Uganda’s treatment of gays is reprehensible

Uganda’s treatment of gays is reprehensible

I once again find that I am commenting on the laws of another nation where I am not a citizen. I recently read a story that Uganda has publicly “outed” 100 gays. Not only did the paper publicize the names of the homosexuals but placed a banner on the newspaper saying “Hang Them”. At the time of the article in The Washington Post, at least 4 men on the list have been attacked.

This is reprehensible conduct. What is worse is our support of a society that allows this. The US will give approximately $400M to Uganda in aid in 2010. We need to put strings on this money. It doesn’t come free. The recipients of this aid must not have laws that will cause more hardship to some of its citizens. We can enhance the benefit of that aid to more than just children that need medicine by requiring these countries to adopt standards that approximate the realities of human rights in the 21st century.

I understand that withholding aid to countries with low human rights ratings will hurt the most disadvantaged in that country. But, by providing aid to those that are disadvantaged we are also propping up and supporting the government of the country. We should not be friends with countries that have a low level of human rights standards.

What is even more disgusting is that it appears that some of this hatred was seeded by people from the US that say that they are Christians. This is not Christian behavior! I would write about these groups that instigated this behavior if I could find their names but the article only mentions them in one paragraph and then doesn’t delve into them in more detail.

A few paragraphs from the Washington Post:

The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda’s 100 “top” homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: “Hang Them.” Alongside their photos were the men’s names and addresses.

In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors.

A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved.

But gays in Uganda say they have faced a year of harassment and attacks since the bill’s introduction.

The legislation was drawn up following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy they say allows gays to become heterosexual.

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