America won't do a thing about Uganda's anti-gay law

So Uganda's president has signed the anti-gay law. And Obama shook his finger and said, "You shouldn't do that." .....and that's it. There will likely be no other reprecussions, because America is helping Uganda fight terrorists in Somalia.

I think we should air-drop condoms, lube, and pamphlets with accurate medical information on human sexuality (oh, sorry, it's called "gay propaganda" now) all over the country, and let the damn President of Uganda try to stop us. What do you think?

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Actually, air-dropping food or condoms or information is my solution to most world problems...

Evangelical Christian minister and anti-LGBT hate monger Scott Lively, who has traveled the world urging officials to take action against homosexuality, has long been noted for spurring on the Ugandan authorities who passed this legislation.

Lively's infamy includes founding Abiding Truth Ministries (which the Southern Poverty Law Center regards as a hate group), calling for the criminalization of "the public advocacy of homosexuality", and co-authoring 'The Pink Swastika' which states that "homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism". Lively is directly linked to the new anti-gay legislation in Uganda which made homosexual conduct punishable by a lengthy prison sentence or death. (source)

But there may be one little silver lining.

A prominent Ugandan gay rights group sued Scott Lively in March 2012 under the Alien Tort Statute, which allows non-citizens to file suit in the U.S. for alleged violations of international law. A federal judge ruled in August 2013 that the lawsuit could proceed, rejecting Lively's efforts to dismiss the case and saying systematic persecution on the basis of sexual orientation violates international norms.

(I once briefly engaged Scott Lively in the comments section of, a newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts where Abiding Truth Ministries is based, shortly after the lawsuit was announced. Lively, a preacher and an attorney, is extremely slick and well-spoken enough to come across as credible to some folks. He is a gifted, professional liar.)

I wonder what sort of reparations would be awarded to the Ugandan litigants if they win. I imagine Scott Lively would have to cough up some serious coin. That assumes a dollar value could be attached to the damages resulting from persuading a foreign government to round up LGBT people for caging or killing.

While we're at it let's mass drop cellphones and such over North Korea. 

I think gay rights criticisms from the US don't hold a lot of weight as it can only rebuke the severity of Uganda's measures and not the foundational issue -- the legal inequality of LGBT people within Ugandan borders. 

It's an unfortunate scenario. Norway and Denmark are responding by cutting financial aid. Canada and the US are being a little more vague right now, as I imagine is the case with many other nations. While I would never support cutting aid to punish people or governments, there is a point where you cannot be a party to this sort of thing. Makes you feel like an enabler.

I don't think it will get Uganda to back down on the issue though. From what I've read, Ugandans seem to be rather riled up by this witch hunt. I don't know how they feel about the law itself, but I've seen Pew's data on acceptance of homosexuality in Uganda, and they've remained over 90% opposed to it for years now. I'm often amazed ther eis any gay rights movement in the country at all. Best case scenario is softening Uganda's stance down to something which is less fucked up than the current law (which is already watered down from the previous attempts to allow for the death penalty in some cases).

The UN, if memory serves, has been rather ineffectual on this issue every time it has come up in the past.

You used quotation marks around 'gay propaganda', but that is quite literally what would be required in the short term. American based Catholic, Evangelical and Mormon organizations have already been spreading homophobic propaganda for some time now, and the degree to which gay people are being demonized and maligned is absurd.

And linked from that article:

In October 2010, a banner headline ran on the front page of the Ugandan newspaper Rolling Stone: “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak.” Subheadings warned of these people’s dark designs: “We Shall Recruit 1,000,000 Kids by 2012,” and “Parents Now Face Heartbreaks as Homos Raid Schools.” One of the two men pictured on the front page was David Kato, an outspoken leader of Uganda’s small human-rights movement. Inside the newspaper, his name and home address, along with those of other LGBT Ugandans, were printed. The article called for the “homos” to be hanged. 

Three months later, after numerous threats, Kato was bludgeoned to death in his Kampala home. Police said the motive was robbery, but human-rights advocates did not believe the official story. At Kato’s funeral, an Anglican priest condemned homosexuality. Kato’s death was international news, making him the highest-profile victim of the anti-gay hysteria that has enveloped much of sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade. Although U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined other Western diplomats in being openly critical of African political leaders who fail to defend the rights of their LGBT populations, the crisis afflicting sexual minorities on the continent has its origins in the United States. Pejorative attitudes toward LGBT people in Africa have long been widespread. But the recent upsurge in politicized homophobia has been inspired by right-wing American evangelicals who have exported U.S.–style culture-war politics.

I'm not sure the aid being cut off is a reaction to just the government. These laws are popularly supported. Uganada is not a deathly poor country or severely under developed. This money is best spent creating schools in Madagascar or Cape Verde. Not in a county where the population votes for the brutal supression of its own people.

I'm not sure the aid being cut off is a reaction to just the government. 

It appears to be the trigger -- an attempt to step beyond tepid posturing (a very tiny step). The homophobia problem in Uganda is nothing new. This law may be a drop in the bucket where abuse of LGBT people is concerned. I'd wager the real issue is Uganda toeing the line on how ineffectual the rest of the world tends to be on human rights abuse issues.

Big time sad. :(

"Drop in the bucket" is right. According to these two articles from slate and the BBC, there are 38 African states that criminalize homosexuality even before Uganda joined the club.

Here's another problem, though. Western government threaten to withhold aid from poor countries who mistreat their homosexuals. But western religious groups are always very active in sending missionaries to Africa; and some of those same western missionaries are the ones lobbying for anti-gay laws. So if governments and secular NGOs pull out in protest, that leaves the Africans even more dependent upon church groups, and thus even more open to what the church groups have to say... :(

I can't believe people are doing this. I wish I knew what I could do about it.

There's another article up now about how the evangelical leaders who pushed for this murderous law are now claiming they never supported it.

They even link to a 2009 blog post where Scott Lively brags about the thousands he reached with his anti-gay tour in Uganda.

I hate this. I hate that it was my fellow countrymen who encouraged this--maybe even caused this. I am ashamed and feel like apologizing again for America. My only consolation is that it wasn't my government this time supporting the terror. I am ashamed of my government for its support of colonialism and apartied in Israel/Palestine; at least I know my government wasn't directly behind this travesty in Uganda.

This is a shift for me. I've mentioned before that I wasn't always an LGBT supporter, and that religious-fueled condemnation made it hard for me to condemn even obvious violent acts.

The one thing I respect about the Westboro Baptist Church is that they are, for the most part, open about their views regardless of how much hatred that earns. That doesn't mean they are honest, necessarily, but you know which way the wind is blowing with them. In an odd way, it makes them seem more trustworthy than the Rick Warrens of the world.

RESOLVED: America should do something about every bad thing that's going on in the world, especially when there's no particular or even tangential benefit to the United States.

And the lube. You're kidding, right? There were no gays before Astroglide?

We are still working on guaranteeing civil rights for American gays. THAT is our first gay-related priority because that is OUR problem and OUR business. We can't right every wrong going on elsewhere in the world. 

Fair point. I do wish there was something we could do. Something constructive, though, that would actually help people.

I dunno, I've never tried being gay, with or without seems like it would help?


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