Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Uganda. Show all posts

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Anglican Priest Show's up at David Kato's Funeral to Condemn Gay Mourners

     A gay civil rights leader is bludgeoned to death by a hammer in his own home after a local newspaper outed him and called for the hanging of all gays.  Terrified, shocked, and friends, family, and supporters bravely gather to mourn the assassination of their leader.  What would Jesus do?

     Ugandan police have escorted a priest away from the funeral of a gay rights activist after he told homosexuals to repent, sparking scuffles.  Anglican priest Thomas Musoke told mourners that homosexuality was "evil".
     Hundreds of people had gathered for David Kato's burial in his home village near the capital, Kampala...hundreds of people - friends, family, colleagues and diplomats - crowded outside Mr Kato's family home in the village of Nakawala in Mukono district, 40km (about 25 miles) from Kampala.  Many members of the lesbian and gay community wore T-shirts with Mr Kato's portrait on the front and the words "La luta continua [the struggle continues]" printed on the back.
     They were shocked when the priest started condemning homosexuals.  "You must repent. Even the animals know the difference between a male and a female," he said, before warning that they would face the fate of residents in Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities destroyed by God.  Gay rights activists then stormed the pulpit and prevented the priest from continuing.
     An excommunicated priest who has in the past called for people to respect the rights of homosexuals then presided over the rest of the service.
     So, let me get this right.  The practicing Anglican priest, who is supposedly his god's vessel of grace on earth and guide to heaven, berated the mourners with death threats of Biblical proportion.  The excommunicated priest, who has supposedly been cut of from his god's grace and will be punished with an eternity in hell, reached out to the mourners, cared for them, and buried the dead.  It sounds like Anglican hell beats out Anglican heaven as the better place to be. .  

Lesbian Granted Temporary Reprieve from UK Deportation to Uganda; How "Gay" Someone Needs to Be to Seek Asylum Is Also a U.S. Issue

     Here's an update on my last post.  The BBC reports:
     A Ugandan woman who says she is a lesbian has been granted an injunction temporarily preventing her deportation.  Brenda Namiggade says she fears for her life if she is returned from the UK to Uganda, where gay sex is illegal.  Her initial asylum application had been refused. The Home Office said a court had ruled she was "not homosexual" and therefore did not have a genuine claim....  Ms Namiggade's case will now go to judicial review.
     Ms Namiggade's legal team asked a judge to grant an injunction against her deportation, which was due to take place on Friday evening.  The 29-year-old's lawyer told the BBC his client had already boarded her flight at Heathrow airport when the injunction was granted.  Her lawyer, Abdulrahman Jafar, said he would argue that Ms Namiggade should be allowed to remain in the UK regardless of her sexuality.  "The press coverage about her activities certainly expose her to a real risk if she is to be returned to Uganda," he said.
     Ms Namiggade, who was held at a detention centre just outside London, has told the BBC's Network Africa programme she was "shaking" with fear at the prospect of returning to Uganda.  She said she fled to the UK in 2002 after being beaten and victimised because of her sexuality.
     Before you conclude that the United States treats homosexuals, who seek asylum from their native states where LGBT persons are murdered or imprisoned, any better than the UK, read on.  The New York Times reports:
     Amid international outcry over news of the Czech Republic’s testing the veracity of claims of purportedly gay asylum seekers by attaching genital cuffs to monitor their arousal while they watched pornography, some gay refugees and their advocates in New York are complaining that they can be penalized for not outwardly expressing their sexuality. While asylum-seekers and rights groups here expressed relief that use of the so-called erotic lie detector is impossible to imagine in the United States, some lamented in recent interviews that here too, homosexuals seeking asylum may risk being dismissed as not being gay enough. 
     The very notion of “gay enough,” of course, or proving one’s sexuality through appearance, dress and demeanor, can be offensive — and increasingly androgynous fashions and the social trend known as metrosexuality have blurred identities in many people’s minds.
     “Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.”
     So basically, U.S. policy is if you can pass by lying about who you are and living in the closet, then you should.  So much for equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ugandan Lesbian to be Deported from UK and Possibly Face Death; David Kato, Ugandan Gay Rights Leader, Assassinated

     From an email I just received from Get Equal:
     Brenda Namigadde, a Ugandan lesbian in the UK, faces deportation TOMORROW back to the life-threatening persecution she fled eight years ago.
     We just found out that one of the leading figures in the LGBT movement in Uganda, David Kato, was murdered yesterday in his home. This awful tragedy makes clear what's at stake for Brenda if she is forced to return.
     Will you join more than 10,000 people in 85 countries and sign this urgent letter pressuring U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May to stop Brenda’s deportation?
     Click HERE to sign the letter.

