I hope my title turns out to be hyperbole, but only time will tell. Uganda is apparently going to pass the “Kill the Gays” bill. They’re calling it a “Christmas Present”. Personally, I wouldn’t want a stocking full of injustice for the holidays.
Box Turtle Bulletin has the text of the bill as submitted in 2009 and a summary of its revisions, should you feel like reading it, but it was this post about the 19th clause that inspired my title. The image of a jackbooted corps or queer-hunters led by a man who’s part Robespierre & part Torquemada is a striking one, and sadly sounds far too plausible to me.
In the 1950’s, United States Senator Joseph McCarthy ran a series of witch-hunts which destroyed careers and even lives trying to find communists. Being a communist is not a crime in the United States, and was not at the time, either, yet McCarthy was able to hound people about it anyways with the fear of Soviet spies.
By comparison, this is a law that will imprison people for three years for the crime of not turning in suspected gays within 24 hours. Advocating for gay rights would be a crime, trying to repeal the law might even count. Hell, I’m pretty sure this very blog has enough posts “promoting homosexuality” that I’d be subject to five to seven years imprisonment if I ever went to Uganda.
People convicted of homosexuality itself seem to only have life imprisonment or death as possible sentences, though I may have missed something in there. The death sentence is limited to “aggravated homosexuality”, which requires additional crimes such as “being HIV-positive”.
This is a terrible bill, with terrible purposes, and it sounds like it’s pretty much going to pass. I don’t see what it can possibly accomplish except for an awful lot of human misery. I suppose those in power can use it against their enemies, just call them gay and hang them.
It never ceases to amaze me how much work people will put into causing needless suffering.