Write your local MP: No more Canadian aid for Uganda while they’re murdering gays

Update: Please read Melanie Nathan’s caution on what should and shouldn’t be done to fight this initiative — she strongly urges that countries not withdraw aid because of this bill, because the LGBTI community will be scapegoated and targeted as a result.

I leave the rest of this post intact because I am concerned that they are already in trouble — every activist in Uganda risks being arrested as it stands, with or without economic sanctions from countries opposed to Uganda’s declared murderous intentions. Her advice is excellent for outsiders like us looking in, though.

Uganda’s apparently delivered an early “Christmas gift” — their words, not mine– to all the homophobic Christians in their theocratic regime. Thanks to GOP members, Catholic pastors, and other outside interference by various and sundry religious bigots, Uganda’s finally built enough momentum and passed the two-year-old proposed bill that will require the death penalty for the high crime of “aggravated homosexuality”. Update: Apparently Kadaga declaring that it will become law doesn’t make it set in stone. There’s a chance this won’t be passed despite her sabre-rattling.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said the anti-gay bill will become law by December since most Ugandans ‘are demanding it’.

Referring to the law as a ‘Christmas gift’ to the population, she spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals.

The law will broaden the criminalization of same-sex relationships by dividing homosexuality into two categories; aggravated homosexuality and the offense of homosexuality.

‘Aggravated homosexuality’ is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, pedophiles and repeat offenders. If convicted, they will face the death penalty.

The ‘offense of homosexuality’ includes same-sex sexual acts or being in a gay relationship, and will be prosecuted by life imprisonment.

Let me wrap my head around this. Parents and authority figures taking advantage of children and charges — that’s pedophilia, and sexual abuse. Both are already crimes, with or without a homosexual element, here at least. Are they not there? Is it only a crime there if it involves homosexuality?

And HIV-positive folks engaging in homosexual sex with informed consent (say, with protection, or with other HIV-positive lovers) could still be charged, as well as people who’ve been caught being gay multiple times (“repeat offenders”). This bill not only criminalizes homosexuality, it also does its damnedest to conflate homosexuality with pedophilia and other sex crimes. And just having consensual gay sex, or a chaste homosexual relationship, will net you a life sentence!

Canada provides a good deal of material aid to Uganda — ending that aid would send a serious message, that the wholesale slaughter of people for being slightly different just because some hairy and third-hand interpretation of your ancient holy book says you should is simply unacceptable. Several European countries are curtailing or outright suspending aid to Uganda; Obama called it “odious”, and John Baird is on record as being against it, saying it “offends decency”. There’s a popular upwelling of international opposition to this brutal and inhumane nonsense, so now’s the time for action.

Here’s how you find the contact info for your local Member of Parliament. Write them and tell them to sever Canada’s ties to Uganda until that odious bill, which legalizes religiously-motivated hate crimes against homosexuals, is repealed. Update: Please strongly recommend that this aid go instead to local LGBTI groups and other humanitarian efforts that aren’t specifically the corrupt and villainous theocratic government they have in place presently. Also, I’d recommend we ask our MPs to include Uganda to the fast-track refugee list.

I don’t much like copypasta for this sort of thing, but if there’s a greater chance that you’ll do something about this if given a sample letter, I’ll consider cleaning up the one I’m drafting now and posting it here for you to use as well. Seeing as how my local MP, Scott Brison, is openly gay, it should be a slam dunk that he’ll be on board.

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Write your local MP: No more Canadian aid for Uganda while they’re murdering gays

59 thoughts on “Write your local MP: No more Canadian aid for Uganda while they’re murdering gays

  1. 51

    @pipenta, on the contrary, you are the one being disingenuous because the existence of global economic differential that is fueled by racist immigration laws is one of the key reasons why third world governments can away with shit like this.

  2. 52

    White people giving themselves credit for ending apartheid has got to be the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

    That is pretty clearly pegs you as an ignorant racist, as well as being a homophobe (I think Pipenta has your number.)

    It wasn’t “white people” ending apartheid, it was the ANC’s foreign diplomatic efforts convincing other nations to not trade with people who murdered people for being black, that forced the circumstances leading to the referendum that ended apartheid. It was sanctions ultimately that ended apartheid.

    Reagan, and Thatcher were amongst a small minority of political leaders who opposed sanctions. Reagan promoted the concept of “Constructive Engagement” – which was exactly what you are promoting here.

    The idea was you don’t stop trading with South Africa, because that only impoverishes the populations that you are trying to help by ending apartheid.

    You don’t want to cut aide to Uganda because you claim that will just hurt the people Uganda wants to sentence to death for being gay.

    In 1986, in part due to the work of Desmond Tutu in his visit to the USA in 1984 which highlighted exactly how full of shit Reagan was, Reagan’s veto of the Comprehensive Anti Apartheid act was overridden. This proved a catalyst for other nations adopting sanctions.

    FW De Klerk announced the effective end of apartheid in 1990, and four years later Nelson Mandela became president.