     There was tragic news out of Uganda today.  The Guardian reports the murder of David Kato, gay civil rights pioneer and leader:
     He was known as the "grandfather of the kuchus", as gay people in Uganda call themselves, a brave and fiercely committed activist who led the struggle for gay rights for more than a decade. David Kato went to jail for his beliefs, and to court, winning his greatest victory three weeks ago against a newspaper that had called for him to be hanged.
     But early on Wednesday afternoon he appeared to have paid the ultimate price: he had been battered to death with a hammer in his home in Kampala, shocking the gay and human rights communities locally and abroad.
     Kato's friends and colleagues believe his sexuality and work are likely to have played a role in his murder. Oloka-Onyango said Kato did not appear to have been involved in "shady business or party politics, the things that normally lead to this kind of attack".
     "This is a very strange thing to happen in the middle of the day, and suggests pre-meditation," he said.
     A joint statement from several civil society organisations in South Africa, where Kato lived in the 1990s, paid tribute to "our courageous queer African martyr", and said that certain politicians and religious leaders in Uganda were "at least in part responsible for this callous murder" due to their "fostering of prejudice and homophobia".

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rachel Maddow Interviews David Bahati, Author of Uganda's Kill-the-Gays Bill

     Here's some background on the scientifically-debunked myths still being spun by fundamentalist and Catholic Christians concerning homosexuality:

     Bahati claims to "love" gays, but believes they should be put to death. He goes on to say: "I want to be sure that this law is consistent with god's law."

     Here's part two of Maddow's Bahati interview.   Bahati: "I'm not involved in a hate campaign."  But, he believes that gays should be put to death, because the Bible says, "The wages of sin is death."  He also says that a certain Jewish carpenter agrees.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bad News in Uganda: Paper Outs Homosexual Persons; They Are Under Attack

     The BBC reports:
     Several people have been attacked in Uganda after a local newspaper published their names and photos, saying they were homosexual, an activist has told the BBC.  Frank Mugisha said one woman was almost killed after her neighbours started throwing stones at her house.  He said most of those whose names appeared in Uganda's Rolling Stone paper had been harassed.
     Last year, a local MP called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts.  The proposed Anti-homosexuality Bill sparked an international outcry and a year later has not been formally debated by parliament.  Homosexual acts are already illegal in Uganda and activists say the gay community still lives in fear.
     "We have got people who have been threatened to be thrown out of work, people who have been threatened by their own family members, who want to throw them out of their own houses," said Mr Mugisha of the Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Uganda's Kill the Gays Bill Unlikely to Pass

     From Kampala, Uganda, the Global Post reports:
     Uganda's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which raised a worldwide uproar over its death penalty for gay sex, has stalled in parliamentary committee and it is unlikely to be passed in the current session, according to gay activists here.
     The defeat of Bill No. 18, a.k.a. Uganda's Kill the Gays Bill, is a great victory in the battle against those who preach the Gospel According to Hate.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lou Engle Supports Supporters of Gay Death Penalty in Uganda

     Christian Pastor Lou Engle showed his true anti-gay colors (again) in an interview with Religion Dispatches' Sarah Posner.  When Ms. Posner questioned Engle about his participation The Call in Uganda which was interpreted as his supporting the gay death penalty bill in that country, Engle explained his beliefs.  Basically, he believes his bible outlaws homosexuality, thus so should the state, and that his bible opens the door for the gay death penalty, but he does not support that part of the Ugandan bill.

     Oyet and David Bahati, the parliamentarian who authored the bill, met with Engle before the rally and were, according to Sharlet, "ecstatic at what they perceived as Engle's strong support of the bill. They felt his rally and his statements would be a turning point for the bill, reassuring their Ugandan allies that they had support abroad." 
     Engle insisted to me -- as he has in his public statements posted on his website -- that he did not support the bill's penalties. He also maintained that he did not know who the speakers at The Call were going to be, because the arrangements were handled by a Ugandan ministry (although he admitted meeting with Buturo beforehand). But he also made absolutely clear that he supports the criminalization of homosexuality, believes there could be a biblical basis for a death penalty, that the United Nations has promoted the "homosexual agenda" to Uganda's detriment, and he lauded the bill's promoters' efforts to take a "principled stand" against that.
      In this case, Lou Engle is either a liar or an extremely poor leader of his organization.  How did he not know who the speakers were going to be at The Call in Uganda?  He's the leader of the organization, and he spoke, prayed, and denounced homosexuals side by side with the pro-gay-death-penalty speakers.

     What was the definition of false witness again, Lou?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Current TV's New Documentary "Missionaries of Hate" Explores the Anti-Gay Christian Movement in Uganda

     Current TV is airing a new Vanguard documentary called "Missionaries of Hate," Wednesdays at 10/9c.

     The documentary explores how Christian preachers in Uganda are generating support for Bill No. 18, the kill-the-gays bill.  These pastors include Americans that travel to Uganda, as well as well-known locals, such as Martin Ssepma of the "homosexuals eat poop" lunacy.

