Uganda blocks bid to revive anti-gay law

2011-08-24 10:30

Kampala - Uganda's cabinet has blocked an attempt by some legislators to reintroduce a bill that called for the death penalty for gays who are considered "repeat offenders".

The small but vocal anti-gay movement in Uganda, spearheaded by several MPs and a group of bishops, won notoriety when the legislation was originally introduced in 2009.

US President Barack Obama denounced it as "odious" and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject it.

"We discussed that bill in cabinet last week and after views from everyone were heard and debated, a decision was unanimously taken to drop that proposed law," Ugandan Attorney General Peter Nyombi said on Tuesday.

"The position of the cabinet is that there's already sufficient law to take care of all crimes envisaged by the proposed anti-homosexuality bill."

The legislation was not passed during the east African country's last parliamentary session but a group of government MPs had vowed to reintroduce it. Political analysts in Uganda say the decision by the cabinet to come out publicly against it should mean it cannot be passed in the near future.

The bill had been quietly shelved under pressure from foreign governments and gay rights groups before, but activists feared it would end up being passed after President Yoweri Museveni's February election victory.

  • GinSA1 - 2011-08-24 11:06

    Leave the gay-community to live their lives. If they're not trying to rape you, what's their bedroom or bathroom or lounge antics got to do with you idiots?

  • grant9 - 2011-08-24 11:09

    I wonder what the SA ambassador Jon Qwelane feels about this development? To think that a country can even contemplate such laws shows how far African countries still have to go to become civilised (BTW I'm not gay nor are my sons).

      bopha - 2011-08-24 11:46

      @grant9 - did you really have to mention that "BTW I'm not gay nor are my sons"? U also have a long way to go to be cevilised.

      mbube - 2011-08-24 11:55

      @grant9: This bill has been highly influenced and pushed by the Christian right of America during their missionary stints over the last couple of years. This is very much a product of the 'civilised' world.

      czovczov - 2011-08-24 13:48

      Can we please leave African civilisation out of the gay debate. Since when is a person's civility judged by his view on homosexuality? We could argue, who more is barbaric and uncivilized between a man who puts his penis in another man's anus and a person who rebukes and condemns such acts? Personally I am all for bedroom privacy, but when aid is used to induce acceptance of homosexuality, I beg to differ.

      Ricky - 2011-11-16 00:50

      czovczov: The problem is that African civilization is very relevant to the debate. A person's civility is judged by how he treats those around him that are his peers, as well as those that are being oppressed and treated unjustly. When you, as a black man, were being inhumanely treated because of the way you were born - did you not think that those who looked the other way and left you to fend for yourself because you weren't one of their kind were reprehensible? Africa's attitude towards homosexuality reeks of double standards. Is it a case of black oppression being overthrown - so to hell with the rest? As long as YOUR particular demographic is safe, noone else matters? A human rights triumph for one should be a human rights triumph for all.

  • zaatheist - 2011-08-24 12:03

    "The small but vocal anti-gay movement in Uganda, spearheaded by several MPs and a group of bishops". Yep, it the imaginary magic man in the sky believers again. There is no difference between the current homophobes and the christian racist bigots who supported slavery 150 years ago, Christian racists now wish to apply the same discrimination against homosexuals and other people who differ from them. The bigotry and cruelty is identical. They have created a god in their own image and assigned their prejudice to that god, creating a god that shares their prejudice and who, then, sanctions and defends the unjustified harms that bigots like them would cause to "those who are different."

      nixcroft - 2011-08-24 13:46

      @zaatheist : HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! your anti religious antics on any and every article or comment containing any religious connotation is highly entertaining to read. While I will be the first to proclaim my faith as Christian you fall into exactly the same mold as the fanatical "Bible/Q├║ran" toting religious people.You also wish to force your own opinion,that there is no god(s),down all others throats. So you believe in nothing? Yourself? Science?.Whichever it is it doesn't matter,and I won't tell you where you may or may not go when you die one day.The stupid argument some Christians say about "If there is a God then I'm safe and you aren't and if there is no God then we both are safe when we die" is ridiculous.I respect and must say to some extent understand your point of view as I was also where you are now at a time. So I am not judging you, who gives me that right? God? My faith? Neither, my faith specifically prohibits it. But while you expect common courtesy for people of whatever religion to not try and stuff their belief system down your throat would it be too much to ask that you extend the same courtesy you expect? Which brings me back to my original point. You are, but for a single point of belief in a greater being, exactly the same as those you denounce. If you really believe you are right in what you do/don't believe in why on earth do you need to defend it? I don't need to defend my faith, I have faith in faith. Do you?

      czovczov - 2011-08-24 13:51

      Lets get one thing clear here, Racism and Homophobia are two totally different animals. Fight to end slavery and racism can never be compared to fight for gay rights. Don't get it twisted.

      zaatheist - 2011-08-24 15:58

      @Nixcroft Why should anyone take you seriously since you believe that a cosmic Jewish zombie that is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in all humanity because a rib-woman was convinced to eat from a magical tree by an infinitely sadistic being disguised as a talking snake with legs?

      nixcroft - 2011-08-26 08:40

      @zaatheist : the way you structure and approach an argument shows your lack of mental capacity. You argue that simply because of my belief system I cannot be taken seriously ? I wonder if a hijacker that believes in his ancestors and got some muti at a witchdoctor shoving a loaded pistol in your fave to take your car should be taken seriously ? Some of the greatest scientists in history where religious. Who on earth could take them seriously ? The earth isn't the center of the universe..We can't believe that ! He believed in God. Evolution happens to ensure the fittest and strongest survive. Goodness me, we can't believe that can we ? Charles Darwin believed in God. So simply believing in something greater than yourself, finding peace and guidance in it excludes one from being considered a person whose opinion matter ? And you say religious people are bigotted, unreasonable and live in their own little fantasy world ? Wow, THAT argument makes perfect sense. So that is why I am content in life, because no one else is allowed to take me seriously and my opinions don't matter. Gee thanks, it all makes PERFECT sense when seen through the muddy waters of your warped perception.

      Ricky - 2011-11-16 01:06

      @nixcroft: Let's cut through the crap and your double speak "I'm not judging you" bull. Christianity is being challenged (and quite aggressively so) because it's been in a position to make the rules for centuries. Ridiculous rules that were based on personal earthly aspirations of greedy people who exploited "hunches" and "feelings" that ended in real people being burnt alive at the stake, justified ethnic cleansing, and essentially left a trial of destruction that reaches so far and wide that it's difficult to even comprehend. Just because these things happened over the course of hundreds of years, doesn't make the events or the individuals involved any less real. Christianity has NO right to feel persecuted or even slightly taken aback that considering your religions track record, a certain faction of people are saying "enough!" You are free to believe what you want to believe. If you believe that a man lived inside the stomach of a whale, and that a sea parted, and that every animal on earth survived on a primitive ship, and that earth is 6000 years old - then so be it. BUT...never again will you TAKE AWAY the basic human dignity and equal rights of those who do not subscribe to your views. You're welcome to share those equal rights with everyone else, but the days of expecting special treatment and "first dibs" on the where, what's and how's of society are over.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-08-24 12:52

    This is the level the anti-gay movement in Uganda will sink to to peddle their venom. This clip is tragically funny, but sums it up. I would be very nervous if I was gay in Uganda

  • Papsak - 2011-08-24 13:21

    @grant9, you still have a long way to go go before you come out of the closet

  • Papsak - 2011-08-24 13:24

    @grant9, did your geography teacher tell you that SA is in a continent called Africa?

  • 2WhiteStars - 2011-08-24 14:45

    Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it. :)

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