Talking Today to Ugandan MP David Bahati

Author of Kill the Gays

By Melanie Nathan, Dec 03, 2012.

bahatiUgandan Member of Parliament, David Bahati and I have not spoken in quite a while, and I thought I would give him a call today to discuss the impending Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s vote this coming week. We used to speak regularly. I always thought that I could influence him if he just got to know me.  He did get to know me, and alas the Bill is still up for passage.  Lest we forget that Mr. David Bahati is chairperson of the  Ugandan chapter of the C Street FAMILY and has many a right wing extremist Pastors and perhaps even some U.S. Senators to account to if this Bill does not pass.

To get a sense of how our conversations go; we are cordial, we hear each other without one talking over the other, with only one major frustration for me and that is the fact that around the 30 minute mark, Skype seems to fail into a blurr and then cuts us off mid sentence; as well as Banati’s constant “huh huh,” and “what?”  Which I have come to learn is a diversion or avoidance tactic. I keep pressing the same question until I get an answer and before you know it 30 mins and inevitable Skype fail.


We did our usual greeting, exchanged weather reports and then I dived in to my questions:

Nathan: Will the Bill be up tomorrow morning?

Bahati:  No because the parliament will be dealing with th death of someone and that will be the only agenda

Nathan:  What do you think about Parliament save itself the embarrassment of passing a bill that violates the Ugandan Constitution such that it can never actually become law and that will never b enforced?

Bahati: If that is the case why are you all so worried about it?

Nathan:  It is the principle

Bahati: Huh?

Nathan: AP is reporting that you said that the death penalty has been taken out

Bahati: Yes it is out of the Bill.

Mel: In what form is it in the report as a recommendation –

Bahati: It is out of the Bill in a new redraft

Nathan: Many people do not believe that

Bahati: Then they must wait to see it

Nathan: Rachel Maddow is still waiting for that proof of gays recruiting children that he promised her back in December of 2010.  Why is it that he can’t actually provide any proof. Was evidence on this given to the Committee?

Bahati: It will all be in the report. We are focused on making the legislation pass and any information that committee can put out will be there

Nathan: Is the report Public?

Bahati: The report will be in front of the parliament when we read the Bill again and people will know what is in

Nathan: Do you know that the world is erupting in protest over the Bill and it s making people very angry around the world

Bahati: Maybe some of the World but not our World here in Africa and besides what about your own Americans what percentage favors marriage equality? Keep your own house in order. If 40% oppose marriage equality that is a hundred million Americans.

Nathan:  Mr. Bahati, Sir, we are not talking about marriage equality, I am not interested in that discussion here. That is a separate and different issue, Sir. I am talking about criminalizing good people who are not criminals. I am talking about your BILL which seeks to imprison mothers, doctors, nurses, sister, friends and good people whi have never hurt anyone. You want to turn people into criminals who are not interested in nor have ever hurt anyone in their lives. Just because of who they love and what they do in privacy of their own homes. Please don’t change the subject sir, its is not the same thing.

Bahati: silence

Nathan: Mr. Bahati I am very sad about how far this has gone.  You invited me to visit Uganda, but the Bill is about to pass. I consider myself a good decent human being. I have never harmed a child or anyone. I am not a criminal in my country.  Yet, I am self-confessed lesbian and if I set foot on your soil I should be arrested.

Bahati: laughs. No it is not like that….

Nathan: Are you saying you will not enforce the law? Then what is the point?

Bahati: Well maybe…silence

Nathan: Do you know that many of us here in America are taking a pen and writing on our hands “Ugandan Arrest Us” and then we are taking photos… all of us will be criminals in Uganda and many of those writing these protests are not even Gay.

Bahati: HUH?
Nathan: We are protesting…….

Beeeep… Skype drops call, Nathan calls back and phone unavailable.

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12 Comments on “Talking Today to Ugandan MP David Bahati”

  1. Brian Davies December 4, 2012 at 5:41 AM #

    Thank for the article and your patience with the “honorable” just as a follow up the use ‘what’ in common speech was explained to me as a result of learning by rote in the schools here so a teacher will sing out ‘the cat and the what’ and the kids scream backDOG so it becomes a pause in conversation when thinking before answering

    • L. Valentine December 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM #

      Trust and believe I totally support David Bahati….All America has ever done to third world countries when they arrived was bring, Homosexuality, drugs and disease!!! Just because society says it’s right doesn’t mean it’s so. Hey if I ever catch a teacher trying to teach my children about gay lifestyles it’s gonna be a big problem! what goes on in a persons bedroom is private not a lifestyle. Hey you can have rats,snake and lizards in your bedroom just don’t invite me or mine to it!!!

      • Melanie Nathan December 21, 2013 at 5:24 AM #

        L. Valentine. I am GAY. I have 2 beautiful children. I live y life. I do not have a lifestyle and if I did how is it different from any straight perosn. My kids are perfectly normal, loved and well educated. They get A’s at school, play sports. My one fear I have for them is the possible rape by straight men and I see so much of that in the world. I will do everyhting I can as any parent does to protect them from the violence and abuse of the world. Where I live in America the only rape we here of is by straight men – I have not yet seen a lesbian hurt their child, or make them gay? How do you get to be so ignorant? How do you get to be so blind to Uganda’s ills where spoor women Have to become prostitutes for straight men just so they can feed their children? MOST women who are prostitutes in Uganda do so because their men have run off and are not feeding their kids – and ironically those are the same men paying women for sex. Pay for your KIDS food first!!!

        THE NEW BAHATI HATE LAW is nothing more than that – its just about hate and fear. And its not based on truth but rather on myth and lies about gay. It even criminalizes gays in the privacy of their home. Have you read the law? Before you support it?

        I am sad to know that I cannot come to your country because I would be viewed as a criminal even though I have never committed a real crime. even though I am a good mother. I am sad that your country will now loose all that wonderful tourism and it will be isolated by the World. And all the gay people here will become the heroes to the West. Well done Idi dada Kadaga!

  2. Gay Girls Network (@gaygirlsnetwork) December 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM #

    Beautiful Job Melanie!!! We are following your story…

    • Melanie Nathan December 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

      thank you for your support

  3. sebaspace December 4, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

    David Bahati clearly hasn’t thought beyond the Parliamentary process and his 15 minutes of fame!! This is quite a revealing discussion.

    • Melanie Nathan December 4, 2012 at 10:31 PM #

      This is true; he has no idea what is about to befall him. His prized tourist industry is going down. Keep your eye in these pages

      • sebaspace December 4, 2012 at 10:34 PM #

        Can’t wait for his evidence on gay recruiting! He actually said it is there in the bill?!!


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