The Devil Went Down to Uganda

Earlier this month, an organization known as the Sexual Minorities Groups in Uganda held a press conference pleading for tolerance and an end to government harassment which was quickly met by right-wing protests

The issue came to the fore in Uganda this month when an advocacy group, the Sexual Minorities Groups in Uganda, took the unprecedented step of holding a news conference to demand recognition. Even so, most hid their faces behind masks.

That prompted demonstrators from the Inter-faith Coalition of church groups to rally in Kampala demanding a crackdown. They waved placards like “Arrest all homos” and railed against a U.S. newspaper intern who had written on homosexuals in Uganda.

As Human Rights Watch explained:

Homosexual acts are criminalized in Uganda under a sodomy law inherited from British colonial times, although punishments were substantially strengthened in 1990. Section 140 of the criminal code punishes “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” – interpreted to include consensual same sex relationships- with a maximum of life imprisonment. 

“For years President Museveni’s government has drummed up homophobia and denied the basic rights of LGBT people for his own political advantage,” said Juliana Cano Nieto, researcher in the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch. “If lesbians and gays can be punished simply for speaking up for their rights, the freedoms of all Ugandans are endangered.” 

Of course, the Right here at home loves it, with Janice Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, hailing the Ugandan protestors for standing up when “the Devil is attacking them”:

I thank the Lord that we have people in Uganda who are devoted Christians who are willing to go out there at the beginning, at the outset, to say “you’re not going to change our culture, you’re not going to have influence here.  We stand up for what is right, what is legal, and what is part of the culture of Uganda.” 

REUTERS/James Akena