     Here's the log-line via Current TV:
     Correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. As an anti-gay movement spreads across the continent, gay Africans and their families face an increasingly uncertain future of isolation, imprisonment or even execution.
     Embedded below are parts 1, 2, and 3 of "Missionaries of Hate."

     Current's synopsis of "Uganda Is a Christian Nation: Missionaries of Hate, Part 2":
     Uganda is almost 90 percent Christian, and American evangelicals such as Rick Warren, Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer are hugely popular. An American-led conference in March 2009 promoted the idea of a "gay agenda" and may have introduced Ugandan religious and political leaders to many of the anti-gay ideas that are now widely held. Mariana interviews David Bahati, the member of Uganda's parliament who introduced the anti-gay bill, and Pastor Martin Ssempa, who is angry that Rick Warren has condemned the proposed law.

     Current's summary of "Pastor Martin Ssempa's Crusade: Missionaries of Hate, Pt. 3":
     The leader of Uganda's anti-gay movement is Pastor Martin Ssempa, a skilled and savvy showman who uses press conferences with international media and church services to present his sermons on the evils of homosexuality. He shows hard-core gay pornography and has a young woman testify to being seduced into being a lesbian by activists.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Death Penalty, the Company the United States Keeps

     What does the United States have in common with Cuba, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Uganda, and other bastions of human rights around the world?

     These maps are from Esquire.
    They are: Cuba, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United States, Venezuela, and Yemen
     There are 71 countries in the world that have the death penalty.

     They are: Cuba, China, Egypt, Iran, Jamaica, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United States, and Yemen
     We, in the United States, like to think of ourselves as an "advanced" country and a democracy, where all are created equal, but when it comes to banning homosexuals in the military and using the death penalty, the company we keep is antithetical to democracy.

     To check out the other maps in the Esquire article, click here.

     Thanks to JoeMyGod for lead.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gay Malawi Couple Convicted for Engagement Ceremony

     A gay couple in Malawi has been convicted for having an engagement celebration and will likely go to jail.  When released (if they survive prison), they will face death threats and probably have to flee their country.
     A judge convicted a gay couple Tuesday of charges that could send them to jail for more than a decade following an engagement celebration ...Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner Steven Monjeza, 26, were arrested the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked — an apparent first in Malawi.
     The couple were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency under laws dating from the colonial era. Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa said the sentencing will take place on Thursday and they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years.
     Homosexuality is illegal in at least 37 countries in Africa including Malawi. In Uganda, lawmakers are considering a bill that could sentence homosexuals to life in prison and includes capital punishment for "repeat offenders." Even in South Africa, the only African country that recognizes gay rights, gangs have raped lesbians.
     Mwakasungula said the two Malawian men were concerned that if they were released, they could be attacked by Malawians who have threatened them. But given the laws and the climate in Malawi, he said a guilty verdict had been expected.
     The government, backed by Malawi church leaders, says it is clear the two men broke the law. Religious officials say homosexuality is "sinful" and the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality. Malawi relies on donors for 40 percent of its development budget.
     Malawi is 55% Protestant and 20% Catholic.  How's that for the traditional value of love thy neighbor?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ugandan Catholic Priest May Get Death Penalty for Raping Girls and Infecting Them with HIV

       While the conservative Christians of Uganda and their allies have been busy praying to their god for the passage of Uganda's kill-the-gays bill, they overlooked a Catholic priest who was raping little girls.  Now, Father Santos Constatino Wapokura, Catholic priest in Packwach, Uganda, may face the death penalty.

     The New Vision reports:
     The Director of Public Prosecution, Richard Butera, has ordered the arrest of a Catholic priest in Nebbi district who allegedly defiled two girls, and possibly infected them with HIV.
     Butera yesterday said evidence was sufficient to charge the Rev. Fr. Santos Constatino Wapokura. “That matter is clear: He should be charged,” Butera said in an interview.
     Wapokura, 45, the parish priest of Pakwach, is accused of defiling a 14-year-old girl who was serving in the church. Wapokura had been in Police custody twice over the same allegations. His latest release was ordered by the resident state attorney, Innocent Obale, purportedly to allow the parties resolve the matter out of court. 
     Upon his arrest last month, the Police said the clergyman tested positive for HIV and upgraded his offence to aggravated defilement. He will be hanged if convicted. The priest dismissed the allegations as a ploy to taint his name.
     One of the complainants told the Police that Wapokura would often ask her to go to his house, where he would follow her and force her into sex. On another occasion, the girl alleged, she was at the priest’s home with other visitors when Wapokura sexually assaulted her after sending away the other people.
     Reason #1,598,647 that the Catholic Church's ban on condoms is out of date, hypocritical, and just plain violent: little girls infected with HIV by their natural family planning practicing priests.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lou Engle's Uganda Gay Death Penalty Hypocrisy

     "Pastor" Lou Engle of TheCall took to the stage Sunday afternoon in Uganda and, in an act of blatant hypocrisy, contradicted a statement he made last week, when he said he didn't support Uganda's gay death penalty bill.

