Melanie Nathan, February, 17, 2013.
Thanks to Michael Petrelis it has come to my attention that British actor Stephen Fry has been tweeting about his arrival in Uganda. Fry describes himself on his Twitter accounts as “British Actor, Writer, Lord of Dance, Prince of Swimwear & Blogger – NEVER reads Direct Messages. London · http://www.stephenfry.com/ “
I can only assume that Fry is aware of the Kill The Gays Bill and the fact that it is on the Ugandan Parliamentary agenda for this coming week.
“As a gay celebrity with a global fan-base and high-profile in all sorts of media, Fry can bring more attention to the brave work of Uganda’s gay and sexual minority community, and combat the vile lies and hatred of bigots.”
Fry’s support of the group Pussy Riot when they were arrested, tried and jailed for a pro-gay protest in Russia is of particular interest when measured against the significance of what this week could bring to Uganda. He wrote on his BLOG:-
“I can’t imagine how you are feeling at the moment as you begin the astoundingly unfair and disproportionate prison sentence that has been handed out to you……….
I find it so hard to bear that the country of Tchaikovsky is allowing a toxic mixture of shaven-headed nationalists and fundamentalist churchmen to dictate laws on homosexuality for example. Part of your “crime” was to come out on the side of gay rights. It astonishes me how the history of Russia seems to repeat itself. Pushkin was sent into exile by an offended Tsar. Dostoevsky was taken to a firing squad and only reprieved at the last minute before being exiled too. And then in the Communist era, as we all know, artists, writers, intellectuals and liberals of all kinds were under constant threat of exile, forced labour or even execution. Now we seem to be moving towards a similar position. I am not saying, and nor would you claim, that you are the equal of Pushkin or Dostoevsky, but that isn’t the point. The fight is for free speech, and this isn’t limited only to gigantic towering titans of literature.”
It is interesting to note that Fry is now in a country that may well pass a law this week which will provide harsh punishment for homosexuality, to include death as well as jail time for those who “promote homosexuality” and for those who fail to report a known homosexual to authorities.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda was first introduced back in 2009, after U.S. Evangelicals , Lou Engle and Scott Lively preached at workshops and pitched their form of Christianity to Ugandans and members of Uganda’s Parliament, blaming the Holocaust on gays and suggesting that homosexuals intended to spread homosexuality in Uganda. The Bill has been touted buy its supporters as necessary because they believe that homosexuals recruit children into homosexuality, and they have gained support for the Bill with rhetoric calling homosexuality a vice.
Even though the act of homosexuality is already considered a crime in Uganda under the laws of “acts against nature” if the law passes this week, Fry will find himself a criminal defined by his sexuality, facing greater penalties, in the country that is hosting him.
- American Chamber of Commerce in Uganda to hold summit same week as Anti-Homosexuality Bill on Parliament Agenda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Ugandan Bishop Attacked by Anti-Gay Makerere University Students (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Second Gay Youth Worker Arrested in Uganda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- U.K. Preacher Paul Shinners claims he could have stopped the Anti-homosexuality Bill in Uganda (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Uganda embezzlement should lead to scraping the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (oblogdeeoblogda.me)