The Cherubs protest so loudly they can hardly wait for that echo “….I am not gay!” But they will kill you if YOU are – either drive gay youth to suicide or find a law to hang gays!
By Melanie Nathan, August 13, 2012.
A photographer from the United Kingdom, Rachel Adams, recently got together with Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo in Uganda, to discuss the raids he ordered against the perceived LGBTI community and Human Rights defenders in Uganda. A few activists were detained, but there were never any charges.
Now the LGBTI groups and individuals are suing the Minister and he should be called to testify to explain. But apparently the Minister believes he was justified in these raids and his basis for justification has yet to be told in the Courts. Adams notes that she chatted with Lokodo for about 40 minutes; an unusual eagerness given the looming legal battle in the Ugandan Courts.
If Lokodo tells the same story to the Courts, that he tells here to Rachel Adams, I think he may find himself in for a big shock. Read on and I will explain:-
By then again while seeking to avoid the courts to explain, perhaps Lokodo believes the press to be a good modality for his attempts at justification.
This is what he tells Adams:-
‘A month and half ago we did an investigation on NGOs who were mixing positive things with things which we call in Uganda bad. We realized that a number of them were actually raising funds from abroad in the guise of promoting humanitarian concerns. They were also going around implanting in the minds of small children and persons below 18 attitudes of perverted, disoriented feelings in their sexual expressions. In other words they were supportive of homosexuality and lesbianism which is not permitted in Uganda.
The constitution is clear about this, that marriage between persons of the same sex, relations between persons of the same sex, is prohibited and punishable in aggravated cases with life imprisonment.
So we found that these NGOs were out of order and we have requested the Ministry of Internal Affairs to reduce them so they don’t go around giving a bad attitude, a bad spirit, a bad culture which will destroy this country’s morale.”
However, Lokodo is wrong – the Constitution is not clear about this and that is NOT the law as it stands. He will have to site the relevant passages to the Courts and I wish him luck in finding it. While the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB) presents a Lokodo wish list, it is not yet law. The Bill, dubbed The David Bahati ‘Kill the Gays Bill’, which has yet to see passage, could feasibly deliver every single Human Rights organization on a platter to the gay-hating politician. But the Minister cannot use law that has not yet and may never pass.
It is not a crime to be a homosexual in Uganda at this time. But committing homosexual acts may be considered a crime under current law. That is a far cry from what Lokodo is asserting. So it has been interpreted from the law known as “Acts against human nature” that acts of homosexuality are a crime. However how does one equate acts of homosexuality with having a meeting to discuss the human rights of sexuality? A far cry!
The AHB if passed will indeed give all these powers to Lokodo that he now falsely proclaims to have.
What is interesting about this case is the fact that Lokodo is presenting the Courts with an advance opportunity to ruminate the constitutionality of such allegations against the LGBTI community, even if the Bahati Bill was to pass.
Anyone in the West with any basic knowledge about the science will attest to the fact that it is simply impossible to “recruit children” into homosexuality. The so called “promotion of homosexuality” the cornerstone of Lokodo allegations can never pass the smell test. It will never find solid definition and will always be problematic. How does one define promoting homosexuality if it cannot by any scientific standard be promoted to the point of “causing” someone to become a homosexual?
Lokodo should be called into Court to prove his assertion that children have been impacted in this way. When the time comes, there is evidence that children were bribed to tell stories that were simply made up. What he may find is the bribery cam from near the top and a few embarrassing heads will undoubtedly be up for a role.
The fact that a man of this stature has brought into the rhetoric and lies fed by American evangelicals is a matter of record and can be easily tracked by in time, making the connection between the lies and the Minister as matter that will be available when the Courts want the evidence of the assertions.
According to Adams, Lokodo goes on to explain the relationship between homosexuality and depravity, and the demise of the human race:
‘What do you call decency in your world? You can’t expose [yourself] on the streets naked. It’s not fair or correct. There is a certain way of exposing yourself in a particular place at a particular time. [If] you go naked, kiss each other on the streets what [sic] is the decency and the sacredness is lost [sic]. Those are the things that give us boundaries.
Just imagine if tomorrow every Ugandan accepted homosexuality.’ There is a pause. I ask, ‘What would happen?’ Another pause. ‘We would cease to be. Sex is for procreation. In time there will be a build-up of homosexuals. A lot of young people will opt for that because it will put in sex [sic] as pleasure, not child bearing. Some people spend hours doing nothing but disturbing themselves. Its meaningless. Sexual pleasure for what?’
I cannot wait for the Courts to hear his perspective. Does he really believe he has a right to make up this law and to assert his hate disguised as morality above the basic human right to one’s natural born sexual orientation.
Adams asked the question of interest – one which we may ask each and every Cherub of the Marcus Bachmann mold:- She says :
” I noticed that Lokodo isn’t wearing a wedding ring and ask him if he is married. He hands me his business card which reads Hon. Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo, and on the back ‘Vision – a prosperous society that cherishes moral values and principles; Mission – To empower Ugandan society to uphold moral values and principles in the fight against corruption; Core Values – Integrity, Transparency, Honesty and Accountability (ITHA).’
Ah and here comes the zinger – that piece we all know so well- the ones who shout so loudly that they desperately want to hear the echo back at them “I ammm nooot gaaay – yoooooou are NNNOOOOOT GAYYYYYY!” And so Lokodo answers the big question: “He goes on to tell me that before he went into politics he was ordained as a priest and took vows of celibacy.”
Rachel Adams:- “I’m curious as to who his advisors are on LGBTI rights. He doesn’t seem to understand the question so I ask him where he gets his information on homosexuality.
He tells me that people come to his office because they are afraid of going to the public hospitals. Four or five people come a day to tell them about the ‘abuse’ they have suffered.
She then asks Lokodo if he thinks people are born gay or if they become homosexual, and he says “What I know [is] that born or become [sic] it is a perversion. I know it is an ailment. It is a sickness. It is not a status to be applauded. I am told that if a child is in a mother’s womb and there are situations that are negative that person will come out with a negative attitude towards that gender.”
And so Lokodo must be taken to task and I am sure my friends in Uganda will read this great interview by Rachel Adams. It is time to bring Lokdo and his nonsense to the Court. It is time to insist that the independent free Court in Uganda challenge these assertions and notions.
As it happens Lokodo’s pre-empting a law that does not exist may well serve to be its final dismissal and lets hope that this display of ridiculous persecution find its place in history and is put to rest. People like Lokodo should be focusing on the real ills of his country, and not on a handful of people who happen to fall in love with members of their same sex. He should go after the real pedophiles who sell children for sex and focus his attention on the poverty that drives thousands of women into prostitution in Uganda.
Instead he is intent on dragging down the NGO’s that provide services to thousands of needy people on a political ploy that will cost Uganda greatly.
By MELANIE NATHAN – the founding director of Private Courts Inc, a mediation, LGBTI equality and human rights advocacy firm based in San Francisco. She publishes http://oblogdeeoblogda.me and is co-producing Gay USA: the Movie. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. She can be reached [email protected]
Thank you to Rachel Adams of Rachel Adams Photography.