- East Africa
- Justice - Religion - Sexuality
Uganda: A pastor’s quest for the blacklisting of gays
Already a sensitive issue, homosexuality in Uganda is becoming a taboo subject. In recent months, many organizations have sprung up to stop what they believe is a vice being taught to many young people especially students. An anti-gay organization, National Coalition Against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuses in Uganda, has blamed foreign journalists operating in the country for promoting homosexuality.
Addressing the press in Kampala, the capital, chairman of National Coalition Against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuses in Uganda, Pastor Solomon Male argued that since the introduction of the much controversial anti homosexuality bill in 2009, homosexuals worldwide have condemned Uganda for witch hunting homosexuals.
"When the Rolling Stone weekly started publishing their pictures already posted on the internet and appearing in various media, they made noise and sued it. And now foreign media and homosexuals are here to advance their cause, blackmailing our government, misinforming the world about the situation on the ground."
Pastor Solomon Male argues that although he and his group had "always respected foreign media as accurate" they now realize that it is prone to manipulation and abuse, insisting that what has been featured and shown to their international audiences "are lies fed to the world which we want to clear."
On the subject of the "persecution of homosexuals", the pastor says: "it is wrong and totally unfounded to make such a claim and publish it in any form". Male challenges "all those claiming persecution adduce empirical evidence to the effect."
According to him "Pr Martin Ssempa and others in our team have on many occasions debated with homosexuals at public forums, even before the media and in the presence of the Police, intelligence and other agencies. None of the homos (homosexuals, ed) has ever been harassed. Where on earth do they get such brutalization? I need to assure the world as follows:
"No homosexual has been persecuted. Our campaign focuses on criminals who target little children below the 18 year age of consent, especially children in schools. For those who have chosen to take that sexual route, we call upon to quit.
"No homosexual has been raped, abused or killed by mobs because of hatred. In fact, many relatives of homosexuals have bleeding hearts that their loved ones are indulging. We have parents of homosexuals who have been mistreated by homosexuals.
"On the contrary, we have homosexuals using state machinery to harass their victims and the good Samaritans. This has happened in the Pr Kitaka, Pr Kiwewesi, Pr Kayanja and other homo cases." Male continues his argument saying that where victims have come up to report, they have been persecuted, framed and arrested, or their offenders have been alerted to take pre-emptive action, or even to flee.
While arguing that "no homosexuals has been persecuted", the head of the anti-gay association however maintains that blacklisting them "is not bad" because even in countries like the USA, Britain, Netherlands... "wanted criminals are listed even if they haven’t harmed anyone. In Uganda, homosexuality is an offense against the order of nature. People ought to know who these homosexuals are lest they took advantage of little children. I doubt there is a country that can entertain criminals on its territory," he declares.
Besides calling for gays to be put on police files, Male does not accept the difference between pedophilia and homosexuality as he blames homosexuals for satisfying their homosexual urge on under-age children who cannot consent to the act. "Where on earth can such be tolerated? Isn’t the Catholic Church worldwide in trouble because of such acts by it priests? Claiming that pedophilia is different from homosexuality is just an attempt to mislead the public away from the issue. When a man always sodomizes minors, and is regarded as a pedophile, it doesn’t remove the fact that the action qualifies him or her for a homosexual."
Making reference to a recently published story involving one Juliet Mukasa (Victor Mukasa), which claims that the young woman had suffered correctional-rape inflicted by some people at an American style Pentecostal church, Male demanded that Juliet Mukasa tells the world in which ’American-style Pentecostal’ church she was striped naked by a pastor and his male assistants during a deliverance prayer session at the alter, then carried into a room, locked up and gang raped for a week, as she told Jeff Sharlet. Juliet Mukasa’s story was featured in the September edition of Harpers Magazine.
The anti-gay pastor insists that the Mukasa story is a lie that is intended to win sympathy from rich homosexuals, to give her money and other opportunities. And "just like Victor Mukasa, homosexuality is a business and lucrative job for many homosexual activists living in Uganda where economic opportunities are few and highly competitive. It also gives many opportunities to hook up with rich homosexuals worldwide who can help them to get the almost impossible Western Visas. To beat the odds therefore, many people fake up all sorts of stories and it doesn’t matter even if they tarnish the image of their country", the anti-gay activist regrets.
To reverse such "scenarios" pastor Male suggests that Western governments "remove stringent visa requirements for Ugandans and see if many people will still call themselves homosexuals". He also says that there is the "need for people to be financially empowered to be able to meet their financial needs."
Male appealed to all "Ugandan and international homosexual communities and their sympathizers in the media to stop deceiving the world about the situation on the ground". "We must continue to stand for the voiceless children taken advantage of during their times of need and later harassed by homosexuals no matter what it costs."
But according to gay activist and programme director of Sex minorities Uganda, Julian Onziema: ’’We are human beings whose rights must be protected. That is the reason why we went to court recently to sue a newspaper which was publishing our photos leading to some of us being beaten up by anti-gays."