Truth Wins Out:

Right Wing Seeks to Export Social Policies and Conquer Society

Uganda’s Constitutional Court essentially ruled this week that it is illegal to exist while gay, and anyone who has the gall to live authentically, or caught “misbehaving” in the closet, could suffer draconian punishments including long prison sentences and even death.

The odious decision upheld the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 (aka “Kill the Gays” law) and proscribes life in prison for anyone who engages in gay sex. Anyone who tries to have same-sex relations could face up to a decade in prison.

“We decline to nullify the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in its entirety, neither will we grant a permanent injunction against its enforcement,” Richard Buteera, one of the judges, said in a reading of the judgment’s summary to a packed courtroom.

The court admitted that this monstrosity violated several fundamental rights granted in Uganda’s Constitution, including the right to health and privacy. Yet, the five justices breezily discarded the rule of law and brazenly kicked democracy, human rights, and their judicial reputations to the curb—ruling that certain human beings are expendable and disposable because a majority doesn’t like the way they have sex or fall in love.

As one could imagine, this perverse reality creates a deadly dilemma for actual LGBTQ people who must somehow carve out an existence on the margins of a hostile society. This law is cruel, even sadistic, and strips LGBTQ people of their ability to experience intimacy and create relationships – which are some of the most natural and basic instincts know to our species. What the law demands of gay people are lives of crushing loneliness, unbearable frustration, and unyielding despair, which will surely lead to psychological maladies rivaling the proscribed penalties, not to mention suicides borne of hopelessness.

By forbidding the fundamental human requirements for joy and domestic tranquility, the state is overstepping its bounds and devolving into a blunt instrument of oppression. The law infantilizes LGBTQ adults and opens the door to rampant sexual abuse by authorities, blackmail by criminals and living indefinitely, in some cases, with painful sexually transmitted infections. What LGBTQ person can turn to the police for help or seek treatment in a clinic when it might lead to them being outed and enduring catastrophic social or legal consequences?    

The New York Times reported that the law, even prior to the court rubber-stamping its approval, is already making life unbearable:

Convening for Equality, a coalition of human rights groups in Uganda, has documented hundreds of rights violations and abuses, including arrests and forced anal examinations. Gay and transgender Ugandans have also been evicted from their homes and beaten up by family members — forcing many to flee to neighboring countries like Kenya

The law’s passage brought swift repercussions for Uganda, too. Health experts also worried the law would hinder medical access for gay people, especially those seeking H.I.V. testing, prevention and treatment.

It’s critically important to understand that Uganda’s notorious measure was passed at the behest of cynical “Colonial Christians” who invaded Uganda from the west. Sadly, this backward and barbaric assault on the LGBTQ community is symbolic of today’s spiritually deformed, mentally unbalanced, serially dishonest, and emotionally disturbed right-wing evangelicals.

Forget their toothy grins, sugary sweet professions of “love”, and adamant denials of bloodlust. It was always their goal to enact a program—or, more accurately, a pogrom—of terror, murder, and social death against LGBTQ Africans.  

Frustrated by increased marginalization at home, declining church attendance, and rejection of their medieval views, western fundamentalists flocked to Uganda. They turned the landlocked African nation into a laboratory to create a fundamentalist Christian utopia. Uganda’s opportunistic dictator, Yoweri Museveni, embraced these crazies in exchange for western cash, connections, and clout.

Given the lure of such incentives, already beleaguered and vulnerable LGBTQ Ugandans never stood a chance. Ironically, Colonial Christians and the Ugandan government are gaslighting critics of their hate campaign, falsely portraying homosexuality as a “western import.” Yet, it’s a subservient President Museveni who kowtows to mostly white, western evangelicals to punish his African countrymen. He’s selling out Ugandans to gain favors from rich Caucasian donors that come bearing gifts to prop up his brutal dictatorship.  

The tragedy in Uganda has far wider implications, with LGBTQ people merely guinea pigs in the Religious Right’s broader scheme to control social policy on a global scale. It’s the same American creeps infecting Uganda that have ended legal abortion at home. On the week that Uganda’s court upheld tyranny, the Florida Supreme Court paved the way for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 6-week abortion ban.

The religious extremists who are wreaking havoc in Uganda, are the same ones working to dismantle our democracy in America. It’s no coincidence that the Ugandan law happened in a religious authoritarian country accused of “detaining, beating, torturing and disappearing critics and opposition members.”

This is the sick type of society MAGA Republicans are trying to install in America. Anti-gay and anti-democracy activism go together like a hamburger and fries. You rarely find a healthy country with anti-LGBTQ policies, because if the government can decide which people can have sex or be in relationships, there is nothing off limits or within their repressive purview.

The right wing wants Uganda to be a template. According to the New York Times:

The fallout for Uganda will be watched closely in other African countries where anti-gay sentiment is on the rise and anti-gay legislation is under consideration, including in Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and South Sudan. In February, Ghana’s Parliament passed an anti-gay law, but the country’s president said that he would not sign it until the Supreme Court ruled on its constitutionality.

Fortunately, the US is restricting visas for current and former Ugandan officials who are responsible for creating the homophobic policy. The Biden administration also issued a business advisory for Uganda and removed the country from a special program that allows African products duty-free access to the United States, the Times reports.  

As of today, the official Ugandan policy is for the government to commit state-sanctioned hate crimes against its LGBTQ population or outsource the dirty work to violent citizen vigilantes. Fàbrice Houdart, who covers international LGBTQ politics, laid out the repercussions if we do not successfully stand up and fight back:

Well, the sh*t has hit the fan today [In Uganda]. Things are going to have to change. In a connected world, the gap between countries in which you can incur capital punishment for being gay and countries where LGBTQ+ families are protected and supported is unsustainable. We need an actual Marshall Plan for LGBTQ+ people or risk facing the first tsunami of pink migration and, eventually, maybe worse, attempts at exterminating homosexuals.

Uganda is a vivid warning that we must heed.  The fanatical fundamentalists aren’t stopping until we stop them.  

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