Monday, October 26, 2009

Lovers in a Dangerous Time

I bitch about anti-gay rights laws in America in this space, and with good reason: I take the whole "equal protection under the laws" thing seriously. Also the Ninth Amendment.

But you know what? We might be bad, but at least we're not Uganda, which has just introduced an anti-homosexuality bill that even one-ups the strictest reading of Leviticus. Burroway, who I linked to there, has a summary of the bill's main features here:
The proposed bill would:

  • Reaffirm the lifetime sentence currently provided upon conviction of homosexuality, and extends the definition from sexual activity to merely “touch[ing] another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.”

  • Create a new category of “aggravated homosexuality” which provides for the death penalty for “repeat offenders” and for cases where the individual is HIV-positive.

  • Criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda with fines and imprisonment of between five and seven years.

  • Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.

  • Add a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment of up to three years.

  • Add extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad.
The list goes on. If it passed, it'd probably put half of Uganda behind bars.

Of course, the chances of a Western country actually extraditing someone found guilty of Teh Ghey (or of supporting someone who has Teh Ghey) are slim to none. And I don't know what the bill's chances for passage are, considering it violates some 10 articles of Uganda's constitution. But still, the fact that someone in Uganda thinks that this bill is actually a good idea... it just boggles the mind. Even our wingnuts aren't that nutty.


Mike said...

Are you honestly comparing us to Uganda? We may still be pretty backwards in a lot of ways, but, seriously, Uganda. Let me say this one more time for emphasis: Uganda.

I am a particularly big fan of the extradition clause, as if any country that has an extradition treaty with Uganda would remotely consider extraditing a Ugandan citizen for the "crime" of homosexuality. Well, any first-world country at least. Thankfully we the U.S. do not count ourselves among that illustrious group.

But anyway, one more time, just to be sure we've got this straight: Uganda. Uganda, dude. Uganda. (Seriously, I think their country motto should be: "Almost as much fun to say as Uruguay.")

(My word verification is "baying", which is fitting since that's pretty much all this useless comment amounts to.)

Mike said...

Okay, re-reading that, I really didn't mean it to come off as so condescending. As you claimed, the Ugandan constitution would in theory uphold at least some of the rights this law is attempting to strike down. (How you know that is beyond me.) Uganda is at least marginally better with human rights than some of its neighbors (see entry under "Sudan"). So I can't imagine this has any real chance of passage.

(My word verification is now "splooti", which is much awesomer.)

Jeff said...

Uganda is at least marginally better with human rights than some of its neighbors (see entry under "Sudan").

Now that you mention it, Uganda did have Idi Amin...

And the constitutional articles which the law violates are listed in the second link.