Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Recess of Parliament

News came last week that the Ugandan Parliament had downgraded the anti-gay bill from next on the list for discussion, to sixth:

[The] coalition noted:  “Unconfirmed reports indicate that Parliament may go into recess on Friday 14th December 2012.” In previous years, the parliament has repeatedly wrapped up its business without acting on the bill.

Parliament has indeed gone into recess.

One SMUG member posted on Saturday 15th December:

BREAKING: Uganda's Parliament just closed without voting on the "Kill the Gays" bill. Your pressure built to an unstoppable force and Uganda's politicians dropped the bill way down the agenda. Thank you. But they'll be back in just a month, and their first order of business could be passing the bill.

The problem with this is that not debating the bill is not good enough.

Uganda’s president has said gay people should not be killed or persecuted as the country’s parliament runs out of time to pass the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill for this year. (article)

The reason he has had to say this is because awful things happen to LGBT people whilst the bill is shelved.

Whilst the bill was shelved earlier this year:

Gay Ugandans flee fearing for their lives
"The large mob of men and women smashed my car, broke into the house and started beating me," he said.

The police shot in the air to disperse the crowd, he said, but when he went to record a statement he was locked up.

"The police officer told the people in the cell that I loved men and when I was put in there I was beaten and abused - sexually abused."

Paul said he was bleeding profusely and he was only released because the inmates feared he was dying and alerted the officers.

Shelving the bill is no better than turning a blind eye to persecution.

It is not good enough to ignore the legislation, the government must legislate in favour of all human rights, including equal human rights for LGBT people.

Here at the Kill the Bill blog, we're going to be posting a bit less regularly until Parliament is back in session. We hope this gives you time to read back through the story so far, and take action.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Return of Section 28

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

What should have been a headline of delight:

Has taken a rather more ominous turn for the worse.

The president said: “If there are some homosexuals, we shall not kill or persecute them but there should be no promotion of homosexuality."

It looks as though he may be about to push for a version of the UK's Section 28 Act, which came into force under the Tory government in 1988, and was not repealed until 2003.

The main premise of Section 28 was:

A local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".

Effectively banning teachers and civil servants from even mentioning that gay people might exist, yet alone have sex. Condemning generations of young people to feeling bad about themselves and being unable to talk openly about their sexuality.

Sound familiar?

It's already left people asking the same questions that were asked in Britian in 1988:

Did anyone ever asked what they mean by promotion? This makes no sense! Yoweri...it may be time for pension!

He is just reinforcing the parliament's desire to pass the bill.

They use the word promotion. May be they mean protection! Because I have never seen any one demanding promotion.

Promotion, Promotion, Museveni is misinformed about homosexuality. He said he will not allow promoting homosexuality. I wonder who told him that you can promote a sexual orientation!

Clear as mud.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Sunday Catch-Up

Ugandan Campaigner, Frank Mugisha

Sorry, we've been a bit lax lately. Just catching up on the news so that we can condense it and deliver it to you in bite-sized pieces of protesting goodness.

Sunday catch-up of articles that caught our attention...

Not the snappiest title, but does what it says on the tin. American LGBT campaigner, Cathy Kristofferson, meets Ugandan activist, Frank Mugisha:

Back in Uganda where homophobia is rampant, members of the gay community are in constant fear of physical harm, often beaten in the streets during broad daylight or burned out of their homes... [Frank] is one of the only four out-and-proud LGBTI people in Uganda as he would explain to us later that evening but you wouldn’t image that watching him then smiling holding a “Scott Lively Ministries of Hate and Homophobia Springfield ←→ Uganda” sign out there with the rest of us...

Amongst the ironies I heard that night was that it seemed to me that it was not homosexuality that is un-African as so often claimed, but Christianity which was brought in and it was the Christians, starting particularly with the Pentecostals, and culminating with those 3 American Evangelicals – Lively, Brundidge, and Schmierer who hosted the infamous ‘Gay Agenda’ workshop – who have brought the homophobia to Uganda all the while recruiting followers and promoting hate, sometimes paying stooges to pretend to be ex-gay along the way, all of which is exactly what they falsely accuse the gay community of doing!...

Frank also commented that before Scott Lively came to Uganda, churches had always come to talk to churches but Lively came to talk to the politicians setting a new standard for American Evangelical interference in the Ugandan political process.   And now the Ugandan Parliament likes to complain about foreign interference when the international community speaks out about the bill.
You can follow Frank on Twitter: @frankmugisha

We've already mentioned American Evangelist involvement in the bill, and more recently the Catholic nod of approval. Interesting to watch it backfire on them as people start to question whether Christianity is even less 'African' than homosexuality.

