My prayers today are for the people of Uganda, gay and straight, and anyone in between.
Yesterday Uganda's president signed a bill that establishes life imprisonment for anyone who has sex with a consenting adult, a child, or a disabled person of the same gender three times or more (a "repeat offender").
The law will also imprison anyone who does not report someone suspected of being gay.
Free rein on hating and on getting even with people you don't like: just say they are gay!
If you care about this crisis, watch the documentary God Loves Uganda directed by Roger Ross Williams. It's showing in Montreal today:
For a trailer, reviews, and information on screenings around the country, go to:
You can also join an email list of supporters of the film.
There are two logical problems with this law, in addition to its injustice and fear-mongering.
1) Its supporters say it "upholds African values" and they're trying to "counter Western influence."
But toleration of homosexuality in 19th C. Uganda is documented. King Mwanga II had relationships with men. In fact, it was British culture and 19th C. Christian missions that taught rejection of homosexuality. It's US missionaries in the last 20 years who have taught fiercely anti-gay fundamentalism.
2) The president says "We reject the notion that somebody can be homosexual by choice... that sexual orientation is a matter of choice."
It's not a choice--does that make orientation genetic? Or is a homosexual act an accident? A compulsive behavior, some kind of addiction?
You can get life imprisonment for an act you did not choose?
Ah well, let's not look for logic. The law and its supporters are probably trying to say that everyone is heterosexual and that same-sex relations violate Ugandan culture and the law of nature--all of which is just not true.
"Western culture" and Ugandan men are clearly the target here, but what will the law mean for Ugandan women and for expatriates living in Uganda?
Western missionaries taught female subordination to men, which has had a terrible impact on those African cultures where women are already seen as beasts of burden.
We planted these terrible seeds, which have now borne fruit in this anti-gay law and in oppression of women.
O Jesus, lover of the meek, the oppressed, and those who are persecuted, walk with the people of Uganda and help them to overcome this evil. Amen.
O people of Uganda and the US and the Ukraine and Syria: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. --Matthew 5:44.
See also my post after first viewing God Loves Uganda at Telluride's Mountainfilm Fest, Memorial Day weekend, 2013: