An Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda, called the “Kill The Gays” bill since an earlier version called for the death penalty, is allegedly being supported by American organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC) and the American Family Association (AFA). As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Anti-Gay bill was promised as an “early Christmas gift” to Ugandans by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. According to Daily Kos, the “Kill The Gays” bill has not been passed yet but homosexual conduct is still illegal in Uganda and has been for a long time under existing law. Repeating offenders of homosexuality are punishable by life in prison.
The Anti-Homosexuality bill of 2009 claims that “same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic” and that the government must “protect the children and youths of Uganda who are made vulnerable to sexual abuse and deviation.” Sodomy, homosexuality, and other offenses are punishable up to seven years with life imprisonment or death reserved for “aggravated homosexuality.” An “offense” is “declared by law to be a felony or if not declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for 3 years or more.” The current version has not been released.
Uganda’s laws regarding sodomy supposedly began when recently converted Ugandan Christians refused to allow themselves to be sodomized by the King of Uganda in 1886. Enraged, King Mwanga had them torturously bound, marched 37 miles and then roasted alive in a fire pit. This date is still celebrated in Uganda to this day.
The United States also has a long history of laws criminalizing homosexuality. In 1778, Thomas Jefferson wrote a Virginia sodomy law that lowered the punishment from death to castration. Prior to 1962, sodomy was a felony in every state, punished by long prison sentences. The Model Penal Code removed consensual sodomy from its criminal code while making it a crime to solicit for homosexual sex. The American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. Finally, as recently as 2003 the US Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas struck down the Texas same-sex sodomy law, ruling that sodomy cannot be prosecuted when committed in the privacy of your own home. Some states still maintain a variety of anti-homosexuality laws, including Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
Critics of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality bill claim that not only does the bill call for a death penalty but that American Christian Evangelical organizations support the death penalty as well. This would make sense since the Bible calls homosexuality an “abomination” that causes confusion and is punishable by death. Back in June of 2010, FRC president Tony Perkins praised the government in Uganda, saying that they were trying to “uphold moral conduct that protects others and in particular the most vulnerable.”
In the past, the FRC released a statement saying their goal was “to remove sweeping and inaccurate assertions that homosexual conduct is internationally recognized as a fundamental human right.” The FRC statement further reads:
“FRC did not lobby against or oppose passage of the congressional resolution. FRC’s efforts, at the request of Congressional offices, were limited to seeking changes in the language of proposed drafts of the resolution, in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.
“FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality – nor any other penalty which would have the effect of inhibiting compassionate pastoral, psychological, and medical care and treatment for those who experience same-sex attractions or who engage in homosexual conduct.”
In short, the FRC believes that homosexuals should be treated for mental disorders, not criminalized. They further claim in regards to the “aggravated homosexuality” under discussion that the “press has widely mischaracterized the law which calls for the death penalty, not for homosexual behavior which is already a crime, but for acts such as intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS, or preying upon vulnerable individuals such as children, which has been a problem in Uganda for years because the large number of orphans.”
Meanwhile, Bryan Fischer, leader of the American Family Association, had this to say:
A quick Google search reveals that Bryan Fischer means exactly how his tweet is being interpreted and that homosexuality should be against the law, and that the existing US laws should not be repealed. I could not find any quotes that indicate whether or not Fischer supports the death penalty in Uganda but in the past he’s stated that Jerry Sandusky should be executed for his homosexual acts.
Christian leader Scott Lively, currently being sued in U.S. federal court by Ugandans alleging human rights violations, has this to say about the role he played in bringing the Ugandan law to fruition:
“This is a huge blessing for Uganda and for me personally after having been vilified globally (and falsely) for two years by the leftist media as the accused mastermind of the death penalty provision. Please give this story your best push for maximum exposure.”
Lively has been very clear where he stands on this issue:
“Let me be absolutely clear. I do not support the proposed anti-homosexuality law as written. It does not emphasize rehabilitation over punishment and the punishment that it calls for is unacceptably harsh. However, if the offending sections were sufficiently modified, the proposed law would represent an encouraging step in the right direction.”
So far, while it can be said that these American Christian organizations do support aspects of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality bill, it appears there is enough disagreement among Christians to say they don’t want it to be a true “Kill The Gays” bill. What do you think about the homosexuality laws in Uganda, our own country, and around the world?