by Melanie Nathan; December 26, 2011
Somehow I think the anti-homosexuality strategy on natural order and defilement needs a dramatic overhaul.
Xmas is a day of joy and childbirths are highlighted as part of that joy, often heralding religious connotations and meaning. But it is not that way for many as the day brought darkness to Uganda, through its misappropriation of funds and its ineffectual blame, ironically via religious zealotry, that still castes its eye on homosexuality.
Since reading an article in the Ugandan press, I am more convinced than ever that gays, lesbians, bisexual,transgender and intersex people are being used as scapegoats in Uganda, to hide the real misgivings in that country. Today, when I read this shocking report, part of which I have quoted here, I felt an indescribable rage surge inside of me. Here is what I read:
At least 14 mothers failed to witness the joy of childbirth after they died while in labor when more than 236 babies were born on Christmas Day at various hospitals in Uganda. At Mulago Referral Hospital, 12 mothers were reported dead while two others lost their lives at Lacor Hospital in Gulu.
A midwife at Mulago, who asked not to be named because she is not supposed to speak to press, attributed some of the deaths to mothers being anemic and underage. She declined to give figures of the child-mothers that gave birth on Christmas.
The midwife said some of the mothers who passed on appeared not to have attended antenatal care while others were reportedly dumped at the hospital after their condition had been mismanaged at private clinics.
“We tried as much as we could to save the lives of these women but we failed, …”
Well what has this to do with GAYS – nothing – in the same way as GAYS have nothing to do with the ills of Uganda. Read on..
Mr. David Bahati is the author of the infamous Anti-homosexuality Bill otherwise known as the Kill the Gays Bill, which is still tabled in the Ugandan Parliament, which means it could be called to a vote at anytime. The Bill passed through committee and after much controversy about its viability, lingers on as a strong possibility for passage.
If the Bill is passed, it will ensure that the already criminalized homosexuality in Uganda, will attain heightened punitive measures such as death sentences and long prison terms in certain cases.
The Bill does much more though, in the international world, where many believe that all global participants ought to subscribe to chartered beliefs on the question of Human Rights, and that one’s sovereignty cannot be used as an excuse to circumvent certain commonalities, which are required of those countries wishing to participate in the global social and economic conscience. It will serve to isolate Uganda, and has taken much needed attention off the real problems in that Country.
Mr. Bahati has personally told me that his country is a “sovereign country” and for that reason does not need to adhere to scientific data about sexual orientation being a natural order. He has told me that homosexuality is “against the natural order and the cultural beliefs of his country.” He has also openly admitted on U.S. Television to his connection to the U.S. “C” Street Family and the confluence of American Evangelical Christians that prompted the initial introduction of the Kill the Gays Bill by Bahati.
In fact currently, the way homosexuality stands as illegal in Uganda, is on the basis that homosexual acts are “against the order of nature” – which makes no sense if a Ugandan court were to apply scientific data. The courts, which have been known for their independence in Uganda, would surely have to find that homosexuality is in fact fully ‘in accordance with the order of nature,’ given real scientific data that is available to this effect.
Mr. Bahati is fully aware of the frailty of the current law of so called defilement in Uganda as it pertains to homosexuality and that is the reason for his dramatic push to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
So Mr. Bahati and his cronies are trying so hard to push for this law that they are blaming all the ills of Ugandan society on the LGBTI community. Their idea is that if you lock up or kill the ‘homos,’ Uganda will be all right and much better off for it!
To do his part in the promotion of the legislation the strategy has been to assert that gays and lesbians are recruiting children into homosexuality. This allegation has been dispelled after it was discovered that some children may have been bribed to make affidavits to this effect.
Now, you see how easy it was for me to distract you, the reader, from the shocking point at hand. Have I made the point yet?
Gays can be blamed until the cows come home, but nothing will derogate from the fact that 14 and maybe many more very young women died during childbirth this Xmas day- yesterday in Uganda.
That is in one day – what are the real statistics, President Museveni? Why is hospital staff prevented from talking to Press? Who are these dead people? How old are they? Why did they not receive proper care? Why were they pregnant? Where are the motherless babies now?
Worse yet is the fact that I imagine it is straight men who are making this young starving and fragile women pregnant. Then letting go of the responsibility or are they too poor too? Were any of these women raped? Were they forced into prostitution because of poverty? To support other children who are now motherless too?
The real issues at hand include poverty, prostitution, survival of women, defilement of young girls by heterosexual men. And where are the noisy American evangelical fundamentalists on this one?
NOW I ask how many children have ‘died of homosexuality’ in Uganda and that does not include how many have been beaten to death simply because they are gay? Who is to blame for the 14 deaths on XMAS day and who knows how many more? It is a disgrace!
Somehow I think the anti-homosexualitystrategy on natural order and defilement needs a dramatic overhaul.
You are not going to fool the West any longer Mr. Museveni and Mr. Bahati – I am talking to you:-
AND hopefully soon your own people will get it. In fact I know a large percentage have, but you have murdered them and tortured them into submission- in those cruel houses of well known torture – the one with the tunnel and the hanging of weights from the penis of your objectors. You have hosed and beaten the walkers to work who protested in peace, you have jailed your opposition until he stepped down, just this past week.
It is time to look at the real revolution pending in Uganda, one where Ugandans can see that Museveni is nothing more than a dictator who is holding onto comfort and wealth for himself while supporting languishing private Bills such as one to Kill the Gays – merely as a mechanism to distract from the real problems.
FOURTEEN dead women in childbirth in a country such as Uganda on one Xmas day is mass murder in my eyes and Mr. Museveni and members of your parliament as far as I am concerned your hands are covered in their blood.
“… read more at http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/1295572/-/bfk0udz/-/index.html
According to Ministry of Health Annual sector performance report 2010, only 33 per cent of mothers in Uganda deliver in hospitals or a health facility supervised by a midwife. The other 67 per cent deliver either alone or with the help of a traditional birth attendant.”
In 2009, many news sources reported on Jeff Sharlet’s investigation regarding ties between Museveni and the American fundamentalist Christian organization The Fellowship (also known as “The Family”). Sharlet reports that Douglas Coe, leader of The Fellowship, identified Museveni as the organization’s “key man in Africa.” Further international scrutiny accompanied the 2009 Ugandan efforts to institute the death penalty for homosexuality, with leaders from Canada, the UK, the US, and France expressing concerns for human rights. British newspaper, The Guardian, reported that President Museveni “appeared to add his backing” to the legislative effort by, among other things, claiming “European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa”, and saying gay relationships were against God’s will. The 2009 effort for harsher penalties for homosexual behavior further strengthens existing laws criminalizing homosexuality.