    Your argument ultimately won’t change things in Uganda, because those gay people still need to get out of the country in order to survive.

    The concept of cutting aide, which is nowhere near as severe as cutting off trade relations altogether, is far more likely to work because it hits the bigots in their pocket books, instead of providing them with an alternative way of getting precisely what they want.

    There is no compulsion in providing aide. In a strictly legal sense, upon reaching independence no states are owed anything outside of whatever restitution deals they managed to get.

    It doesn’t matter how much the first world benefited from enslaving the third world, by reaching independence we become responsible for ourselves. That is the price we pay for having the ability to avoid being exploited in future.

    We cannot be both dependent and independent at the same time. If we are to approach you for help and aide, we are giving up a bit of our independence in the deal because whatever your money ends up helping us with, you end up partially responsible for.

    You have to have strings attached, because you could be helping the next Idi Amin and thus ending up being partially responsible for that government.

    When there are human rights abuses involved, you can’t run the risk of your money being used to perpetrate those abuses, because then it is not just that government perpetrating those abuses, it is you knowingly helping them do it.

    That is in part why America’s history of real-politik is such a dark one. America is complicit in what it helped those dictatorships do through its financial support.

    You are not responsible for what you don’t do in the third world, it is what you do that counts one way or the other.

  3. 53

    You’ve done a good job of contradicting yourself in just a couple of sentences.

    It wasn’t “white people” ending apartheid, it was the ANC’s foreign diplomatic efforts convincing other nations to not trade with people who murdered people for being black, that forced the circumstances leading to the referendum that ended apartheid. It was sanctions ultimately that ended apartheid.

    You yourself admit that it’s the ANC’s efforts that ended apartheid. *They* asked for the sanctions to force an unjust regime out of power. Any white people trying to piggyback on this trying to make it seem like they deserve any credit for this is typical shit that white people do it.

    If there are Ugandans calling for the stopping of aid, show me who they are and *then* it’s perfectly reasonable to end the aid. But you and the rest of the dumbshits arguing here have pretty clearly indicated that you are not interested in what the Ugandans have to say. You presume that you know more than the Ugandans because of your white superiority complex (aka racism).

    It doesn’t matter how much the first world benefited from enslaving the third world, by reaching independence we become responsible for ourselves. That is the price we pay for having the ability to avoid being exploited in future.

    This is the shittiest argument I’ve heard on this website. You sound like these Paulbots who go on about personal responsibility while ignoring that privilege exists.

    Here’s a protip: Stop thinking about people as “us” and “them” and who owes what to whom. We all have a responsibility to unconditionally help those who are disadvantaged regardless of where they are born or what their personal beliefs are. This is the ethical thing to do. Gandhi says so and so does Jesus. If you don’t want to follow these ethics, do whatever the fuck you want. But the moment you do that, you open yourself to criticism.

  4. 54

    Rutee

    For systematic corruption there are examples like the following story:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/uganda/9644722/10-million-in-aid-to-Uganda-ended-up-in-bank-accounts-of-PMs-aides.html

    In other words, you don’t know where the money is going if you give it to Uganda. That would be tolerable to an extent (hopefully some of it does some good) except one doesn’t want it to go towards killing people.

    pramod

    You’ve done a good job of contradicting yourself in just a couple of sentences.

    There is no fucking contradiction. The ANC wasn’t right because it was black or white or whatever, it was right because its ideas worked.

    Post apartheid our government engaged in an alternative approach to the situation in Zimbabwe, we engaged in “quiet diplomacy.” The net effect was that Robert Mugabe, and in all likelyhood any further attempts to peacefully depose him will result in more rape and torture of opponents.

    This is the ethical thing to do. Gandhi says so and so does Jesus.

    Jesus, as in the largely fictional character portrayed in the Bible, was a shithead who ended up enabling centuries of violent and vicious oppression. Without Jesus a fair chunk of the very worst abuses in the era of colonialism may very well not have happened.

    We all have a responsibility to unconditionally help those who are disadvantaged regardless of where they are born or what their personal beliefs are.

    Bullshit. There is no responsibility to help one person harm another. Your ‘unconditional’ help means you are helping people harm each other.

    You have a responsibility to be responsible in the help you give – that means by necessity you have to attach conditions to it. That doesn’t make the giving and receiving of aid a bad thing, it makes the giving and receiving of aid a thing that needs to be done on a considered basis.

  5. 59

    “‘Aggravated homosexuality’ is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, pedophiles and repeat offenders. If convicted, they will face the death penalty.”

    It doesn’t actually say that parents and authority figures have to be taking advantage of children… I assume it’s because they are in a position to influence children and thus further the acceptance of homosexuality. That’s what the bigots fear most; that the next generation won’t share their bigotry. So any gay people in a position to further acceptance of homosexuality will be killed.

    Also, how are people supposed to repeat offend if being “caught” being gay in the first place means you get life in prison?

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