Sunday, 14 September 2014

Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act Returning Soon

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Uganda's Constitution Court recently nullified the Anti-Homosexuality Act that was passed by Parliament in December 2013 and signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in February this year. It was nullified by the court on the grounds that there was not the necessary quorum, as there were not enough MPs present in parliament at the time it was passed.

The law which originally included the death penalty, which was removed at the last minute, imposes a life sentence on homosexuals. It also requires that parents, teachers, landlords etc. report any known homosexuals or face prison themselves. The bill also includes a clause that bans any so-called "promotion" of homosexuality, which makes any support or sexual health organisations illegal.

MP David Bahati (the MP who originally proposed the bill to Parliament in 2009) has begun the process to re-table the Bill. According to the House Rules of Procedure, once the Bill is re-tabled, it will be referred to a committee where revisions are considered, brought back to the House for debate before proceeding to the third reading, which is the final stage before the Bill is passed.

A group of Christians from Portbell Road Fellowship hand their petition to Speaker Kadaga

Over 250 MPs have signed a petition to get the Bill reenacted and a group of Christians led by their Pastor recently presented the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga with a petition over the nullified Anti-Homosexuallity law. Part of the petition signed by Pastor Wilber Mukisa said: "We still need this law to help curb funding, promotion of homosexuality and to protect our people, especially children from being recruited into this dehumanizing lifestyle. We are behind the MPs who have up to have the law re-tabled in parliament.”

According to pastor Mukisa, now is the time for Uganda to look for genuine developmental partners who will value Ugandans and respect their culture.“This is because no amount of Economic Aid can be compared to the values and well-being of our people and the destiny of Uganda in God,” he said.

The level of homophobia in Uganda has been rapidly increasing in recent years. This has been fueled by the anti-gay propaganda being imported into Uganda from the west. Despite zero evidence the Ugandan people are convinced that Homosexuals from the west are infiltrating their schools and "recruiting" children into homosexuality. They have been told homosexuals are pedophiles and prostitutes and that it is a learned behaviour. They believe it is "un-African" and is a western import, when in fact the aggressive homophobia and anti-gay propaganda is what has been coming from the west destroying the fabric of the Ugandan society. Desmond Tutu has compared the level of homophobia to that of the Antisemitism in Germany before the Holocaust. 

Western Evangelicals, who have been losing their war against homosexuals in the wast have turned to Africa and funneled millions into training African Pastors, particularly in Uganda, to preach against homosexuality and spread baseless propaganda to the masses.

The death penalty clause was replaced with life in prison at the last moment, but before this there was still near unanimous support for the Bill, which was then known as the "Kill the Gays" Bill. Despite the death penalty being removed Ugandans have taken it's passage as a green light to commit acts of violence and even murder. Police have also assaulted LGBT individuals and some youths have attempted and committed suicide. 

Human Rights advocates Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) released a report detailing the increase of homophobic attacks in the wake of the bill's passage. The report detailed an attempted lynching, mob violence, homes burned down, blackmail, lost jobs, arrests, evictions and suicides.The survey recorded 162 incidents since the legislation was passed by parliament last December. By comparison, Sexual Minorities Uganda recorded only eight incidents in the rest of 2013 and 19 in the whole of 2012. “[This] represents an increase of between 750% and 1,900% on previous years,” the report notes, “an increase which can only be explained by the passage of the AHA and the virulently homophobic atmosphere this has engendered.” In four cases, men accused of being gay were kidnapped and tortured. There were 29 incidents where the media “outed” individuals who were later subjected to further persecution. A 17-year-old boy committed suicide by swallowing rat poison and pills on 3 April because he felt his life had no further value.

In December 2012 Speaker Kadaga even promised the Bill would get passed as a Christmas present to Uganda. On New Years's Eve of that year a number of Christian events took place across Uganda. These events were dominated by a call to pass the "Kill the Gays" Bill. One such event was the 7th Annual Day of Prayer, hosted by Bishop David Kiganda...

Bishop Kiganda was part of the National Task Force Against Homosexuality and has been filmed showing graphic gay pornography in his church. Prior to the nullification of the Anti-Homosexuality Act he said the following on his radio station...

