It's so horrible, it almost seems like it can't be true.
And then, it turns out that these American consultants - these "Ex-Gay" charlatans visited Uganda and held a conference where they shared with the Ugandan lawmakers their own particular brand of hate - that all Queer people are evil, are choosing to be evil, and something must be done...
And from that, Uganda gets the idea to create their new death-penalty-for-gays law.
The shame of this is enormous, and there's more than enough to go around.
There was an editorial in the NY Times urging for Uganda's foreign aid to be cut off if the law goes into effect - which I thought was a good idea. And then I read this article, by Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist, which explained how foreign aid was actually holding Uganda back.
But I still think it's a good idea to threaten to take the money from them. It's a threat to the people in power, and those are the people that can stop this law from happening.
So yeah, block the money.
That's a good first step.
I wonder if there's some pressure that can be brought to bear on the Americans who went to Uganda to spread their message of intolerance and hate.
Rachel Maddow tried to get one guy, who in his book quoted a completely discredited scientist who made up numbers to "prove" how bad gay people are, and yet he couldn't admit his role in the nightmare that's unfolding in Uganda.
And none of the influential Americans who might have sway in Uganda are doing anything to stop this from becoming law there. Not even Pastor Rick Warren (remember him?) You can check it out here, where the awesome Rachel Maddow gets into it:
It's a crazy phenomenon where people see that the way for them to hold onto power is to feed on other people's fear of the unknown - of people that seem "other."
Right Wing politicians do it in our country all the time, using people's fear of homosexuals trying to "recruit your children" to raise money for themselves.
The Nazis did it to solidify their power base - rally everyone around a common "enemy" - anyone that wasn't just like them. Remember the famous poem by Holocaust survivor Martin Niemöller?
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out.
Fear cultivated breeds hate.
People in power work that hate to grow their wealth.
And to keep that wealth and power, especially when they're not solving the real problems of poverty, hunger and power-less-ness in their countries (the U.S.A., Nazi Germany, Uganda) - they need a distraction for all that pent up frustration and anger of the masses.
So they preach hatred of others - of foreigners. Of Queers.
But that recipe, Hate plus Fear plus Money plus Power equals Disaster.
And in Uganda, that's what's happening now.
I hope the world has a huge outcry to stop this.
But even more, I hope Uganda stops it themselves.
It's like watching a re-run of Nazi Germany's Nurenberg Laws, that slowly stripped Jews of all their rights.
The world took too long to intervene then, and 6 million Jews and millions upon millions of others died in the Nazi's drive to "purify" their land.
How many Queer Men and Women are going to have to die in Uganda before this madness is stopped?
We must express our horror, and stand up to say
What can you do? There are three petitions you can sign:
1. To Uganda's United Nations Representative, Deputy Chief of Mission (U.S.), and U.S. Ambassador
2. To President Obama
3. The Human Rights Campaign's petition (you can get to it from here) that's specifically for your member of Congress - urging them to sign on to two Congressional letters that are being circulated by the LGBT Equality Caucus in the House of Representatives:
* A letter to President Obama expressing the gravity of the situation in Uganda and asking him to speak out publicly against this proposed legislation.
* A letter to President Museveni of Uganda urging him to use every means possible to convey to leaders in Parliament that this appalling bill is reckless in both intent and possible impact, and should be withdrawn immediately.
Sign all three petitions... Voice your outrage. Talk it up. Share the links with others. Get lots of people to sign!
Any more ideas of what we can do? Share them, and your thoughts, here in comments!
Thanks, and here's to making our world a better, safer place for all of us - including our Queer Brothers and Sisters, and the people who love them, in Uganda!