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Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Uganda’s toothless battle on gays / Clergy: Jail gays, don’t hang them

Source: The Monitor

By Rodney Muhumuza

Efforts behind a proposed law against homosexuality run counter to the Uganda Police’s interest in the offence, official records show.

The annual crime reports from 2007 and 2008 are silent on homosexuality, a felony under the Penal Code Act, suggesting the incidents are so rare that the authorities are not concerned enough to tally the complaints.

Asked to provide statistics on cases of homosexuality, several police officers said such figures were not readily available. “I actually don’t have the figures,” said Grace Akullo, the Criminal Investigations Directorate officer under whose docket homosexuality falls.

Crime against ‘nature’

The authorities insist homosexuality, which is called “a crime against the law of nature” under the Penal Code Act, is difficult to investigate, as there must be a willing complainant. In recent times, the publicity around some sodomy cases, including those involving pastors in the Pentecostal community, has fed the anti-gay sentiment that makes the proposed law seem relevant.

However, in the absence of reliable facts and figures on the activities of alleged gay recruiters, there is little evidence to suggest that homosexuality threatens the mainstream culture in Uganda.

It emerged that Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, who sponsored the legislation, never sought the police’s input before producing a document that prescribes the death penalty for the offence of “aggravated homosexuality”. Mr Bahati defended his work in an interview on Wednesday, saying that even one case of sodomy was enough to warrant such a law. “We are not in a hate campaign,” Mr Bahati said. “We are trying as much as we can to protect the traditional heterosexual family. It is under threat. Anybody who says it is minor underestimates the damage being done.”

Yesterday, at a press conference in Kampala, Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo renewed his warning against the gays, insisting the country was “under siege”. He provided no details. “We don’t believe that human civilisation can be defended by having anal sex,” Dr Buturo said. “I am telling these people to leave us alone….We are not joking.”

The proposed law would “make Uganda a leader” in efforts against gay culture in Africa, Dr Buturo said. “On the issue of homosexuality, let them forget [about human rights],” he said. “The government has started biting.”

Death penalty

Homosexuality remains a taboo subject in many African societies. If passed in its current state, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), condemned by rights groups, would make Uganda one of the most dangerous places for gay people.

For example, the proposed law prescribes the death penalty if the “offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed”. It also proposes a seven-year jail term for someone who “attempts” to commit homosexuality.

Appearing before a committee of Parliament on Wednesday, religious leaders expressed support for the proposed law but refused to endorse the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. Yesterday, Dr Buturo said the government “may have to change” that part of the proposed law.

Clergy: Jail gays, don’t hang them

Source: The Monitor

By Sheila Naturinda

Homosexuals should not be killed but instead imprisoned for life, religious leaders have suggested.

Making their input in the Anti-homosexuality Bill 2009 yesterday, the clergy said the clause on death as a penalty for homosexuality be scrapped.

“If you kill the people, to whom will the message go? We need to have imprisonment for life if the person is still alive,” said Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary of the Church of Uganda.

The group, which also comprised Dr Joseph Kakembo of the Seventh Day Adventist church, Dr Joseph Sserwadda, the head of Pentecostal churches, Prof. Peter Matovu, the Orthodox vicar general of the Orthodox and Sheikh Ali Mohammed, representing the mufti, however, made it clear that they support the Bill, because “homosexuality is an evil and is anti-godly”.

The Bill tabled before Parliament on October 15, by Mr David Bahati [Ndorwa East], and Mr Obua Benson [Moroto], seeks to prohibit any form of sexual relations between same sex people.

Parliament yesterday begun public debates on the Bill, conducted by the committee on presidential affairs.

Comment on this article

Mrs R Bansah said at 10/29/2009, 07:24
Who are these very ignorant people? Yes it is dispeakable and wrong, but there is nothing you can do about the existance of homosexuality amongst men and women is rife and it is always going to be, you homophobic people! It is agaist their human rights, for you to decide to put them in jail for the rest of their lives it is purnishment enough that they're who they're! Come on stop being so ignorant

nakitende said at 10/29/2009, 10:20
Uganda has compromised alot and now as seen above we are willing to reduce it to life in prison .Now it is what it is zero tolerence for homo behavoiur .Iam wondering if any non supporters of this bill would be excited at the sodomization of there child or would they attend a marriage and kwanjula of john and john INFACT CAN SOME ONE TELL ME ABOUT THE POSITIVE OUT COME OF SODOMY .Iam a medical consultant who has taken care of these people on the extreme end whose anal area is oozing all the time from the weakened muscles(incase this is a positive outcome). so how positive is this? talk about rights whose right is this?THE right to sodomize a child or the right to spread hiv .On hiv the heterosexuals that spread it should also be put to jail.Bahati longlive longlive uganda longlive our morals,longlive our christian values.

davie said at 10/29/2009, 13:46
its also against human rights to support activities that are irritating others ,so put that in mind if it were your son would you sit back and look on cause its thier rights,come on some things ,I YOU KNOW THAT IN THAT SHRUB THERE IS ALWAYS A LION, AND THERE ALWAYS OTHER BIBLICAL WAYS OF HOW TO REACH HOME,THEN I SHOULD YOU USE SUCH A ROUT, ANYWAY HANGING OR life IMPRISONMENT WOULD BE FAIR BECAUSE IN THE COMING GENERATIONS WILL FAIR THAT .SO Mrs. R BANSAH be parenta

Dee Tate said at 10/29/2009, 13:59
If they wish to act and react out of their ignorance based on personal or religious views.Why not jail all those who would cheat on their spouse?For they commit the ultimate betrayal,lieing and deceiving another.

Those who would cheat demonstrate they have little or no moral values for another.Same for pedophiles but in their case intimate relations aren't consentual.

Which would clergy say is worse and what the consequences should be for them as well?
Remember God doesn't favor one sinner over another.So,who will judge in Gods place?

wodgot said at 10/29/2009, 16:43
Prominent farmers in Uganda like President Yuweri Museveni can help me and Mrs R Bansah answer this question; Is it possible for a bull to bear a calf with a another bull?

I ask this question because the purpose of marriage is to start a family and bear children which scienfically is impossible without opposite electrons.

Mr Wakka Abdala said at 10/29/2009, 19:21
I support you all the way, if you put a death penality on corruption too.

Nyambura said at 10/29/2009, 23:57
Mrs. R. Bansah,

There is nothing we can do about it!!!!!! What a shame!! There is something we can do about it. Either to hang them or jail for life. We cant sit and watch when morals are degenerating in our society. Are you part of them? Do you want to see your children/ grandchildren become one?

Julius Nowangye said at 10/30/2009, 00:42
I am scared , killing homosexuals is also to the extreme and again giving them a life sentence will give them chance to spread their habits to their fellow inmates. May be they get gazetted, moved around uganda condemning their acts and then set free so to stop any 'malpractices'

Raphael said at 10/30/2009, 02:13
We are becoming a ridicule on the world scene. Come on, learned men and women of our Ugandan Parliament, death penalty, nor life imprisonment, can never be the way to go. Do not mistake me, I am not a gay. Just expressing a point of concern here. There are various ways of helping such people who are in our society than death penalty or even imprisonment of any length. This is not justice, and it does not take us any where. I think we are facing a bigger problem with thieves, including the prominent ones who are in the government than the same sex problem.

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