Human society is a network of interconnected social elements, with organic beings that interact for its preservation and advancement. Culture, religion, politics and economics play as environmental frames in running social affairs, in promoting citizens’ welfare, in keeping order and in instilling a sort of moral fibre to hold everything together for the state. In this interaction, ideologies and ideosyncracies of people in power compound to institutionalize hostility against the powerless like that of people of gender and sexuality.
Uganda’s parliament members are pushing to pass into law its “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”, which for the GLBTC sector is labelled as the Kill the Gays Bill. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, because it is believed to be Un-African and Un-Christian, the bill increases the penalty to life in prison, and for aggravated homexual acts – execution or death penalty. For those cuddling or protecting identified homosexuals they will also be liable for prosecution.
The bill has been condemned by the international community. In the recent May 13 parliament hearing in Uganda, it was shelved and not even debated. However, it is far from being dead, because its proponent David Bahati is persistent to push it. Ugandans are being divided by the issue, while the same position of Bahati about gays is being hurled by some ordinary people to lash its gay sectors. Homosexuals protesting against the bill are being harrassed inhumanely.
Religious fundamentalism is seen to influence this henious movement against gays in Uganda. Its influence interferes into the political affairs that result to institutionalize a social stigma that inflict on Ugandan gays. Further, the issue is contextualized as cultural concern, that to be gay is Un-African, so this becomes a hate campaign that discriminates and stereotypes the gays as worthless to the society. Unjustly, the bill judges the gays as immoral, vain, ill and evil to ruin the moral foundations of the Ugandan society. While the country is underdeveloped and the gay sector are as poor as others, they they do not see economic value in being gay. All these, however, in light of liberal and social understandings counter to treat homosexuals humanely in Uganda.
Liberal ideals inform that Uganda’s attitude and behavior are hostile to its homosexual citizens. This is a brought about by the ruling dictatorship in the country aggravated by post-colonial imperialism under the cloak of religion. Rachel Maddow, reports of the conspiracy between a US-based evangelical group and the Uganda’s dominant evangelical church. In the country, political power and religious influence mesh to maltreat homosexuals.
Homosexuality is a phenomenon taken in multi perspectives and believed to result from various factors. However, the issue is not about the cause of homosexuality, or what it is and what it does to society. The issue which all the world condemns is about human liberty and equal promotion of human rights. Should one think homosexuals are freaks; in their imperfections they are also born having the same rights as anyone else to live and to enjoy the life they want to have, unless their actions do harm against others.
For this reason, laws are institutionalized to bring order, to protect the citizens and to promote their liberties guaranteed by the consititution. The universal declaration of human rights, from which states should frame their laws and actions towards people, condemns such kind of hostility to anyone. The right to life and the right to express one’s self extends to the rational choice of the individual in a society, that does not preclude coming out and acting a ‘different’ sexul lifestyle. Democracy which embraces liberalism should guarantee that right regardless of a citizen’s sexual orientation.
The Kill-the-Gay-Bill in Uganda is not just an expression of those people in power of their dread for homosexuals, but it is an outright expression of a chauvinist culture that manifest from a patriarchal system as evidenced by the dominance of men in power, and the role of women in its society. Further this is no way different from the issue of apartheid which Africans fought against, but in different hues – now its black versus pink.
While the rest of the world have learned to embrace the social reality that people are different and that each one has their sexual preference, Uganda is moving backwards in its barbaric attitude towards homosexuals. In the world that accepts social diversity, homosexuals deserve the same right and treatment as given to every members of the society. They are in no way different than any human beings who have their liberties and political rights.
The international community of democracies and the GLBTC activists, together with everyone else who believe that gays are humans as well must come into open to condemn this abuse of political power that legalizes hostility on homosexuals. The evil of men is not in the expression of his sexuality, but in the expression of his hostility against any other men. What needs to be repressed is not the liberty of professing sexuality, but the ill intent of degrading humanity by thinking that homosexuals have no right to be who they are, where and when they might be.
This video tells more of how church leaders conspire with Ugandan authorities towards a hostile act against a sector of humanity.