     Sharing his stage with speakers who support the bill and lead the 1,300 present in prayer for its passage, homosexuality was mentioned repeatedly in a list of "sins" including witchcraft, child sacrifice, corruption and terrorism.

     Before the "prayer" rally on Sunday at Makerere University in Kampala, Engle released this statement to the U.S. press:
  TheCall had no knowledge at the time, of the Uganda homosexual bill and the controversy surrounding it...TheCall has been wrongfully marked and vilified as an organization promoting hatred and violence against homosexuals and as one that supports the Uganda bill as currently written...We do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill.
     After Engle arrived in Uganda far away from the U.S. press (but not quite far enough), he contradicted himself as all good hypocrites do.  The New York Times reports:
     Before arriving here last week, Mr. Engle came out with a statement condemning the harsh penalties proposed in the bill, and said that his ministry could not support it. But when he took the stage late on Sunday afternoon, with Ugandan politicians and pastors looking on, he praised the country’s “courage” and “righteousness” in promoting the bill.
     “NGOs, the U.N., Unicef, they are all coming in here and promoting an agenda,” Mr. Engle said, referring to nongovernmental organizations. “Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda has become ground zero.”
     Politicians here have said no amount of aid cuts or foreign pressure would dissuade them from passing the bill, but the legislation has been stuck in a parliamentary committee since the beginning of the year.
     Moments after Mr. Engle and his entourage filed off of the athletic grounds, Uganda’s minister of ethics, James Buturo, another of the bill’s supporters, came on stage and told those assembled: “These are desperate times, but we will not accept intimidation. It is our business to do what God [sic] wants. Pray for Bahati, and pray for the bill.” 
     Yes, your god wants you to kill the gays.  How loving and Christian is your Gospel According to Hate.

     “We must tell the whole world that Uganda will not accept that nonsense that says homosexuality is a human right,” Buturo added to the crowd of several hundred people. “It is an abomination.”
     Bigots of a feather, pray together.
     For the first two hours of TheCall, homosexuality was mentioned frequently, but in passing, often in a list of sins (including witchcraft, child sacrifice, corruption, and terrorism) that worshipers should pray for or confess to. Shortly after 4 p.m., however, prayers began for Bahati’s bill to be passed
     When Engle himself finally took the microphone at about 5 p.m., he dug almost immediately into the controversy, saying he hadn’t known about the bill and nearly canceled his trip over questions raised by his presence. But at no point did he contest Oyet’s support for the bill.  “We know that Uganda has been under tremendous pressure—the church. We felt that same pressure. But I felt like TheCall was to come and join with the church of Uganda to encourage you that in the nation who are showing courage to take a stand for righteousness in the earth,” Engle said.
     Righteousness?  Yes, killing people you disagree with is so very biblical.

    Image Credits:
Lou Engle's Big Mouth, The Bilerico Project
Lou Engle with Christian and Pro-Ugandan Gay Death Penalty Supporters, Religion Dispatches

Friday, April 30, 2010

Progressive Christian Pastors Protest Lou Engle and Uganda's Gay Death Penalty Law

     On May 2, The Call, a U.S. evangelical ministry led by Lou Engle, together with its Ugandan affiliate, will host a religious gathering at a stadium in Uganda’s capital Kampala. Among other things, the event aims to rally participants around anti-gay sentiments by urging them to "fight vices eating away at our society", and specifically mentions homosexuality as a societal evil. This comes as Uganda’s Parliament continues to debate an anti-homosexuality bill that is one of the most severe discriminatory measures ever proposed. Though homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, there have been reports that this much harsher bill emerged in part as a result of the anti-gay campaigning conducted in recent years by some U.S.-based evangelical groups with an anti-gay message similar to that of The Call. The May 2 event has the potential to inflame intolerance and worsen the situation for LGBT Ugandans, who have, in recent months, suffered from increased instances of public harassment and targeted violent attacks
     A small group of Christian faith leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest Americans' involvement in the discrimination, harassment, and murder of gays in Uganda.  They are joined by an anonymous (for his safety) gay Ugandan man, who was forced to marry a woman, assaulted in school, raped by a policeman, and fired from his job because he's gay. This is the life of gays in Uganda, under the rule of Born Again Christian President Yoweri Museveni.

     Harry Knox, Director of Religion & Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign, sums up the actions of those like Lou Engle (text from the embedded video below):
     It's clear that there is a movement afoot in this country by the right wing unfortunately to export homophobia. We have done a really good job of combating that in this country and the tide is beginning to turn.  They [members of the religious right] feel the sand slipping under their feet.  They're looking for greener pastures and they're trying to export homophobia to equatorial Africa and South America and other places.  It's incumbent on us, now that we have a little bit of privilege as LGBT folks in this country, to be sure to stand with our sisters and brothers around the world and not let homophobia be exported.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lou Engle's Call to Uganda: Put Gays to Death

     Guess who's taking his hate-filled god-show to Uganda next month?

