Sunday, December 29, 2013

Observers Praise Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill

As discussed in an earlier post, Ugandan parliament announced on December 20th that it had passed a draconian anti-gay bill. The bill drew widespread criticism from Ugandan LGBTQ rights advocates, human rights organizations, and world leaders. However, the bill is also drawing praise from anti-gay observers, as well as some religious leaders inside Uganda.

In a recent news report by NTV Uganda (see above), several Christian religious leaders commended Ugandan parliament for approving the anti-gay bill. (Hat tip to Joe. My. God) After a holiday service at St. Paul's Cathedral in Namirembe, Bishop Wilberforce Luwalira told the media that he was pleased with the progress of the bill. At the 1:12 mark of the video, he had this to say.
"I add my voice to the rest of Ugandans who heard that the members of parliament--we are so firm on this bill and we are glad that they have done what we have been waiting for."
At the 1:46 mark, Pastor Raymond Ssekyanz hoped that Ugandan President Museveni would sign the anti-gay bill.
"We are resisting the homosexual [inaudible]. We are resisting all the evil things people want to do, and we are asking the president at least to sign that bill."
Former Ugandan prime minister Apolo Nsibambi expressed his disapproval of homosexuality and his approval of Bishop Luwalira's sentiments at the 2:08 mark.
"Homosexuality is a major problem, not only in this country but elsewhere, and consequences of homosexuality are grave. Many of our children are in terrible shape, so I support the bishop's position."

Other media sources reported on more Ugandan religious leaders praising the bill. Rev. Stanley Ntagalo, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, praised parliament for approving the anti-gay bill during a service at All Saints Church in Kampala. "I want to thank Parliament for passing the anti-homosexuality bill," he said, according to the Daily Monitor. He resisted the claim that the church rejects LGBTQ people, insisting that the church loves gays and wants them to find salvation.
"Can you imagine your son brings another man at home for introduction? ... The church preaches forgiveness, reconciliation and transformation. I do not want people to look at us and say the church is against the homosexuals. We love everybody. The homosexuals, and lesbians are all children of God but we want them to repent and have eternal life."
The Daily Monitor also reports that Bishop Andrew Mutengu, a pentecostal leader in Mbale, praised parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga for a "Christmas gift" in the form of the anti-gay bill. Kadaga, a supporter of the anti-gay bill, hoped to see the bill pass in late 2012 as a "Christmas gift" to the Ugandan people.
“She has given it to us by passing the homosexuality and pornography bills. We should now refocus our fight towards the rampant corruption, political intolerance, child sacrifice and abuse of human rights."
Stateside, several websites have posted a commentary piece in favor of the bill. LifeSite News and Catholic Online reprinted a commentary piece from Culture of Life Africa by Obianuju Ekeocha, in which she wrote warmly of legislation "that will protect traditional family values in their country". Even though the bill has upset many global observers ("some real powers and principalities in the developed world"), she applauded parliament for honoring "Christian values".
"The courageous Ugandan MP's have chosen to please God instead of men (or women!). And they have chosen to protect their citizens from the corrosive effects of moral decadence and unrestrained sexual lisence. They have voted their Christian values ... And on a day like this when a strong statement is made in Africa, their predictable response is always to tag Africans as "primitive", "hateful" and "homophobic" simply because we refuse to bow before the rainbow flag.

The colonial era is clearly behind us, and so our African leaders are free to decide how best to establish a civilisation of love and life where the African people can flourish. Just like everyone else, our leaders can see the bitter fruits of the ongoing sexual revolution in the West- death (through abortion), depopulation (through contraception), disease (sexually transmitted ones), divorce, depression and deconstruction of the family- all poisonous fruits that abound in Europe and America precisely as a result of a voracious sexual revolution which is growing out of control to accommodate every sexual perversion, whim and craving. Yes, our leaders have a right and even a duty to protect Africans from all that can hurt or destroy us and it is not "odious" to do so, neither is it apartheid!"
The commentary piece flaunted the dangerous stereotype of LGBTQ people as sexual predators. Ekeocha argued that Ugandan leaders are trying to protect children from pedophiles, praising the anti-gay bill as "a concrete step today to protect [children] from the clammy hands of sexual predators."

Like many other anti-LGBTQ activists, Ekeocha sneered at the alleged "homosexual agenda" which is supposedly riding roughshod over traditional values.
"Indeed, these Ugandan MP's have decidedly hoisted high the flags of virtue and values today even though they will surely come under unspeakable pressure in the days ahead. The "modern" world that we live in today is one of totalitarian commitment to the hegemonic homosexual agenda and in this hegemony, there is zero tolerance for anyone who believes in traditional moral values. The social engineers of this world are ready and willing to cut off, knock down or completely demolish the virtues that stand against their vision for their new world where sexual morality, marriage, motherhood, faith and family life are becoming redefined to embrace a more amorphous, fluid and "free" design. And everyone is expected to blend in, those who cannot blend in must bend, and those who cannot bend will surely be broken and burnt for good measure. In this way they have already broken so many. They have shut down businesses, closed down religious adoption services, terminated work contracts, sued dissidents, sacked workers, suspended movie stars, attacked churches, harassed Christian preachers, expelled students, threatened small businesses, punished big businesses , stifled free speech, taken away conscience rights and violated religious liberty. Yes, those who will not blend will bend , those who will not bend will be broken. "
Finally, not everyone praising the anti-gay bill heralds from Africa. According to Pink News and Gazeta, Polish MP Stanisław Pięta tweeted that the Ugandans are a "wild people" (dzicy ludzie) who "know they should not insult the laws of nature" (wiedzą,że nie należy obrażać praw natury).

These statements from supporters of the anti-gay bill floored me. The bill protects no one, upholds no virtue, and certainly doesn't represent love for gays and lesbians. How many more observers will defend the discriminatory bill with such doublethink?

Arguments in favor of the bill rest on the false assumptions that homosexuality is pathological, LGBTQ persons are predators, and the LGBTQ community is somehow a threat to social order. Enlightened people around the globe must combat such false assumptions if they are to prevent measures such as the one in Uganda.

For additional commentary, visit the following links.

The Conversation: Homophobic bill a festive gift for Uganda’s Pentecostal churches

Right Wing Watch: Uganda Passes Anti-Gay Bill Cheered By US Conservatives

Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Uganda Passes Harsh Anti-Gay Law

Time: Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill a Christmas Alarm for Christians 

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