Extreme elements of the US Pentecostal Church are behind the ‘surge’ in homophobia across Africa, according to human rights groups.

Speaking to Metro, Renato Sabbadini, the secretary general of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, said: “What we’re seeing is that this surge of homophobia is being encouraged by an active influence of foreign sources and I’m mainly referring to Pentecostal churches in the US...

Although most African nations seem to be going backwards on LGBT equality, Kenya has been cited by Amnesty International as making significant progress.

South Africa remains the only country on the continent to have legalised equal marriage.

And, finally, a nicely balanced piece in the Ugandan Independent:

Homosexuality Brinksmanship, asking the question: "Why pass a costly law you cannot enforce?"

Nice to see some intelligent journalism coming out of the country on this issue. It was beginning to look as though Red Pepper and Rolling Stone were the only papers on sale.

The article gives a rundown on the pressure exerted by international representatives and the business community.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Bob Bites Back

We are totally in awe of Bob!

Bob is a long-standing SMUG supporter who decided to get his own back on Red Pepper, the newspaper that published pictures of a football coach caught in flagrante with one of his team. This sparked another backlash against gay people, akin to the Rolling Stone hate campaign, causing them to fear for their safety.

Bob decided to call up Red Pepper with a scoop:

l called redpepper and told them that l want to send them my pictures to publish them becoz am a gay man in the village who needs to be advertised, do u know wat the editor asked me... he asked me lf anyone knows lf am gay..l replied yes, not only in uganda, but kenya, zaire, tanzania, Botswana, south africa, ghana, Nigeria, europe, usa, canada, brazil .. all arab countries..and he asked me how they know am gay.. 

l told him to go on facebook and check out my page and read my posts .. after he checked out my facebook account.. he told me.. publishing me will be of no benefit since everyone knows that am gay.. they will not make any sale lol they only interested in gays that are secret .. 

l begged him and told him that l even have a video of me [in various sexual possitions]... the guy hanged up on me...l called him again he didnt answer.. am call him again..all am doing ls to let them "redpepper" people know we dont give a f*ck anymore.

We think Bob is extremely brave, and we salute his guerrilla protest tactics! 

If you'd like to add your voice to his protest, you can tweet Red Pepper: @RedPepperUG or find them via Facebook.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Ban-Ki Moon Speaks Out

United Nations Secretary-General
Ban-Ki Moon

When I meet with leaders from around the world, I raise my voice for equality for LGBT people.  Many leaders say they wish they could do more.  But, they point to public opinion as a barrier to progress.  I understand it can be difficult to stand up to public opinion.  But, just because a majority might disapprove of certain individuals does not entitle the State to withhold their basic rights.  Democracy is more than majority rule.  It requires defending vulnerable minorities from hostile majorities.  It thrives on diversity.  Governments have a duty to fight prejudice, not fuel it.

Well said Ban-Ki!

If only the Pope were so compassionate.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Pope Fuels Prejudice

[Note: 30th Dec. Good Guardian article on this by Jill Filipovic.]

In an absolutely shocking display of support for the Kill the Gays Bill, Pope Benedict XVI has given blessings to Uganda Parliament Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga.

Yes, Rebecca Kadaga, who last month promised to pass the bill as a 'Christmas present' to the Ugandan people.

I doubt any of us are surprised at the Catholic Church's stance on LGBT rights, but it's still fairly astounding to see such an open display of support for the woman who incited an entire crowd to gay hatred.

In this article: Catholic Church backs ‘Kill the Gays’ bill it was left 'unclear' as to the Catholic Church's stance towards the bill.

I don't think we're unclear about it any more.

You can e-mail the Pope to let him know what you think: benedettoxvi@vatican.va and even send him a tweet: @Pontifex

Wonder what Desmond Tutu must think of all this?

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Attacks on Gay People Imminent

In scenes reminiscent of Rolling Stone's 'hang them' pictures, that led to the murder of David Kato last year, Another Ugandan trash tabloid has inflamed the witch-hunt against LGBT people.

A few hours ago, a disturbing call for assistance appeared in the SMUG group:

guys i need yo advice, i once belonged to an LGBT group...which no longer exists, but still i get threats from people whom i don't know, requesting for the names and reg numbers of all the students i recruited into homosexuality, they once attacked me and they took all my documents and laptop hoping that they will find this list. i went to police but i did not tell them the reason why i was attacked. I keep changing my phone numbers but still they get them. They show me that they know me more that i can’t hide from them. Now they are sending threats on my...email address, they know my real names and every thing about me plus my home village. They have been following me for a long time and i think they also use my close friends. Am really scared and i can’t walk alone at night.

