The link http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/details.php?catId=1&item=718 is now empty (text of taken down) and it no longer shows on the front page http://www.mediacentre.go.ug/ under the category responses/clarifications where a link to it appeared before. The cached version is below the fold.
It's back up with a new link, and it is appearing a highlighted link on the Media Centre main page, too.
Under the category of "clarification" a statement on the government of Uganda website, Office of the President - Uganda Media Centre, is calling for the withdrawal of the private member's bill that would execute homosexuals. The statement, "Homosexuality: we can still avoid foreign bad press" is contrary to the public support for the bill by the government's ethics minister.
The statement makes plain that public statements were essential in getting the government to this point--not quiet behind the scenes diplomacy Lambeth Palace was allegedly engaged in.
H/T to Box Turtle Bulletin.
The corollary is that public exposure of The Family's entanglement in the kill gays bill was also key. Subsequent to revelations of that fact on Fresh Air some members of The Family intervened with the Ugandan government. See this clip from last night's Rachel Maddow show:
Hat tip, again, to Box Turtle Bulletin.
RESPONSES/CLARIFICATIONS Email Article Print Article
Homosexuality: we can still avoid foreign bad press
By Obed K Katureebe
The Anti-Homosexual Bill 2009, yet to be tabled on the floor of parliament, has attracted unnecessary hullabaloo. Some western countries, with their characteristic condescending attitude, are already threatening to cut aid if that bill is passed into law.
The bill is sponsored by Hon. David Bahati, the Ndorwa West County MP, as a private member’s bill. If passed into law, it will be able to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.
The bill also aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.
According to Hon. Bahati, there is need to protect the children and youth of Uganda who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation as a result of cultural changes, uncensored information technologies, parentless child developmental settings and increasing attempts by homosexual to raise children in homosexual relationships through adoption, foster care or otherwise.
Apparently, according to Bahati, the proposed legislation is designed to fill the gaps in the provisions of other laws in Uganda like the Penal Code Act.
Hon. Bahati has a strong point. However, I personally think that there is no need to have a fresh legislation on such unnatural offences. What Hon. Bahati should have emphasized is to improve the penal code just to widen the definition already existing.
According to the Penal Code Act (cap 120), any person who permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment for life. There is no question about that homosexuality, long regarded as taboo (culturally and socially) in the highly-religious society of Uganda, has of recent been raising its head and profile in the field of public debate.
No longer content to remain in the closet, proponents of homosexuality and lesbianism are actively seeking to be heard. They are up against an uphill task as they are pitched not only against culture and religion but against public perception of morality.
What is required at this moment is to let all Ugandans be rational and put their views across before parliament moves to debate the contents of the bill. Calls by rights organisations that Uganda's obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights would be undermined are uncalled for.
The siege the country seems to be facing from these rights groups is misplaced. The absurdity of it all is even to go to the extent of branding ‘the regime in Kampala’ as a fascist establishment. Africans have an aggregated value system and retain a right to say 'no' to a movement whose ultimate outcome will be the destruction of the family; the basic social cultural unit.
The promoters of homosexuality, who happens to have vast resources at their disposal and a global reach, have confused human rights groups to portray homosexuality as a human rights issue. But rights must be based on values.
However, the country should recognise the impressionable body politic and civil society groups in developed economies of the west. With their clever portrayal of the fight against homosexuality as a human rights abuse, the attachment of the adjectives like fascist to regime may lead to policy reviews.
Which is why I call on the government to avoid the bad press. Since homosexuality is already criminalised in Uganda, one wonder whether parliament is utilising its time optimally by focusing on homosexuality when the majority of our people are suffering from hunger, lack of access to water and disease and collapsing infrastructure.
Moreover, as pointed out by the gay lobbyists, same sex marriage is not a common social practice in Uganda therefore legislating against it is redundant and is likely to attack more attention to them. Perhaps parliament should be spending its time on real issues that impact on the lives of long-suffering Ugandans.
As a country, let us also engage other remedial institutions to try and counter this vice that is slowly but steadily coming into our lives. We ought to know that homosexuality community across the world is now 10% of the world population. Since we are part of the global community how feasible would it be to kill off 10% of the population.
As research has shown homosexuality is not a mental illness symptomatic of arrested development or that gays desires are genetic or hormonal in origin and that there is no choice involved. Homosexual behavior is learned. According to research by Dr. Cameron, no scientific research has found provable biological or genetic differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals that were not caused by their behavior. Dr. Cameron is the chairman Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, USA.