     Lou Engle

     The month of May will be a very dangerous time to be gay in Uganda, as Pentecostal churches there gear up for a series of crusades, marches and rallies commemorating the 50th Jubilee of the Pentecostal movement there. An anonymous BTB reader in Uganda reports that television is already carrying commercials advertising at least one event, a three-day conference to be held at the sports grounds at Makerere University (Uganda’s largest institution of higher learning) with a march and rally to be held the following Friday, May 7.  In the midst of that expected furor steps yet another American anti-gay extremist, Lou Engle of The Call, who has announced plans to hold a rally in Kampala on May 2, also at the Makerere University Sports Field.
     Engle's "The Call to National Repentance Climax Day" description lists "witchcraft and human sacrifice" right next to "homosexuality" in a list of evils in society that the Call will combat.  You know, because all gays are witches and are into killing people for their gods. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Uganda Kill-the-Gays Bill Update: United Kingdom to Ban Ugandan MP

     Finally the government challenges Uganda's kill-the-gays bill.

     No, not the United States government.

     The British government will ban a Ugandan MP from travelling to the UK if he is successful in passing a law that would impose the death penalty in Uganda for being gay.  Civil servants in the Foreign Office, the Department for International Development and the Borders Agency are drawing up plans to block the visa of born-again Christian MP David Bahati if he does not drop legislation that would see consenting adults who have gay sex imprisoned for life and impose the death penalty on those with HIV – which will be called "aggravated homosexuality".  The bill also proposes the death penalty for those having gay sex with anyone under the age of 18, with someone disabled or what the legislation describes as "serial offenders".  It also calls for life prison sentences for those "promoting homosexuality", which could come to mean human rights groups or those who fail to inform on a gay couple.  One senior British government source said the issue could turn into a "major diplomatic incident if the Ugandans do not back down".
     Thanks to Towleroad for the heads up!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Zimbabwe's Roman Catholics Subjecting Gays and Lesbians to Heterosexual Rape in order to Make them Straight; But Good News in Uganda

     There's bad news and good news today, concerning the rights of homosexuals in Zimbabwe and Uganda.

     After last month, when "traditionally" married, self-proclaimed gay-hater, and Roman Catholic President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe vowed not to include gay rights in the nation's new constitution, describing homosexuals as "lower than pigs and dogs," the AP reports:
     Gay Zimbabweans face widespread harassment and some have even been raped by those intending to convert their sexuality, the U.S. State Department said in a discussion of its annual human rights report in Zimbabwe.  Gay men were forced into heterosexual acts and lesbian women were raped, sometimes by male relatives, to teach them to change their ways, said Amanda Porter, political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Harare and compiler of the report.  "Some families reportedly subjected men and women to corrective rape and forced marriages to encourage heterosexual conduct," she said Tuesday.
     Same-sex acts are illegal in Zimbabwe and while there have been no reported prosecutions related to consensual homosexuality in recent years, the offense carries a penalty of up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.
     She said attitudes and laws in Zimbabwe made gays feel unsafe. Many did not seek medical care, for fear of being shunned by health providers and others who were stigmatized, reported abandoning their education early and suffering higher rates of unemployment and homelessness than other groups.
     So, how does the Vatican feel about its Catholic faithful forcing disgusting, immoral, and hypocritical  heterosexual rape upon homosexuals in order to "cure" them?  Wait a minute.  Who cares?  The child-rape-enabling Vatican has forfeited any authority to speak on matters of a sexual nature.  It doesn't take the myths of religion or god to know that rape in any form is wrong.

     Finally, the good news is from Uganda, where my fellow blogger at Gay Uganda reports that Uganda's kill-the-gays bill has been delayed because a parliamentary panel said the bill lacks enough backing.  We can only hope that this bill with die and that gay Ugandans will not face the death penalty that Christians have been trying to push through parliament.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Anti-Gay Exodus International Ignores Role in Ugandan Gay Death Penalty Bill

     The "ex-gay" Christian activist group, Exodus International, has issued a letter on their website, condemning Uganda's kill-the-gays bill that remains unresolved, threating to impose the death penalty on HIV-positive gay men in Uganda and life in prison for all other gays.  The hypocrisy is that Exodus was involved in the gestation of the bill and sidesteps this fact in their letter.  They are trying to have their anti-gay cake in Uganda, and to eat their "compassionate" cake here in the U.S.A.