Thankfully they are now in contact with support groups who can hopefully help to keep them safe. However, the following was also posted yesterday by a long-term SMUG supporter in Uganda:

Friends stand warned look out for your security people are ganging up to attack those who look like or they suspect to be Homosexuals so pals please your security first. After the Executive Director of Uganda Media Center Fred Opolot said they are looking for chris mubiru

This is why shelving the bill is not enough. It must be quashed, and it must be replaced with laws that support human rights for all.


The Home Office has indicated that if Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is passed by the country’s parliament, the UK may ban senior Ugandan politicians from entering Britain...

Mr Freer, speaking from the House of Commons, said:

“I am pleased the Home Office are prepared to take tough action against foreign politicians who oppress minorities and deny their citizens basic human rights. This law is wrong, and we must do everything possible to stop its implementation.”

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has also confirmed that they are continuing to apply pressure on the Ugandan President and other politicians.

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Australian Government's View

A response from Australia's Acting Director for East, West and Regional Africa to a letter written by an Australian SMUG supporter.

You can find similar responses from the British government here.

Anonymous Issues Warning

For those not in the know, Anonymous is a leaderless group of online protesters who have achieved some fairly eye-popping cyber-attacks in the name of freedom of speech and human rights. Best to read their Wiki entry to get a better sense of their motivation.

There is one particular section you might find interesting:

LGBT issues

On August 2012 Anonymous hacked into Ugandan government websites in protest of pending homophobic bills. A message stated:

"Anonymous will continue to target Ugandan government sites and communications until the government of Uganda treats all people including LGBT people equally".

Parmy cited one research project that found that as many as thirty per cent of posters on 4chan fell into the LGBT category, posters often pretending to be the opposite sex.

Yesterday, they issued a new warning to the Ugandan Government:

Anonymous is preparing for its second round of cyber-attacks against the Government of Uganda protesting the country’s anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) legislation that would punish those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality” with life imprisonment...

Standing against what one Anonymous member called “bullying and scapegoating”, last August the collective hacked and vandalized the website belonging to Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi...

Before the end of the year, Anonymous has pledged to carry out an even more damaging cyber-attack against the Ugandan government. 

Interesting times ahead.

You can follow Anonymous on Twitter: @YourAnonNews, Facebook and via their website.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Ghana's Hate

We've mentioned before that Uganda's struggle will have a knock-on effects for other African nations, such as Nigeria.

Another recent article explains:

Anti gay hate campaigns may have influenced the outcome of Ghana´s presidential and parliamentary elections... Campaigns by NPP supporters have been riddled with anti-gay rhetoric and rants, alleging the outgoing government was soft on homosexuality which said to be western ´imported´ ´disease´ that threatens to infect the country.

Once again showing how LGBT hate campaigns are being used throughout Africa to distract people from the real problems: corruption, poverty and tribal rivalry. Echos of the way Jews were used by Hitler as a scapegoat for economic depression, resulting in the genocide of six million people.

Another article explains:

Homosexuality is not western and evil like most Ghanaians perceive it. I feel insulted when someone tells me my sexuality is borrowed or western.

I have travelled around the world and have realized that actions, behaviors and attitudes are the same across the world. What is different is the treatment of homosexuals across Africa and others parts of the world.

For me, I think we need to listen to archbishop Desmond Tutu when he used the example of the color of our skin to promote love for gay people because sexuality cannot be changed as most people think and believe.

Democracy in Africa is not understood yet.

Damaging times ahead for Africa as it struggles to get beyond basic human rights issues. Powerful politicians are using their media to pull the strings of the people like puppets.

The above picture is taken from this article in The Gully, in which a Ghanaian explains what it's like to be gay in his country:

Growing up as a gay man in Ghana is really hard. People imagine that gay people are pedophiles and criminals. You are taunted and harassed even as a child. At school, if people think you are gay, no one wants to play with you, or even talk to you unless it is to call you names. 

Reclaim your right to kindness and free thought!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Family Research Council

We've covered quite extensively the US Evangelist involvement in the Ugandan Kill the Gays bill.

