Uganda: How Freedom Is Managed
By David J. Meyer
With much of the focus in the media on the humanitarian issues in Russia there has been another threat that has gone largely unnoticed in the headlines. Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, is well on his way to officially declaring homosexuality illegal and as such, any evidence to the former condemns the accused to life imprisonment. Further this indictment includes no possibility of appeal or parole. This was after the president (mercifully) allowed the death penalty sentence to be stricken from the bill. Still, any persons suspected of homosexual activity are subject to arrest and trial. This means that any citizen can be mistaken as an LGBT member and imprisoned for the rest of their natural life. No matter if they are or not. In short, it’s a witch hunt.
The new law also chastises those who perform same-sex marriages, bestowing a seven-year prison sentence and most likely, a loss of license in addition to any person who is aware of homosexual activity and fails to report it to authorities. While the bill has not been signed into law yet, (the president is awaiting a report from “experts” regarding homosexuality and its “learned behavior”), the pressure is on Museveni from Anti-LGBT lobbyists in Nigeria and even here in the states from which includes but is not limited to Evangelicals like Scott Lively, an author and attorney who supports the “Ex Gay Movement” who believes and advocates the notion that Nazis were formed by members of the LGBT community.
The hypocrisy here is that President Museveni claims homosexuality to be a curable condition, yet the mandatory sentence is life in prison. While prison is often used as a rehabilitation, this only takes place when the convicted spends a limited amount of time within the stone walls. Not an entire lifetime. As you would imagine the bill has caused many residents to flee for their lives.
We are not looking at same-sex marriage here. We are not debating the right of LGBT members to adopt children. This law is a death sentence for any citizen suspected of being gay or lesbian. Just a mere existence is enough evidence for them. In the wake of Putin’s efforts in Russia and President Goodluck Jonathan’s Same-Sex Prohibition act in Nigeria, rights are being stripped away from working and honest citizens, alleging democracy and godliness but thinly veiling scapegoating and tyranny.
In support and to create some kind of solace amidst the hysteria, Planting Peace has created Uganda Underground, a series of safe havens positioned throughout the country modeled after the American Abolitionist’s Underground Railroad. The locations of the transitional homes are kept confidential and provide an essential resource at a critical time. We ask that you or your organization consider sponsoring one of these safe havens by clicking here: DONATE