Channing Kennedy of ColorLines is reporting that Uganda's parliamentary session has ended before voting on a bill that would make homosexuality a capital offense. According to Amnesty International, this delay in voting on the controversial bill follows a delay earlier this week caused by female MPs walking out of session in protest.
Colloquially called the "Kill the Gays" bill, the legislation would make homosexuality (already a crime in Uganda) punishable by a life sentence or death, along with prison sentences for anyone knowingly associating with a gay person. Uganda's LGBTQ advocacy groups say that the bill's mere presence in the news has fomented an increase in anti-gay hate crimes. The rise in anti-gay hate crimes has been tied to the explosion of American evangelicals, like President Obama's inaugural speaker Rick Warren, in Uganda.
The article cites an excerpt from a piece written by Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast:
Uganda is a country where American-style evangelical Christianity is exploding, and there are close links between many American anti-gay preachers, politicians, and activists, and their Ugandan counterparts. As Jeff Sharlet has reported, Bahati, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill's sponsor, is the secretary of the Ugandan branch of The Family, the secretive American evangelical organization whose members include Sens. James Inhofe, Jim DeMint, and Tom Coburn. Martin Ssempa, a Pentecostal preacher who has championed the bill, was a protégé of Rick Warren and, during the Bush administration, a recipient of at least $90,000 of American aid earmarked for abstinence promotion. Another major anti-gay activist, Stephen Langa, the head of Uganda’s Family Life Network, is an affiliate of the Phoenix-based group Disciple Nations Alliance.
Warren has spoken out against the bill, although the Disciple Nations Alliance has said that Uganda is a sovreign nation that can make its own laws.
How sad is it that with all of the problems facing Uganda, they have targeted homosexuality as a crime worthy of death? It is even more troubling that these laws are the result of the presence of American evangelicals who are spewing hate against gays. If people spent more time worrying about themselves and less time worrying about the lives of others, then the world would be a much better place. While we're interceding in pro-democracy movements around the world, why isn't the U.S. intervening in the attempt to exterminate the LGBTQ population in Uganda? Isn't that, in fact, an attack on democracy?
Read more at ColorLines.