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Sunday, December 13th, 2009   7:39 am | Author: chris | Life, Politics/Government, Religion |
Uganda is a nation that should know oppression well.
For 8 years in the 1970s Ugandans suffered some of the worst human rights abuses under the rule of Idi Amin. According to Wikipedia “Amin’s rule was characterised by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000″.
You would think that Ugandans would have learned from that episode in history. You would be wrong.
Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati presented a private member’s bill on Oct. 14 which sought the death penalty and life imprisonment for gay people in the country. The Ugandan government supported the bill because homosexuality and lesbianism are “repugnant to the Ugandan culture,” said James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity.
This bill is partly a result of some of the positions and strong influence The Family has had in Uganda. The Family is a Washington-based fundamentalist group living communally in Arlington, Va. that includes some of the top conservative politicians in the US including James Inhofe, Chuck Grassley, Sam Brownbeck, John Ensign and others.
All these conservative politicians have been very slow in condemning this bill with some claiming they knew nothing about it. Grassley stated a few days ago “I’ve got a fulltime job reading bills in Congress without reading the bills in another 190 countries. Surely nobody in Iowa expects me to keep up on issues that are in the parliaments of other countries. Besides I don’t know anything about it.”
Even some religious leaders like Rick Warren initially tried to back away from this as though this human atrocity is not their concern. Warren’s initial reaction was ”It is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.” However after some extreme negative reaction to his remark he changed his mind and denounced the bill.
Most of the politicians have also seen the light in the last 24 hours and decided to condemn the bill or at least state they disagree with it.
Uganda now claims it will not seek life imprisonment or execution of gays but other punishment is still being considered.
This episode has again shed light on the hypocrisy of those claiming to be the torch bearers of moral values and family values.
These top politicians and religious leaders should hang their heads in shame for their reaction or lack of reaction to this inhumane “bill”. It does not matter if it is in the US, Africa, Europe or elsewhere. We are a global community and these supposed “leaders” should know better.
Uganda is mystery. I read this morning that the Ugandan parliament unanimously passed a bill banning female circumcision. Convicted offenders face 10 years in prison, but if the girl dies during the act, those involved will get a life sentence.
It is difficult to understand how these two human rights violations are being handled so differently in the same country.