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Uganda kill-gay bill - why the bloody silence?!
Sparky
sparkindarkness
I realise some people may not be aware so to remind people - Uganda is currently passing a law that grossly oppresses homosexuality. Homosexuals will be imprisoned for long terms - or executed. Anyone speaking in favour of homosexuals or “promoting” homosexuality can be imprisoned.

The sad thing is that some people may not be aware of this. I rather suspect most people aren’t.

See, I try to stay connected. I have a 101 news feeds that spam me every day from around the world - I also have double that in blogs I follow to increase my awareness. It’s a duty of everyone to be informed, I think - there really are few excuses for ignorance in this day and age.

The gay blogs have been very good at reporting this horrendous law and responses. Or lack therof - Catholic church, English Anglican church, I’m looking at you, homophobes. You can‘t even condemn a law to slaughter us?! Tweedle Phobe and Tweedle Bigot are happy for their churches to push this law and say nothing in opposition? Then people wonder why we look at the Anglican and Catholic churches as utterly evil, bigoted organisations? Oh and Obama - WHY does the US have no stance on this bloody law? Go go fierce advocate!

The blogs also cover the history behind it, including the many WESTERN churches, religious figures and pro-hate activists that have been involved (Rick Warren, that would be you, bastard). Box Turtle Bulletin in particular has done an amazing job of documenting this and keeping us updated - follow the dated links at the bottom of the page

The news feeds? *crickets* Maybe the odd throw-away line. One short article of one MPs PROPOSAL (never mind the actual law and progress) thank you BBC. Or a couple of nods (Guardian, Independent). The Daily Mail & Telegraph mention it in passing - but as how it makes things awkward for Brown (somehow).

I actually had to look for even these snippets - because they weren’t high on the feeds or in the papers. Watching the news on TV or Teletext will convince you it’s not even happening. The more I read my news feeds, the more I see it mentioned vaguely in passing - if at all. Frankly, I’ve seen better cover from American news sources - and precious little from most of them ( a nod to Rachel Maddow).

Compare that to the Swiss Minaret ban - a deeply disgusting and bigoted law, to be sure - and you have not just column inches - but column acres being written to condemn this bigotry. And rightly so - the Swiss minaret ban is nothing short of blatant religious bigotry. The fact that there isn’t even a great demand in Switzerland for new minarets shows this law for what it is - a message bigotry from the people of Switzerland against a marginalised body. it’s a symbolic gesture of hatred.

It is disgusting and worth every column inch and every expression of outrage - in fact, it could have done with a damn site more attention (though it is still in the news feeds now).

But surely a bill to IMPRISON and EXECUTE a marginalised group and anyone who speaks for them is worth as much attention? Having gay sex carries a LIFE IMPRISONMENT. Having gay sex multiple times is enough to be executed under this bill. And anyone who defends us, supports us OR DOESN’T REPORT US, can go to prison for up to 3 years. Someone from Uganda who leaves the country and has gay sex ELSEWHERE, will be sought for extradition.

Is it because it’s Africa? And Africa generally does receive previous little media attention. Is it because its homosexuals? After all there are already countries that kill us and torture us, what’s one more right?

This is a proposed genocide against homosexuals. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the fury? How can ANYONE be neutral on this? How can they have no position on this? Why isn’t the press screaming blue murder? Why aren’t more nations following in Sweden’s footsteps and cutting aid - hells, cutting ties and condemning them in no uncertain terms?

The silence is telling

That's...really fucking awful. I'm sorry I don't have anything better to say.

This law plumbs the depths - it's genocide and it's being ignored. And countries are treating it as unimportant

Is it because it’s Africa? ... Is it because its homosexuals?

Of course it's because it's Africa. It's because Everybody Knows bad things happen in Africa. Everybody Knows there's always a War or a Famine or Pirates or some Dictator committing genocide. Everybody Knows the entire continent is one fucking tragedy after another. And of course it's because it's homosexuals, because Everybody Knows there can only be one African Tragedy(TM) in the news at any one time, and starving babies are sooo much more photogenic.

What? Me, cynical?

I hate to drop into the cynical side of things, but I have to agree. It's probably this. Bleurgh.

I think it being Africa makes up most of it - no-one gives a damn about Africa and hasn't for a long time. The horrors and dramas of Africa are passed by or treated as footnotes.

I do rather think if it were a law to commit genocide on, say, Christians or Muslims or Jews though, we would have heard more about it.

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But they're aware of the law. It's obviously and objectively evil. They do not need experts on it for the Obama Admin to say "hey, this is a BAD thing." At best it shows indifference. More likely it shows pandering to the religious right over GENOCIDE. At worst it shows sympathy. I don't buy he doesn't have the political capital for his government to release a statement condemning this - I really don't buy that that is beyond him and his government.

Definitely - western Christianity is most certainly a driving force behind this genocide. And the churches should be cast down in shame because of it - it's inexcusable and just further destroys even the vaguest claims they had to morality as if they ever had.

Oh my god, wow. Why *aren't* we doing something about this? Everyone should at least *know*. Something is more likely to happen that way...

Because it's Africa - and we know bad things happen there, so no-one cares.

Because the victims are gay - and there's a huge rich group of organisations (called organised religion) which is quite happy for us all to die and the powers that be would rather have a gay genocide than upset the churches.

Between Africa and homosexual victims there is little attention - even when the motivation for this sprang from western churches. The best we can do is spread the word and hope this travesty is not ignored

I suspect that the lack of coverage in North America has a lot to do with the fact that the bill is being backed by religious organization The Family, which has strong ties to many US senators as well as the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton - and so on.

I mean, not that I don't think the fact that it's Africa and it's queer people has anything to do with it - clearly those are significant factors in what amounts to a media blackout. But if not for the US political and religious involvement, I really do think there'd be more news coverage, even if it was from reactionary news sources that love to pull out the "Look how terrible people are in Africa! We'd never do something like this in the civilized West!" bullshit. But the US influence in Uganda makes our media nervous.

FWIW, I run these days in radical activist circles and everyone I know who is aware of it is horrified and outraged. But there are also people who just don't know about it - or anything about the political situation in Uganda, for that matter. Not that that is any excuse for apathy. But I think the solution is grassroots public education, not just about the bill, but about politics in Uganda and North American involvement as well.

That being said I have been meaning to write about this for a while myself, but have been super busy and tired. Thank you for this kick in the ass; I need to get on informing people, too.

Which would probably be a major reason why the US still hasn't officially condemaned it. The media is afraid of stepping on the wrong toes and the admin afriad of upsetting the religious types

Exactly - I run in activist cycles and am connected and people are spitting blood, they're furious. And then i casually mention "we're all raging about this Uganda thing" and the most common response i get is "what Uganda thing?" It's definitely a spread the word moment

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