•implicitly denies the existence of sexual orientation, referring only to behavior.
•falsely states that Exodus has not supported legislation depriving others of “life and dignity,” despite the organization’s prior support for Uganda’s March 2009 pro-genocide conference and years of official organizational support for legislation that separates LGBT parents from their children and that fosters discrimination and ostracism against LGBT workers, renters, and youths.
•conspicuously omits “liberty” and “the pursuit of happiness” from the “life and dignity” that it claims to uphold.
•fails to hold president Alan Chambers and board member Don Schmierer accountable for their negligent and reckless affirmation of the March 2009 conference and subsequent disregard for human life in Uganda
•is one year late — an official statement was sought by human-rights advocates and ex-gay watchdogs a full year ago, when such a statement could have prevented Uganda’s ensuing genocide campaign.
•is likely to be ignored by the organization’s partners in Uganda — and by Exodus Global Alliance –because it is a year late and written under extreme public pressure.
•sidesteps the only truly literal “conservative” interpretation of the Bible regarding homosexuality — an interpretation which requires LGBT people to be stoned to death by the self-righteous. There are NO Bible verses which support Exodus and NARTH’s discredited variations of reparative therapy, nor any verses calling for Exodus-style discrimination and deception, though some verses may be liberally and non-literally interpreted as an affirmation of same-sex orientation.
•fails to affirm any human rights whatsoever — it opposes antigay genocide solely because genocide prevents churches from evangelizing those who are slaughtered. To Exodus, human lives are just pawns in a chess game, or ticks on a scorecard.
•falsely and piously claims that signers have sole ownership of unspecified “transformation” — a deliberate insinuation that said signers have been “cured” of their sexual orientation.
•falsely characterizes Christianity as a right-wing ideological “identity” and not a spiritual profession or practice.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Escatology, Ssepma, and the "Natural" Law

Escatology: the practice of blaming the end of civilization or the world on homosexual males, based on the faulty assumption that all gay men eat "poo poo;" common belief held by conservative Christians and Muslims, both in the United States and abroad.

     Two weeks ago, Ariel Rubin of the Huffington Post exposed yet another level of the lies, scare tactics, and dangerous ignorance being manipulated and preached by pro family pastor Martin Ssempa, who is the holy cleric leading the charge to pass Uganda's proposed Bill No. 18, otherwise known as the kill-the-gays bill.  The blogosphere has been abuzz with comments, posts, and responses to Ssempa's pornographic  argument for executing gays or at least putting them in prison for life.  Rubin reports on Christian man of god, Ssempa's recent press conference:
    A pornographic slideshow of black and white photographs of men engaging in scatological fetishism is revealed. "I want to show you from their website", he proclaims, a devious smile forming. "I've taken the time to research what homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedroom. It is inhuman, it is animalistic, and it cannot be right. I want to show you these pictures." The audience lurches forward, leering at the pictures and groaning in disgust. Ssempa, enthusiastically goes on:
     "I want to say homosexuals eat each other's poop. Homosexuals stick their hands into their rectum. Homosexuals stick all sorts of deviant sexual things into their rectum. I want to show you this is from their website. So the first picture that I want to show you, you can see this man has just eaten the other person's poo poo and is rubbing it on his mouth, and I'm going to ask that we print for each of you a photocopy of this story so you get it fully.
     "Then, of course, they are grabbing each other's gentials, that is level number one, touching each other, grabbing each other. Then number three, now they are licking each other's anus and are licking poop. And they call poo poo, chocolate. You see it is a change of words. I want you to see, Sheikh please forgive me but I want these people to see, they say a picture is worth one thousand words. This is a man eating the other person's poo poo, can you see that one? Please from BBC, I want you to tell them, we know what they do. "
     This coming from a man of god, a community and church leader, and yet also the co-author of a bill which makes touching another person "with the intention to commit homosexuality" an offense punishable by life in prison. He concludes, "After they have eaten poo poo, then he puts his hand inside the other man's rectum. You can see it. That is called fisting. FISTING! Practiced by 65% of all homosexuals. It is deviant! As if that is not enough, he puts it all the way," he pauses for effect and then excitedly grunts, "iiiiiin!" The audience erupts in laughter.
     It would be easy to laugh at Ssempa's views and hasty generalizations.  I mean, come on, 65% of gay men fist?  I have never met a single gay man that says he fists, and online, where people are very open on their preferences about what they do and don't like, an extremely small percentage of gay men fist, and very, very few people indicate that they like scat play.  Ssempa is ridiculous, and I'd like to ignore him, but Ugandan's lives are at stake and his views are still being used to spread homophobic lies and discrimination in the United States

     Ssempa used a porn movie from an internet fetish site and concluded that all, or at least the majority of homosexual men, engage in these same fetish activities.  [WARNING: do not click on the remaining hyperlinks in this paragraph, unless you are okay with seeing graphic sexual images.]  Using this logic, one can also assume that all married couples swap their wives and swing, as the hetero sex site, Wink, Wink, Play, Play: The Adult Social Network for the Swinglifestyle, indicates.  Or why not click on Affair Match, where all "traditionally" married heterosexual couples go to cheat on their spouses?  Or head on over to where all you married heterosexuals can chose from over two and half million practitioners of bondage, S&M, leather, or any fetish of your choosing?  And finally, Ssempa's argument really falls apart, when one has brains enough to Google and discovers that there are also heterosexual "poo poo" sites, like the Scat Porn Diary or even the  more daring Puke Scat.

