In a recent newspaper article, I learned about Uganda's proposed anti-homosexuality bill. That's right. Before the parliament in Uganda is a bill that would criminalize homosexuality, with punishments ranging from life imprisonment to death.
The article was filled with information that demonstrated just how ignorant some people are when it comes to homosexuality, most of it based on misinterpretations of the Bible. It's all well and good for gays and lesbians to say that this is going on in Uganda and doesn't affect us here in North America, except that there are people right here at home who feel much the same way, based on their religious beliefs. They're just not as vocal about it because there's been a wider acceptance of homosexuals over the past number of years, and they don't want to be singled out for having unpopular opinions at this time in history.
But what would have to happen to change this? Believe me, the tide could turn at any time. Anyone who was around in the early '80s knows what was going on within our culture when AIDS hit; when it looked like AIDS was a gay disease; when many people said AIDS was God's curse upon homosexuals for engaging in such deplorable sexual activities. When AIDS started to make it's way into the straight population, homosexuals were blamed for spreading it.
Anyway, the point of this post is to share some of the more incendiary pieces of information and quotes from the newspaper article. Happy reading.
1. "Most Ugandans are strongly in favour of the [proposed anti-homosexuality] legislation." Which shows that it's not a few people with radical viewpoints on the fringe of society who believe this legislation must be passed.
2. Apparently, there is an '"...international gay movement, that the gays are the ones who are responsible for all sorts of evil, for abortion and things like that. [Gays] have taken over the United Nations.... They are now about to take over Africa if we don't stop them...."' I've been gay for the past fifty years, and I've never once heard there's an international gay movement that's trying to take over countries. You'd think as an "insider," I'd be privy to this information.
3. "...Homosexuals in Europe and North America are extremely well funded and have recruiters all over the world trying to convert young people." Okay. I'm not aware of that, either. I doubt that money plays a role in helping young people come to terms with their sexual orientation. There's certainly no formalized, world-wide movement to turn young people gay.
4. "...Gays were an integral part of the Nazi movement...." Actually, there are well-documented references that gays were exterminated, along with the Jews, at the hand of Hitler's Nazis during the Second World War.
5. '"We know from the Bible that homosexuality is an abomination."' There's that misinterpretation of a Bible passage again.
6. '"In our part of the world we don't believe, for a moment, that people are born homosexuals.... If someone is born that way, why do you then spend huge sums of money attracting people to that lifestyle?"' See #3 above.
7. '"My office has over 60 former homosexuals who were recruited initially, but they have abandoned that practice. And they are the ones telling us the horrendous, horrendous experiences they go through that are...an unhealthy risk."' There's nothing worse than a supposedly reformed homosexual. They'll do anything to cover up that they are still homosexual, and that whatever they went through to become straight didn't work. Does anyone really believe that homosexuals can turn straight?
8. '"The anus isn't made for sexual intercourse, for God's sake. The anus God created for a unique function and man is choosing to assign it another function..."' Interestingly, many straight people engage in anal sex, too, so what about them?
9. '"If we don't make it hard [for gay rights groups], eventually what we see happening in the western world will happen in our country. In your country, frankly, this homosexual juggernaut is totally powerful. Those who are of a contrary view are pitied, frightened, they can't talk.... We don't want that situation."' You would almost think that gays and lesbians had organized themselves into this powerful international political force that couldn't be stopped, but that's not at all the case.
10. The anti-homosexuality bill is "...about creating a climate that safeguards our values, and one of our values is that homosexuality is taboo. It's an aversion. It is not something you would wish for anybody you love. So it's that we're trying to do, creating a climate that protects the family, protects who we are."' Outlawing homosexuality won't make it go away. Some people's family members will still be gay. All the bill will do is send homosexuality underground and make life for your gay and lesbian citizens a living hell. What about their rights?
(All quotes are from pages C1 and C2 in "A fight for the right to live their lives," which appeared in the Saturday, May 15, 2010 issue of "The Vancouver Sun.")