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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Primitive and malicious

You wouldn’t think anyone could hate gays more than some malevolent spawn of the Devil in Uganda – a politician who wants to send gay people to jail for a long time.

This vicious MP, David Bahati, has tabled a new bill that could mean the death penalty for gay and transgender people convicted of what he calls “aggravated homosexuality”.

This, it seems, means having sex with anyone under 18 or anyone who is disabled (whether with that person’s consent or not), and in any way promotes or disseminates materials that affirm homosexuality.

If someone knows of the very existence of a gay person and doesn’t report it to the authorities within 24 hours of being told, he or she could face a jail term.

The Care 2 blog tells us:

Perhaps the full, awful scope of this bill does not become clear until one reads that the proposed law would punish a citizen with life in prison for “touch[ing] another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality”. How they will measure or define such an intention remains unclear. In fact, lack of clarity seems to be the entire basis of the bill, so as to give the authorities greater powers to victimize and, indeed, terrorize Ugandan LGBTs.

It’s just frightening that politicians can think in this primitive and malicious, not to say cruel, manner.

While Britain’s Section 28 (of the Local Government Act) was not quite as bad, this does rather remind one of it. That legislation was introduced by the Tories in the late eighties. They’ve changed their tune now – for as long as it suits them – but, at the time, local authorities couldn’t do anything that would “promote” (whatever that means in this context) homosexuality. They couldn’t do anything that would put being gay in a good light.

It led to a lot of self-censorship until it was eventually repealed by NuLabour (belatedly so), even though no prosecutions were brought under the law itself.

Let’s not forget that there are still Tories around who supported that piece of spiteful, malicious, shameful legislation. We may not, for a few years yet, find things here in the UK as bad as our Ugandan friend would like, but we can’t sit on our laurels just because Tory leader David Cameron seems gay-friendly and we have civil partnerships. Politicians will change their attitude just as soon as it benefits them to do so.

Let’s not forget, too, that one of the world’s most notorious homophobes – the particularly malevolent Joseph Ratzinger, a pope – will be fêted by arse-licking politicians of all stripes when he sets his malicious foot on British soil next year.

(Hat tip to Helen Braithwaite for alerting us to this.)

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