     The thing that really sets me off, about Ssempa and many of the anti-LGBT comments that have been fielded over the past two weeks and over the centuries since Thomas Aquinas ate himself into oblivion, is that religious folks, especially Catholics, claim the Natural Law Theory of Aquinas and that god's will for what is right and wrong is discernible in they way that things have naturally been created.  The church claims absolute knowledge of god's will and revelation through its own interpretation of natural law, full of projection and superstition.   For example, one could argue that according to natural law everything in the universe is recycled: water, plant matter, dead stars, energy, etc.  From that simple observation, according to the natural law, reincarnation would seem logical.  Why wouldn't the "soul" be recycled like everything else?  But Catholics don't believe in reincarnation, so the natural law can't be interpreted that way.

     What homophobic religious zealots like Ssempa, Pat Robertson, and Pope Ben do is project their own heterosexual (questionable in the case of Pope Ben) understanding onto creation.  It's obvious that they've never had an erect penis against their prostates, or even a mere finger for that matter.  If they had, they would know that the male body was created or evolved with a very powerful pleasure spot three or four inches inside the anus, just where an erect penis is perfectly shaped and formed to stimulate.  So apparently, human males were created with the ability to pleasure other human males up the butt.  I, myself, have never known the "natural" urge or desire for sex with a woman: no attractions, no fantasies, no wet dreams.  I have always fallen in love with men.  I've been this way since I can remember.  So, in my experience, following my natural way of being is homosexual.  To have sex with a woman seems unnatural to me, but I don't project this onto the world claiming that all men have to be gay.

    Ssempa also has no understanding of douching and bathing.  Does he have sex with his wife when she's bleeding out?  I doubt it?  So, why does he assume that gay men have no sense of cleanliness?  Homophobic ignorance and bigotry.

     What all of you gay people don't understand is that you defy the logic of the creation of man and man, man and woman, and woman and woman. There is no natural way for you to have intercourse so you resort to what many think is disgusting. Anytime someone attempts to enter someone else [sic] anus, the result has to be some amount of poop. Sempa [sic] is absoultely [sic] right to mention this...these are the unspoken disgusting aspects of homosexuality for men and truly it is a disgusting thought for anyone to comprehend. Even without Sempa's [sic] explanation, he still can just say, they use their anus' [sic] for pleasure. DISGUSTING! We are trained from a very young age to treat poo poo as disgusting.
     Just for shits and giggles, let's turn the tables on anonymous' train of thought, by changing just a few words:
     There is no natural way for you HETEROSEXUALS to have intercourse so you resort to what many HOMOSEXUALS think is disgusting. Anytime someone attempts to enter someone else [sic] VAGINA, the result has to be some amount of BLOOD.
     Sex whether it's hetero or homo involves bodily fluids in germ-infested holes that either bleed, poop, or have teeth. 

     Parts of the body, naturally serve multiple functions, some involving waste and others sensory pleasure.
  • The nose: it smells, is a passage for breathing, expels phlegm, and drains the head of infection. 
  • The mouth: it chews, it tastes, it provides a breathing passage, it is our species' instrument for verbal communication and intimate touch, and it provides an escape passage for poisons and toxins that one might accidentally ingest. Vomiting and tooth decay are disgusting, but you heteros still kiss your wives (and mistresses).
  • The penis: it's used for ejaculating semen and also for passing urine and kidney stones. Does that mean that all heterosexuals use their penises to urinate up their female partner's vaginas?  Of course not!
  • The vagina: it's an outlet for the urethra and urine; a pleasure center for tactile and sexual stimulation; a drainage passage for blood, unused uterine and embryonic tissues, a canal for "god's" natural abortions (that make up about 10-20% of pregnancies that women know about and 50-70% of pregnancies end in natural spontaneous abortions-so much for natural law proving that god wants every fertilized embryo to be born a baby); and finally, the vagina is the passage for birth, with all of its blood, fluids, mucus plugs, and meconium.  So does this mean that all heterosexual males drink blood, eat naturally aborted embryonic feces, and smear expelled uterine baby "poo poo" on their lips?  Of course not.
     So why is is so hard for homophobic religious people to understand that the anus, like every other hole in the body, serves multiple functions?

