WATCH the TV Interview with Michele Meow of Swirl below – “The most dangerous person in your life could be your next door neighbor” Mugisha
By Melanie Nathan, January 29, 2014.
Frank Mugisha, Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the award winning LGBT human rights defender from Uganda, who together with other Ugandan Kuchus has fought the uphill battle against hate and persecution, gives Michele Meow of Swirl Radio and KOFYTV20Cable13, a profound interview about the effects of the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has rocked the lives of LGBT Ugandans, with increases in reports of violence, and unjust arrests.
Since U.S. Evangelicals Scott Lively and Lou Engle exported their hate to Africa, Uganda has been fraught with extreme anti-gay sentiment, culminating in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB), passing the Ugandan Parliament in December, last year. The Bill is currently waiting for the possible assent by Uganda’s President.
In the interview, Mugisha notes that his organization SMUG has registered numerous acts of hate and violence, which, since passage of the AHB, has greatly increased against LGBT Ugandans, including arrests of gays. People have been thrown out of their homes with family members disowning them. They experience verbal abuse and physical assaults. He noted that people are increasingly taking the law into their own hands against the gay community.
Mugisha notes that Parliament has kept the contents of the final passage of the Bill secret as the public has yet to see an official version of the Bill as passed. Mugisha also asserted that because President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Nigerian ‘Jail the Gays Bill’ it adds to the worry in Uganda, as this could empower Museveni to do the same. He also discusses the fact that the Bill was passed in unfair circumstances as the Ugandan parliament purposely left the Bill off the day’s agenda, passing it surreptitiously, without the requisite quorum.
Mugisha also spoke about the importance of keeping the conversation about homosexuality going in Uganda and the unjustness of the bill. People have been fed misinformation and are misled by Christians coming to Uganda to preach hate. He said that often people are confused by the law because they have been lured into thinking that it is about protecting children, and then when they hear about the content, they are shocked at what the Bill really includes, such as life in prison for homosexuality.
He spoke about the SMUG lawsuit against Scott Lively, not for what Lively has said against gays, but because of the conspiracy by Lively with Ugandan pastors against gays, as well as his active participation in the anti-gay laws now passed.
When Meow asked a question about reaching out to Uganda’s leaders Mugisha noted that the LGBT human rights defenders have been ignored by the leadership. He believes in the importance of coming out to put a human face on being gay and at the same time notes the extreme danger in doing so. In Uganda, he notes, one never knows if even one’s neighbor will attack you for being gay. In a terrifying reflection, Mugisha further expressed that unless the conversation keeps going, there could well be a genocide of gays in Uganda.
The Bill is now in the hands of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who may choose to assent to it, return it to Parliament or ignore it. Regardless of what the he does with the Bill, the President does not have the ultimate right of veto and the Bill can pass with a 2/3rd majority vote, a number easily attained in the fervently anti-gay Ugandan Parliament.
THE INTERVIEW CAN BE SEEN AT Minute 23:04
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