washed. By his local church. And they did quite a number on him, looking at the diatribes he writes...

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 22:20

      Oh yeah, those pesky white virgin men in dresses got ol' Christian Parah Mbwende hook, line and sinker.

  • Udzai Munhumumwe - 2013-12-24 22:21

    Richard Branson must withdraw all his investments from Uganda... Opps He does not have any...so he must just shut up!

  • Jaco Kritzinger - 2013-12-24 22:23

    Branson, call for a business boycott against Russia too you coward! Nice to try bully smaller nations where your Virgin empire doesn't get much money from, but you won't call for the same boycott against Russia.

  • Tadiwa Teddy - 2013-12-24 22:34

    Brothers and sisters let us not be carried away by silver and gold which is vanity. Let us be steadfast and hold on to the truths and message of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hold on children of Uganda we are with you in prayer. I am surprised that if the majority of Uganda doesn't want gays why would one rich man's opinion be justified And regarded as supreme against the millions of children of Uganda. Richard Branson is not God, he doesn't hold the destiny of the Children of Uganda

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 08:10

      Loosely translated as: We'll believe anything we read in some book, introduced to us years ago by a couple of hysterical white men wearing dresses.

  • Tadiwa Teddy - 2013-12-24 22:34

    Brothers and sisters let us not be carried away by silver and gold which is vanity. Let us be steadfast and hold on to the truths and message of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hold on children of Uganda we are with you in prayer. I am surprised that if the majority of Uganda doesn't want gays why would one rich man's opinion be justified And regarded as supreme against the millions of children of Uganda. Richard Branson is not God, he doesn't hold the destiny of the Children of Uganda

  • Tinashe Magamba - 2013-12-24 22:49

    Excellent move Museveni!!!...it is clear that your priorities are in order!!!...Bona Fide Africans know that it would be an abomination in the eyes of our Ancestors if we granted rights to "exhaust pipers" before granting FULL rights to our women, our elderly, our orphans, our disabled...think on...

  • Johan Connoway - 2013-12-24 23:21

    God nuked an entire city to cleanse the earth.

      Seek Anfind - 2013-12-25 06:13

      hahahaha thats hilarious! !! I am always amazed at the utter rubbish people will believe!

      james.bischof.5 - 2013-12-25 06:33

      Of course 'he' did

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 08:13

      Evidence, please Johan.

      Charles Roberts - 2013-12-25 20:37

      It was 4 entire cities that God destroyed completely johan . As for "evidence" you can read the tohra or The Bible or the Talmud or the Quran or various other ancient writings about sodom and gomorah .

      Psalm O'Nella - 2013-12-25 22:15

      Or you could read Harry Potter. It's all there. Promise!

      Casters Balle - 2013-12-26 17:24

      Ah, as expected this article attracted the usual atheist pouffes.... eh, MemeMoffy?

  • Hartmut Balzer - 2013-12-25 12:58

    Branson you can only open your mouth if you a Ugandien cititcen. ontherwise shatt up, and do what you havr learn and what you understand. people same thrn you is the rubbish in any christian society. steh up from devils work and see in the Bible. you always see the wohle Bible and not only what you like. all words or nothing.

      Paul Mangwiro - 2013-12-26 14:34

      @ Hartmut Balzer when one reads that man-written dogmatic book open mindedly and sees the errors, inconsistencies and untruths in it, they are anathemized and given all sorts of labels by those who wish the book were what it is not! I am no longer a religious person but there is no book that I know more than the bible because I was brought up religious and made it a MUST to read it at least twice over in any single year. A significant number of atheists and non-Christians were actually once Christians and know the bible perhaps more than most Christians.

  • Philemon Khantsi - 2013-12-25 19:43

    Why can't we have the same law here in SA.

      Paul Mangwiro - 2013-12-26 14:12

      @ Peter Tosh, "If this shameful issue is submitted into vote through referendum SA people will reject this abomination democratically..." That is your misconception of DEMOCRACY. Democracy is NOT a MAJORITY agreeing by the strength of their numbers to EXPLOIT a MINORITY, but allowing individuals to enjoy their democratic right without INFRINGING on the rights of their fellow compatriots. Which brings me to a very basic question that no bigoted homophobic is answering: In what way does a homosexual living their homosexual life infringe on your democratic right as a heterosexual?

      Paul Mangwiro - 2013-12-26 15:07

      @ Peter, please answer my very simple question "directly and briefly, wisely and truly:" IN WHAT WAY DOES A HOMOSEXUAL INDIVIDUAL LIVING THEIR OWN WAY OF LIFE INFRINGE ON YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AS A HETEROSEXUAL?"

  • Denzil Newman - 2013-12-26 00:00

    Museveni is a " devout evangelical Christian". That, of course, is the problem.

  • Munyaradzi Tachiona - 2013-12-26 17:46

    Homosexuality is more African than the West,Africans before Europeans were not homophobic,It is the French and British laws that came with Homosexual phobias,In Ancient times in Africa,homosexuality was for chiefs and kings,in my language they say...''takawaita varume-a Shona saying meaning ' 'we made them women/read we sodomised them,as a sign of total conquer during wars,the captives were often sodomised as a way to humiliate them and Kings and Chiefs feasted on Men,it was ''special food,reserved for the Kings and Nobles'...Am not trying to defend the gays or tendencies but i am suprised because Africans are on the forefrong on homphobia when it was Euoropean laws that criminalised or brought homo phobia and European brought Christianity religion that through the Bible opened African eyes on Homosexuality and the anti gay stance developed to this day,Please could people try and get Professor Mda he is well spoken and researched on this topic,or watch Enca ,Africa 360 ,he tackles this subject so Uganda to claim to say it is un African to be gay is coming from an uneducated view,they should thank Europa for bringing christinity which condemns gays otherwise in Africa,it was going to be business as usual,Kings and Chiefs feasting on boys and boys taking cattle to grazing fields having sex among themselves as is still happening in rural Africa.

  • Patrick Kateregga - 2013-12-28 12:00

    Who is Richard Branson?!!!!!!! We've lived for over 600 years, does he think his rhetoric, devilish agitations are going to sweep us down the isle? Which projects has he been running in Uganda for the last centuries. If this world was about money, Kings, Princes and Princesses wouldn't be dying!!!

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