By Alex K. Taremwa
There’s one thing that pains me as an individual. This isn’t something for which I could find a remedy because I’m not seated in the right chair but I could give it a shot my way which is as usual writing to give out some words of wisdom to educate the generation.
As I have always mentioned, I’m born and raised in Uganda; a sweetheart, a darling and such a hospitable homeland to the world but one thing that makes me regret why I was born a Ugandan is our “Homophobia”. I’m talking about that that attitude and prejudice we carry towards people who enjoy sharing their sexual feeling with others with whom they have the same reproductive organs. Literally, I mean a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender . Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, irrational fear, and hatred. In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King stated that “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”
When talking about Uganda; you, me and the rest of the world. We need to draw lines between tradition and what is good or bad. If it wasn’t for Christian teachings; by the way I should say that Christianity isn’t our initial religion in Uganda. X-tianity was just Imposed on us by foreigners through and during colonial rule. It’s the Biblical teachings that led to the birth and development of these existential hostile feelings that my people posses against Homosexuality.
Why kill in the name of God then?
In Uganda, the homophobic leaders out of their prejudice and Ignorance have actually taken it to a whole new level by tabling a bill to Parliament asking legal action allowing the death by hanging penalty to those people that are found indulging in such actions of homosexuality and other actions that don’t use sex for purposes prescribed in the Bible such as procreation. Pastor Martin Ssempa and a Member of Parliament for Ndorwa something tabled the bill but I can understand that their actions are done out of ignorance and prejudice not any kind of strategic foresight, enlightenment and research. Because for a man of God like Pastor Sempa really, he should understand that his person prejudice can be used against him one day. He could fly to a US state of Idaho and he will be called a monkey, get locked in a cage and know one will have any kind of sympathy towards him; he will admire a hot girl with glamorous and he’ll get leached up and beaten like a chicken thief.
Not having read a lot of research and you try to advance premature and naive arguments is stupid and lacking. The Anti- homosexuality groups in Uganda make stupid and naive arguments claiming that homosexuality is against out tradition. What answer do they give if you asked them which tradition? Which tradition in Uganda takes a firm stand against homosexuality in Uganda?
Prof. Tibamanya Mwenemushanga made a research on precolonial Ankole and he discovered that homosexuality was a condoned and torelant practice in Ankole especially among the Bahima aristocrats. So these so called anti- gay groups should claim to be speaking for the majority. They need to make good and sense carrying argument that isn’t premature and naive. They need to stop blaming the west and media for the spread of gay feelings because I’m aware that such feelings are born and bred in Africa not simply spread. I’m not saying the west are free from the accusation because I’ve seen people that have been funded by the west to promote such vices on our continent but stop stripping Africa of our identity.
No one needs to learn how to have sex even when married like these people are arguing. What they’re saying is sex is meant for procreation so people who have been married for 60 years and have just 2 children have been indulging in sexual activities that don’t promote procreation and they therefore according to these anti gay people need to be hanged. Who does that?
Efforts to Combat Homophobia:
Most international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemn laws that make homosexual relations between consenting adults a crime. Since 1994, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has also ruled that such laws violated the right to privacy guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In 2008, the Roman Catholic Church issued a statement which “urges States to do away with criminal penalties against [homosexual persons].” The statement, however, was addressed to reject a resolution by the UN Assembly that would have precisely called for an end of penalties against homosexuals in the world. In March 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, described by CoE Secretary General as the first legal instrument in the world dealing specifically with one of the most long-lasting and difficult forms of discrimination to combat.
As a Ugandan, let’s learn to be tolerant and promote peaceful co-existence in our country. We should fight to preserve our morals and ethics in a way that does not promote mass hostility and prejudice against other people. We need to educate our brethren who indulge in such unthinkable activities bot not hang them. The power to judge the fate on life and death of our comrades should be left in the hands of the Supreme most being. Don’t Kill in the name of God.