Tour Operator Cancels Ugandan Safaris due To Anti-Gay Bill

“… We must be able to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests regardless of sexual orientation.””

By Melanie Nathan, February, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.03.22 PMMany in the tourism industry consider the country of Uganda a jewel, often describing it as “the pearl of Africa.” Wildlife abounds and gorilla tracking is prime.  At Oblogdee we warned that notwithstanding the perfection of the safari destination, if the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill became Ugandan law, tour operators would likely start to withdraw business and discontinue to support the Country’s thriving tourist trade. Our prediction was well founded, as before the ink on President Yoweri Museveni’s odious Bill could dry, one world class and renowned tour operator cancelled its Uganda Great Apes safari and condemned the draconian law.

Immediately upon hearing about President Musveni’s assent to The Anti-Homosexuality Bill today, Jody Cole, renowned adventurer, philanthropist and human rights advocate, and founder of Wild Rainbow African Safaris, which specializes in guided safaris to East and Southern Africa, issued a statement to OBLOGDEE expressing disappointment in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, while noting how the new legislation makes it almost impossible for tour operators to guarantee the safety of guests in Uganda:-

“We (Wild Rainbow African Safaris) are very troubled by the Ugandan Parliament’s passage of its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This bill is an affront on human rights as well as on the respect and dignity of LGBT Ugandans and their allies. As great lovers and supporters of the wildlife, culture and spirit of Africa, we are very disappointed and saddened by the passage and signing of this draconian law. While our trips are first and foremost about seeing and experiencing the amazing wildlife of Africa, we must reconsider whether we can go forward with future trips to Uganda in light of these latest developments. The safety and comfort of our guests is our number one priority, and we must be able to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests regardless of sexual orientation.”

The Anti-Homosexuality Act imposes penalties as harsh as life imprisonment for people engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activity. It contravenes the rights guaranteed in Uganda’s Constitution and in regional and international human rights treatise to which Uganda is a party, including the right to privacy, freedom from discrimination and freedom of expression, assembly and association. The Act compels AIDS/ HIV testing when a person is accused of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ – an offense which criminalizes same-sex sexual activity among ‘serial offenders’, people with disabilities and people living with HIV, among others. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.14.30 PM

The Act criminalizes the ill defined, so called notion of ‘promotion of homosexuality’, which will mean that a group, such as Wild Rainbow African Safaris, marketing to the global LGBT community and using the term “rainbow” in its name, could face criminal prosecution when on Ugandan soil, for ‘promotion of homosexuality,’ not to mention the fact that guests who engage in same-sex relations could find themselves facing 14 years to life in prison.

We have no doubt that many more tour operators, will be compelled to follow the lead set by Wild Rainbow African Safaris.

Read more about Jody Cole and Wild Rainbow African Safaris.

By Melanie Nathan© 2014. All rights reserved.
[email protected]



11 thoughts on “Tour Operator Cancels Ugandan Safaris due To Anti-Gay Bill

  1. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    A tour operator is forced to cancel safaris. Ironically one of the species seen is the Bonobo, an animal with very pansexual behavior…

  2. People should learn to respect each others’ cultures! Uganda cannot condone same sex relations and that’s who we are; has any one ever seen a gay ape or elephant? Sin does not have any rights so deal with it. This was not Museveni’s or one man’s idea; Ugandans decided that’s what they want so why or how can any one be more concerned and care about us more than we do?? Please!

    1. No one is asking Uganda to condone same-sex relations. We are asking Uganda not to criminalize human sexuality!!!! You did not have to target an entire minority just because you are against same-sex equality. What about the lynching, persecution and witch hunts of a minority – your own people terrified and in hiding, when all they want to do is love in private?

      1. Am sorry and saddened by cancellation of your Operation but also would like to inform you that Uganda has never imposed any of our Cultures to the West,so feel free to cancel more of your operations but we shall not be Moved…The Minority Gays as you call them can free denounce there Acts and seek guidance and Healthcare bt not start Recruiting our innocent brothers and Sisters in schools into this Act…By the kindly guide me how this is Possible,MAN TO MAN,WOMAN TO WOMAN…HOW IS THAT RIGHT

        1. So another coward afraid tio say his name when making a comment. How can we take you seriously? Human sexuality is not a cultural issue and therein lies the lie and myth. Like the color of the blood that runs through your veins it is a human conditon. Some people are gay and some people are straight. Bahati the adulterer and liar has never been able to prove ONE SINGLE case of a child being recruited into homosexuality. You know why? because it it is NOT physically or psychologically possible. I cannot make you gay no matter how hard I try. And if anyone pays you for sex, then you are no more than a prostitute and 99.9% of gays just want to love the person they fell in love with and have no interest in paying for sex. Yet in Uganda about 36% of straight men sleep with prostitutes and pay young women for sex. Are there no laws against prostitution? Well yes there are! So why criminalize gays? over a mythological state. The answer is easy. You need a scapegoat so you have something to cheer M7 about and his henchman. They are all a lying bunch of corrupt dickhead and you foolishly fell for their tricks. They have done nothing for Uganda except get rich and make you poor and so they have swivveled your head around like the devils they are to look the other way. Silly stupid you!

  3. Pingback: Uganda Tour Cancelled After Anti Gay Bill Signed | Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog

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