Uganda. In what is a remarkably brief ledger, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has leapt to the top of our listing of favorite–and certainly most entertaining–African leaders. Ratings giant CNN hilariously reports.
The cover of the Red Pepper newspaper read, “EXPOSED! Uganda’s 200 Top Homos Named,” with several photographs next to the headline.
On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that made some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison.
“They’re disgusting. What sort of people are they?” he told CNN’s Zain Verjee afterward. “I never knew what they were doing. I’ve been told recently that what they do is terrible. Disgusting. But I was ready to ignore that if there was proof that that’s how he is born, abnormal. But now the proof is not there.”
In November 2010, Rolling Stone — a local tabloid which has no relation to the iconic U.S. music magazine — listed 100 of what it called the country’s top gays and lesbians, with photos and addresses alongside a yellow banner reading, “hang them.”
Museveni had commissioned a group of Ugandan government scientists to study whether homosexuality is “learned,” concluding that it is a matter of choice.
“I was regarding it as an inborn problem,” he said. “Genetic distortion — that was my argument. But now our scientists have knocked this one out.”
The nation’s Parliament passed the bill in December, replacing the death penalty provision with a proposal of life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality.” This includes acts in which one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders” and sex with minors, according to Amnesty International.
In cyber-space no one can hear you laugh. And I suppose that congressional delegation to Kampala is on hold pending legal review of acts constituting “aggravated homosexuality.” Unrelatedly, Senator Graham has announced a scheduling conflict with the trip.
Though the narrative on plain display is another uplifting tale of plucky Africans casting off the yoke of western cultural oppression. Like the tapping of happy beavers one can easily hear scriptwriters euphorically crafting the latest Hollywood blockbuster, their faces serene in beatific smiles. Academy awards, Oscar nominations, and peace prizes are soon to follow. President Museveni, you hold the heart of the liberal.
But there is a dark and bitter aspect of this story. A homosexual owned Southern California business–a public accommodation–has announced an openly discriminatory policy toward traditionalist black leaders We don’t want your kind here.
Owner David Cooley stated: “I’ve learned that I can’t stop crazy, ignorant or stupid, but I can stop it from coming through my doors.”
You’re about to be disabused of that notion, Jim Crow. You’re on the wrong side of history. We freedom-riders didn’t walk across a bridge and found the NAACP so that you could exclude people of color including even the President of Uganda from your sanctuary of hate. Mr. Seveni is coming. And he’s bringing a list.