     Again to restate and rework cowardly anonymous' words:
     "We are trained from a very young age to treat VAGINAL BLOOD as disgusting." 
     It's in the Jewish and Christian scriptures.  Look it up.  You might find that your god thinks you deserve a good stoning.

     Until then, as one of my believing friends says: "If god didn't want men to fuck, god wouldn't have given us holes."  Not as elegant as Catholic natural law, but definitely simpler and truer. 

Committed Homosexual Partners: Saints Sergius and Bacchus

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Iran into the Death Chamber

      Did you know that in 2008 there were 346 people executed under Iranian law for being homosexual?  

     Below, the embedded video tells of two teenage boys, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni who were brutally tortured until they confessed and were then hanged, for the crime of being homosexual in Iran.

     Note that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia still puts gays to death.  Why is it that our government is being so outspoken about Uganda's pending gay death penalty law, while ignoring our oil-soaked friend Saudi Arabia's law?  Is there no available oil in Uganda?  Apparently, there's more oil in Uganda than Saudi Arabia.  That's horrible news for gay Ugandans.

     Go to 346 No Execution for more information on how to take action to fight the homosexual death penalty in Iran.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ugandan Lies and Death Threats

     My posts the past few weeks have been light on current events, because I was on vacation.  That said, I have not forgotten about some of the major sermons coming from "religious" people's Gospel According to Hate.

     The Christian-fundamentalist created and backed Ugandan Bill No. 18 (a.k.a. "the kill-the-gays" bill) is still pending, unresolved.  American politicians and Christian leaders continue to distance themselves from the bill, even though some of them were instrumental to the creation of the bill.

     In response to these Christian leaders, Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program published: "Op-Ed: Bearing False Witness in Uganda."  He argues against the Christians that sowed the seed of the anti-gay bill from the point of being a Christian:
     Scott Lively one of the [American evangelical] participants, who also consulted with lawmakers [about the dangers of the "homosexual agenda"], is reported to have been disappointed that the legislation went as far as it did.  How far is far enough?  Far enough to subject gay people to discredited, damaging “therapy” that seeks to change who we are?  Is keeping us from giving children a loving and permanent family far enough?  Is the denial of a life-sustaining and community-enhancing job enough?  Is it enough to make us outcasts in our families and communities?  The jail time that gay people already face in Uganda – is that sufficient?   What fruits of his lying would Mr. Lively accept?  I admonish him to remember the scriptural wisdom that we reap what we sow.
     You might argue that the real problem here was not the message but the missionaries’ misreading of Uganda.  After all, Americans have been subjected to the same views for years and there has never been a death penalty law proposed here (though private executioners commit thousands of hate crimes against us).
     Wherever they go, these people preach that it is wrong to be gay like me and dangerous for a society to let people like me be ourselves.  Even when it does not spawn atrocious legislation, it is still false witness; it is still mistreatment of other human beings; it is still lying to achieve power over others.
     My fellow blogger at GayUganda continues his courageous confrontation of the kill-the-gays-bill from within Uganda, risking his freedom and life, and the life of his partner.  Today, he posted that the Ugandan government newspaper New Vision reported that President Museveni has warned the ruling party against the bill.  Museveni reported having spoken with the Canadian and British prime ministers as well as with U.S. Secretary of State Clinton, to whom he spoke for a reported forty-five minutes about the bill.  Museveni also reported that the protest rallies lead by homosexuals in other countries (where they aren't put in jail for being out of the closet) has affected his consideration.

     GayUganda posted his thanks thanks for the all the work LGBT civil rights' activists in other countries have been doing to curb the kill-the-gays bill.  The pressure seems to be working. 
     Thanks, guys and gals out there for the pressure on YOUR governments. If anything, those are the ones that are going to do the trick. The magnified 300,000 homos demonstrating in NY, Washington(?), see how distance does magnify things!, Thanks brothers and sisters for helping out this homo in Uganda when he is under threat. We cant hold such a demonstration...! Of course. But, we can say thanks, for your demonstration did work.
      There is certainly pressure on the government to back down. Is it enough? I don't know. The President has backed back. Though not very decisively. Maybe. Lets watch and see...!
     Still, I don't think that we North Americans always understand the gravity of situation facing LGBT persons in other countries.  Sure, we don't have equal rights here in the U.S.A.  Sure, there are still homophobic, violent people who would beat and/or kill us in the streets if they saw us holding hands with our lovers, but we have free speech.  We have the right to assemble and protest.  We have hate crime legislation on the books.  The LGBT persons of Uganda and many other nations don't even have these basic rights. and protections  If they come out, they are put in jail or killed.

      In response to his blogging about gay rights in Uganda, GayUganda had the following anonymous comment left on his blog:
     Death threats.  Bullying.  Condemnation.  Fear.

     These have been the tools of ruling majorities intent on crushing the different minority throughout human history.  Hopefully, the work that courageous men and women like GayUganda and others are doing will make Uganda a safer place for all people.