Ugandans Defend Criminalizing Gay People and Tell Obama to Back Off

As the president threatens to cut off aid in the face of Uganda’s anti-gay legislation, Ugandans speak out on the “scourge of homosexuality.”

Anti-gay demonstration in Kampala, Uganda, Feb. 14, 2010
Anti-gay demonstration in Kampala, Uganda, Feb. 14, 2010 Trevor Snapp/AFP/Getty Images

Terms like “sissy” and “dyke” were commonplace, and otherwise upstanding, churchgoing Christian people whispered about homosexuality as if it were some kind of birth defect. LGBT relatives were hidden away and treated almost like lepers. More than a few times I was warned, “You need to stay away from that boy; he’s a sissy.”

Listening to the visceral reactions of Ugandan callers on that BBC radio program made it very clear that in Uganda, until people can be properly educated about homosexuality, rational argument about human rights for members of the LGBT community will continue to fall on fearful, deaf ears.

Sylvester Monroe is a Los Angeles-based journalist who contributes to several national publications. He is a regular contributor to The Root. Follow him on Twitter.