One of the attendees at Kiganda's National Day of Prayer was Cambridgeshire based Evangelical Paul Shinners (seen on the above poster). Shinners is the head of the UK registered charity "Passion for Souls Ministries" and he runs a cafe/bookshop called the Cornerstone Cafe in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire. He was quoted in a Ugandan newspaper as speaking in favour of the "Kill the Gays" Bill, but he denied this in a statement to the local paper and issued threats of legal action to anyone who tried to get clarification from him on what he said. He was consistently dishonest and lied and issued threats to anyone who challenged him.

He went to great lengths to eradicate any copies of what he said in Uganda. One individual was even attacked for trying to obtain a copy. Despite being told the recording had been deleted from all the data sources in Uganda, I eventually managed to track down a recording of Shinners through a contact in Uganda. The video showed that the newspaper report was accurate and that Shinners had lied to try to cover his tracks and protect his business. The following video shows the portion of the video where he discusses the "Kill the Gays" Bill...

Shinners traveled to Uganda as a member of River Church, a member of the Evangelical Alliance. Rob McFarlane, the leader of River Church, came to the UK from Zimbabwe where he ran churches for 18 years, where like Uganda, homosexuality is illegal and homophobia is widespread. 

Since returning from Uganda Shinners has run a church out of his Cafe with services on Sundays where he regularly preaches against homosexuality and "healing" sessions on a Thursday evening. His healing sessions consist mostly of exorcisms, which he calls "deliverances" and he claims to be able to cure anything from Cancer to Infertility and even claims to be able to cure homosexuality. He has been heard to say that he is "like Jesus" in reference to his ability to heal people.

Shinners has enjoyed the support of his church and despite this video coming to light he still has the backing of the local papers and the Charity Commission, despite the fact he has openly lied to the papers and is in breach of the Charity Commission regulations. Due to lies suppression of the truth Shinners still enjoys a thriving tax free business, staffed by volunteers, under the umbrella of his charity. It has been business as usual and staff and customers either agree with him, believe his lies or are just unaware of what their money and time is helping support.

The architect of the bill, US Pastor Scott Lively traveled to both Uganda and Russia before they published their anti-gay laws. He is the author of the "Pink Swastika" a book in which he claims the Nazis were a secretly gay organisation and is currently being sued by SMUG in the US in a landmark case for his involvement in Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act. Despite his private feelings even he had tried to distance himself from the bill, given the barbaric and draconian inclusion of the death penalty. Paul Shinners, however stood on a stage in front of thousands and was broadcast to millions over the radio as telling the people of Uganda that god was happy with Uganda for trying to pass the "Kill the Gays" Bill. He criticised Obama for his opposition to the bill and said they were making a stand for god, that Uganda would be blessed and that people in the UK were saying "well done Uganda".

Paul Shinners has committed a hate crime. Calling for the genocide of an estimated 500,000 Ugandans based on their sexuality is unconscionable and to do so by manipulating their religious beliefs and preying on their desperation and superstitions is sickening and disgraceful.

Scott Lively addressed an anti-gay conference in Uganda just before the country’s homophobic law was first drafted and he is due to stand trial for Crimes Against Humanity for his role. Why does Paul Shinners not share the same fate?

Shinners and others like him need to be exposed and brought to justice and the individuals and organisations that can, but haven't taken action against him need to be held accountable and their cowardice and ineffectiveness highlighted.

This Anti-Gay legislation needs to be stopped before it returns and the spotlight needs to be placed on religious charities that operate in these regions. Other nations need to see that this behaviour cannot continue in the form of political and economic sanctions. The homophobia and Anti-Gay legislation has began to spread with African nations falling like dominoes back into the dark ages. Most recently Kenya proposed Anti-Homosexuality legislation that would punish Kenyan homosexuals with life in prison and foreigners would face being stoned to death in public. This means that Ugandans who fled to Kenya after the passage of Uganda's harsh law would now face the death penalty. Also the Gambian National Assembly recently gave its near-unanimous approval to a bill which would impose a lifetime sentence upon conviction of homosexuality. A draft of the bill contains language identical to that of Uganda's anti-gay bill.

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