A Ugandan newspaper stirred up hatred against gays back in 2010 following the introduction of a harsh anti-homosexuality bill. That bill is being reexamined and will likely be reintroduced.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: October 27, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Internationally condemned two years ago as brutal, inhumane and against universal human rights, Uganda’s shocking “anti-homosexual bill,” also known as the “Kill the Gays bill,” is being re-examined by a government committee and may be soon voted on by that’s nations’ parliament.
As Business Week reported this week, “Uganda’s parliament voted to reopen a debate on a bill that seeks to outlaw homosexuality that may be expanded to include the death penalty for gay people.”
In what MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called one of the more bizarre interviews she has conducted on her nightly news and opinion program, Maddow interviewed the author of the “anti-homosexual bill,” a parliamentarian named David Bahati back in 2010.
Bahati, when questioned about the so-called “Kill the Gays bill,” said that foreigners were interfering with Ugandan citizens and said $15 million in American dollars was being used to influence and recruit Ugandan children into homosexuality. He said that since the children are in peril, and Ugandan gays are a menace, laws need to be drawn up to criminalize being homosexual.
“We don’t take (homosexuality) as a human right,” Bahati told Maddow in the interview. “Homosexuality … is not part of our culture. It is not part of God’s law.”
And because he follows God’s laws – which says that homosexuality is a sin and sinners must be punished – Bahati said he wants to protect children from gay recruitment, Bahati and other likeminded Ugandan politicians want to promote the anti-gays bill because, as Bahati told Maddow: “This bill is consistent with the preachings of the son of a Jewish carpenter.”
Although there is no evidence that Jesus ever condemned gays in his time, fundamentalist Christians, reading their interpretation of the Bible, are convinced that he did, thereby justifying their politically-charged attacks on a minority of their population.
Interestingly, Maddow got Bahati to admit that he was a member of “The Family,” also known as “The Fellowship,” an international network of powerful politicians who embrace an extreme right version of evangelical Christianity and are based in Washington. Among their members, as we have recently reported, are two powerful Republicans from Oklahoma – U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn.
The Family has been infiltrated and exposed by author Jeff Sharlet. He has met David Bahati and spent time with him. His expose’ is featured in his books The Family and C Street and he spoke about his findings – and their connection to Oklahoma politicians – on “Radio Free Oklahoma” several years ago.
“We have friends in the Fellowship,” Bahati told Maddow. “We have a Fellowship in Uganda that is associated with the Fellowship in Washington.”
Maddow pressed further, asking if the Fellowship/Family members discouraged him from introducing such odious legislation, which would include the extradition of gay Ugandans who engage in homosexual relations in foreign countries, Bahati said “No one (in the Family) who has discouraged me and no one who has encouraged me.”
And while the “Kill the Gays bill” did not pass, thanks to international pressure, including comments against it from President Obama, we learn this week at Business Week and other online media sources that
Bahati’s American handler, Jack Klenk, is a former director in the Office of Non-Public Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Klenk housed the Ugandan parliamentarian while in the U.S. and expressed surprise to Jeff Sharlet when he spoke to him about Bahati and the concern about the bill at the time. Klenk told Sharlet he was “very familiar with the bill,” had spoken to Bahati at length about the bill and that the bill’s introduction “comes from a loving place” and that the extreme punishments they are seeking against homosexuals are “loving punishments.”
Sharlet said execution may not happen right away in Uganda in terms of ridding the nation of homosexuals, but Bahati told Sharlet during his visit with him that “in a perfect world it would” lead to executions but that in a democracy “we must go step by step.”
Unbelievably, Sharlet said a portion of the bill, in its 2009 form, allowed for people talking about the bill to be imprisoned for seven years and a three-year prison term for “just knowing a gay person.”
And as Sharlet told Terri Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” the bill is likely to become law and that “it has support of some of the most powerful men in Uganda, including the dictator of Uganda, a guy named Museveni, whom The Family identified back in 1986 as a key man for Africa.”
Sen. Inhofe, in an interview last week on “The Pat Campbell
Show” in Tulsa, was asked about Museveni, who supports polygamy, and Inhofe
said Museveni was “doing a good job.” Museveni is backing the anti-homosexual
bill because, according to the London Guardian,
“European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa” and gay relationships are
against God’s will. Museveni's fear of gays has, according to The Guardian, "raised the level of homophobia in the country," and caused terror within Uganda's gay community, especially following a front page article in a national newspaper calling for the lynching of homosexuals along with a list of Uganda's "top" gays and lesbians, along with names, addresses and photos.
Where does this sort of political reaction come from? According to Sharlet it’s due to fundamentalist Christian politicians looking at Uganda as a “laboratory of ideas” where extreme ideas that can’t get traction in America can be introduced and promoted in a third-world and predominantly Christian nation like Uganda.
Sharlet told Maddow that it was fundamentalist Christian, Republican politicians like former Sen. and Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft and self-proclaimed “Jesus guy” Jim Inhofe who have frequently visited Uganda and focused on the problems of homosexuality in third-world African nations. And with predominantly English-speaking Uganda – they said – their gay problem should be addressed, “to protect the children,” as Bahati repeated in the interview.
Again, Bahati emphasizes he loves homosexuals but they will be punished for who they are.
“I am not in a hate campaign,” Bahati complained. “I do not hate gays. I love them. But I sometime must protect our children being recruited into this practice.”
Evidence of “recruitment” activities were never offered to Maddow or MSNBC, despite alleged videos making the rounds saying that “a man sleeping with a man is ok,” as Bahati put it.
As we have reported in the past few months, Uganda has been
experiencing all sorts of problems, from an ongoing drought, that is causing
food prices to skyrocket to government-sanctioned attacks on Uganda's free press to dictatorial behavior on the part of Inhofe's pal in Uganda, Museveni. And the issue regarding innocent Ugandan farmers made homeless by British corporations who own large tracts of land in Uganda is another scandal we have addressed here at Red Dirt Report, not to mention the selfless efforts of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of St. Monica's in Gulu, Uganda. She has helped many of her people and attracted the attention of former President Bill Clinton. Her operation at St. Monica's is also connected to the Oklahoma City-based Pros for Africa charity.
Meanwhile, the ongoing terrorism from the Lord’s Resistance Army has created a human-rights crisis in Uganda and neighboring countries. Amazingly, two weeks ago, President Obama approved the deployment of 100 “U.S. Special Forces advisors” to Uganda and the “great lakes region” of east-central Africa. This operation is to offer support to local government troops who are fighting the LRA and seeking to eliminate leader Joseph Kony. However, Inhofe and others have reiterated that U.S. forces will not engage in combat during this open-ended deployment which is being largely run in secret and with full support of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Red Dirt Report has contacted Sen. Inhofe's Washington office and assistant Liz Lathrop informed us we may have a comment on the senator's thoughts on the reintroduction of this bill by the end of the day. Stay tuned for updates.
Copyright 2011 West Marie Media