By the end of this article, you will make a choice.
On Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 Ugandan Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told The Associated Press that by the end of the year the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which mandates death or lifetime imprisonment for homosexual acts or the condoning of same-sex actions, will be passed. The law states that if one knows of someone who may be participating in same-sex interactions and does not report it within 24 hours, he/she will be arrested and can serve up to three years in prison. If one is found to be a homosexual and have escaped to another country, one will be extradited back to Uganda and charged.
Members of the international community, including varying European nations, have stated that aid to Uganda will cease if the law is passed; potentially threatening the economic security of the nation. Even President Obama has called the bill “odious.”
Nonetheless, the law will be implemented as Ugandans hold steadfast in the belief that homosexuality is degrading to their society and poses a political, social, religious and overall threat toUganda.
Continent wide, 38 of the 53 African nations criminalize homosexuality in some manner. The idea is that same-sex attraction is both un-African and un-Christian, despite there being an extensive history of same-sex attraction inAfricadating back to ancient times.
In reality, the sole funders of the anti-homosexuality law inUgandaare American, Christian anti-gay organizations. They are promoting this law and executing campaigns that preach the deprivation and corruption of Ugandan society, family and children because of homosexual practices.
A report by Kapya John Kaoma, an Anglican priest originally from Zambia, called “How the U.S.Christian Right is Transforming Sexual Politics in Africa” discusses research on this specific topic.
“In an aggressive attempt to establish a new legal infrastructure on the African continent that reflects the U.S. Christian Right’s ideals, the Washington D.C.-basedAmericanCenterfor Law and Justice opened two Africa offices whileUgandawas debating its anti-homosexuality bill in 2009 and 2010,” Kaoma began. “Named theEastAfricanCenterfor Law and Justice’s (EACLJ) inKenyaand theAfricanCenterfor Law and Justice (ACLJ) inZimbabwe, theseU.S.institutions aim to lobby African parliaments ‘to take the Christian’s views into consideration as they draft legislation and policies.”’
This is just one of the examples of U.S Christian-based organizations asserting their anti-gay agendas on African nations.
These American and often time white-based organizations are pushing their anti-gay agendas inUganda, even in the light of nations declaring their potential withdrawal of national aid and funding toUganda. The question that echoes from this situation is: Do these white-based, Christian organizations care more about the welfare and well-being of Ugandan citizens or their own anti-gay agendas?
Not only will the LGBTQ citizens ofUgandabe affected but the country as a whole will be. Thus, the real-life implications extend farther than what most think. This bill is a moral, social, constitutional and financial issue, and it serves as a prime example of how different levels of racism and homophobia intersect to oppress a people. Similar laws instituted during colonialism banned same-sex interactions and the affirmation of those actions before these nuance Christian organizations entered into today’s African policy and legislation; however, this situation and the like have created a neo-Nazi genocide. This warrants neo-social activism that globally combines forces of all marginalized groups to reach a common ground goal of justice, equality and empowerment for all.
Kaoma makes eight suggestions towards fighting these anti-gay agendas. In sum, he says “to first, confront the myth that human rights advocacy is Western neocolonialism; second, support the visibility of LGBT Africans as a means of reducing homophobia by putting meaningful pressure on African political leadership and supporting the leadership of African human rights activists; and third, engage diplomatically on issues of human rights and rally against bigotry across ecumenical lines.”
Black people, especiallyMorehouseCollege, cannot ignore this topic any longer. We must make a decision to take some type of action to address the issue—there are lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queer-identifying people who are a part of our global community who are being killed and chastised. Furthermore, there are African nations that are being used by privateU.S.organizations for intolerable agendas; all to the nation’s detriment.
We must resist this oppressive system and we must become more involved about the lives of others. We must understand that we will never create a legacy and progress by simply following the status quo. As students, we have a voice and we have influence that can reach across cities, states and nations. We just have to collectively stand and speak.
Now – make your choice.