Imagine to have your personal life published in a major newspaper: details of your sexual orientation, your phone number and your home address, and the only reason for why they are published is because you are gay- Yes you heard me right. I can’t possibly imagine how those people feel. How would you feel if you got your personal information shared with millions of people?
Homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda since the colonial time; the penalty for homosexual acts is life imprisonment, but in 2009 a lawmaker from the ruling party said that a stronger law was needed to protect Uganda’s children from homosexuals. Parliamentarian David Bahati accused wealthy homosexuals from the West were “recruiting” poor children into gay lifestyles with promises of money and a better life.
If not that was enough, the Ugandan parliament are now trying to pass a bill called the Anti-homosexuality bill, informally called “Kill the gays”. This law will criminalize same-sex relationship, people who promote LGBT rights in Uganda and they risk the death penalty for loving people of the same sex. Uganda’s Parliament will once again consider the Anti-Homosexuality Bill when it reconvenes in 2013. Many western countries have accused the Ugandan government for their lack of action when it comes to this bill and David Cameron, Premier Minister of the United Kingdom, threatened to cut aid over the poor gay rights records.
Many gay activists in Uganda have confirmed that the LGBT community is fleeing Uganda, and it will only get worse if this bill is passed by the parliament. The problem is that they have nowhere to flee: just over the border to Kenya similar homophobic acts are accruing.
The LGBT movement in Uganda have lost faith in their government, their countrymen and now, for lack of harsh enough reactions, the international community. It is certainly time to wake up and smell the coffee and see that the world isn’t a perfect a place, as not everyone is free to love who they want. Uganda is just one example; there are many countries in the world where same-sex relationships are against the law, and where homosexuals face death penalty.
Text: Yacob Rajes