Not surprising to see that this open-armed spread of warmth and love in the name of Jesus Christ continues:

Despite the fact that the Ugandan Parliament has been reviving its so-called ‘kill the gays’ bill, the US-based Family Research Council has continued to offer its support to the country’s president.

The Washington-based group, which describes itself as “the nation’s premier advocacy organisation advancing faith, family, and freedom in our nation’s capital,” has continued to offer support to the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for his “national repentance” program, and for his Christian faith.

Although it's true that Uganda's Prime Minister recently said that his government would not be supporting the bill, Museveni himself has yet to utter a word of objection to it.

Perhaps he's too busy fielding allegations of corruption.

If you feel like contacting the Family Research Council to ask how they reconcile their quest for freedom with murdering homosexuals, you can do so via their website and Facebook.

There are also a couple of other Facebook pages you might like to check out: Exposing Family Research Council (FRC) and  The Family Research Council is a Hate Group.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


An important video by Truthloader, featuring Kasha Jacqueline, a celebrated Ugandan LGBT campaigner.

She recently tweeted a video from an anti-gay rally at which Rebecca 'Killing Gays is a Christman present' Kadaga was present. We won't embed the video as it is rather disturbing, but you can watch it here. Kadaga comes across as someone desperate for praise no matter what it takes. If saying 'kill children' got her a round of applause, she probably would.

The video highlights once again that it's driven by religious leaders, originally supported by a faction of American Evangelists.

Let's not make any mistake. This is not a cultural issue. As Kasha points out, before the bill was proposed, there was not the level of persecution we now see. Pointing at people like Kadaga and saying 'she represents Ugandan culture,' is like pointing at Rick Warran or Lou Engle and saying 'he represents American culture'. It's not about culture. It's about bullying, bigotry and choice.

Marianne Mollmann's article, Myths About Homosexuality Fuel Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' Bill, elaborates on this further:

For years politicians and pundits from the United States to Malawi have spread the notion that gay people "recruit" children and others into homosexuality and that pedophilia and homosexuality are intimately linked.

Though these claims have been repeatedly refuted with facts, they stubbornly persist. There are any number of reasons for this, two of the most prominent being that 1) blaming gays for all society's wrongs is easy and helps divert attention from any real problems, and 2) stereotypes about sexual attraction and gender roles -- persistent in all societies everywhere -- fuel fear of homosexuality. And it is only by tackling the latter that enough people will see through the former and identify it as wrong.

We've already mentioned our suspicion that the Kill the Gays bill may be a distraction from Uganda's inherent corruption issues.

Kasha is head of Freedom and Roam Uganda, who have a regularly updated blog. There was a post recently that raises an important discussion point:

...this bill represents one of the most serious attacks to date on the 1995 Constitution and on the key human rights protections enshrined in the Constitution...
You can also follow Kasha on Twitter: @KashaJacqueline and Facebook.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Uganda's Next Move

In the long tradition of incitement to hatred within the Ugandan media, Red Pepper has gone one step further.

As one Ugandan posted today:

The bigots have printed an article in red pepper today uganda's news paper that the boss of a national team was caught sodomising players.This is going to bring a new wave of hatred.People are going to put all our failures to win matches on this.I think the bigots are using this as a new strategy to incite the public to demand for the Anti-homosexual bill. More power is needed say no to this bill.

We think he's right. It's a cheap shot that not only shows the puerile mindset of the Ugandan press, but also a shocking disregard for the real issue.

Gay people have sex. Is this really shock news?

If there is a case to answer here, how about: why is a coach abusing his authority to have sex with young players?

That would be a moral issue whether the younger person were male or female.

But then, Uganda doesn't have a particularly sparkling history when it comes to abuse issues of any sort - such as the women denied a rape hearing or the journalist who committed suicide.

As long as Ugandan papers are more interested in printing pictures of people's private sex lives than addressing issues of real importance to their readers, the people of Uganda will continue to suffer. 

Today, gay people. But who will they fill their front pages with once all the gay people are dead?

Which religious group, political party, gender or ethnicity will fall out of favour next?

Take Action

Today, we are asking for a praise petition. Yesterday we reported that Ugandan Prime Minister, Patrick Amama Mbabazi, had told a conference in Italy that his government would not support the Kill the Gays bill.

We're not entirely sure he meant it, but we want to hold him to it.

We are urging you to e-mail, fax and tweet your support for his statement. Tell everyone he said it, and tell him how glad you are that he said it.

It's harder to disappoint people when they're praising you.

E-mail: ps@opm.go.ug
Fax: +256 41 4341139
Tweet: @AmamaMbabazi