A Wake Up Call! — Kushaba Moses Mworeko
Since last May when the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda seemed dead with the end of the 7th Parliament, Ugandan and international LGBT activists grassroots organizers and the media felt a relief from what had become a “talk of the town” issue. Speculations on the reintroduction of the bill were rumored when the key sponsor of the bill, Member of Parliament David Bahati, was said to be a presidential nominee to Uganda’s Cabinet as its new Minister of Ethics and Integrity.
We shouldn’t forget that the death of this bill was in our sights when some Cabinet ministers and President Museveni disagreed on parts of the bill and the effects on the country from the International reaction to the bill overall. Putting Bahati in the Cabinet would have helped get the bill passed but fortunately he did not get the post, although he intends to reintroduce the bill in the next parliamentary session with revisions such as those made by the country’s Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
Ultimately, the choice for Minister of Ethics and Integrity was Catholic Reverend Priest Lokodo Simon, sending a strong signal to Ugandan and international LBGT activists that the fight wasn’t over but just beginning. Either way, Simon’s views on homosexuality, religious and governmental, will create dire outcomes to people.
So where are we now? Less than three months from the inauguration of the 8th Parliament, rumor has it that the so pronounced dead bill will be resurrecting in a month or so. I am glad that people are already garnering momentum. This includes investigative work being undertaken by activists in the United States to put an end to the secretive web of American fundamentalists comprising “The Family” or “The Fellowship” that is playing an instrumental role and funding through U.S. tax dollars, capitalizing homophobic extremism and inhumane bills in Uganda and other countries desperate for financial aid.
As we have fought through the last two sessions of the Ugandan Parliament, this time we must expend extra efforts and resources because factors have combined to work harder against us. Keep an eye on unfolding events and work harder than ever before to have this craziness STOPPED here because the alternative means that more and more countries will follow suit as quickly as possible to pass these same bills that haunt humanity. As I write this note, Ghanaian gays are on the run fleeing for their lives.
I have been working with Team COLUMBIA at venusplusx.org to keep an updated Global Sexual Freedom Annotated Bibliography available to help activists and advocates informed and inspired to help bring about laws and protections for persecuted sexual minorities all over the world. We hope more and more people will answer this “wake up call.”
— Kushaba Moses Mworeko