According to Bloomberg News, the Ugandans may modify the Anti-Gay legislation removing the death penalty and the life sentences. Once again, Simon Sarmiento over at Thinking Anglicans is the best source for information and links. Colin Coward reports that his inside sources tell him that the Ugandan government has been under tremendous pressure to withdraw the legislation from the powerful fundamentalist Washington DC cabal known as "The Family."
The revised legislation calls for mandatory "therapy" for arrested gays and lesbians.
Before we start feeling all superior, remember that "mandatory therapy" was the standard policy for dealing with gay men and lesbians in the USA and in most of the Western world for about a century. Those identified as gay could be -- and were-- involuntarily committed to state hospitals by families and by court order. States like Texas and Missouri kept such policies into the 1970s. I had a friend in Texas in the 1970s who was involuntarily committed to a state hospital by his mother for his homosexuality. The treatment was so successful that he seduced a fellow inmate (male). He left the hospital gayer than ever and estranged from his family.
Far worse things happened to others especially in the 1950s and 60s. "Treatment" involved everything from talk therapy to aversion to drugs to hormone treatments to shock treatment to lobotomy. This happened to a lot of people, more than most people imagine. Some hospitals like Atascadero State Hospital in California were notorious for their brutal "treatment" of gay inmates.
We should remember how well involuntary treatment worked for Alan Turing, the man who cracked the Nazi Ultra code in WWII saving the British bacon and was responsible for the technology that makes this message possible. He was arrested for homosexuality in the 1950s and forced to undergo hormone treatments. He later committed suicide.
At the end of World War II, gay inmates who survived the Nazi death camps were the only ones re-imprisoned by the Allied Occupation. Many didn't get out of prison until the 1960s.
I think central Africa serves as an experimental laboratory for the international right wing. By exploiting post colonial resentments, and turning those resentments against gays and political liberals and leftists in the West (the very people who worked for an end to Western colonialism and to apartheid from the 1950s to the 1980s while the right supported imperialism and segregation), the right is experimenting with social legislation that could accomplish what they want and somehow potentially "sugar the pill" for future constituencies elsewhere in the world including the West.
What the international right wants is nothing less than the end of gays and lesbians, and of gay men in particular. Gay men, and especially gay couples, are a living rebuke to the divinely sanctioned patriarchy that is the heart and soul of every fundamentalist and supremacist movement in the world. Whether it is through reparative "therapy" or through death camps, it all adds up to the same thing, the extinction of homosexuality and of homosexuals.
Thinking Anglicans has published some indications that the Ugandans are rethinking this legislation. They are apparently under a lot of pressure from American enablers to withdraw it for reasons of very bad publicity. The Vatican issued a tepid statement condemning gay oppression that does not mention Uganda, but apparently is in response to public outcry over the legislation.
Archbishop Rick Warren is trying very hard to distance himself from the Ugandan legislation.
"All the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten this little hand," said Lady Macbeth.
Archbishop Williams has still said nothing.
Gay men, and especially gay couples, are a living rebuke to the divinely sanctioned patriarchy that is the heart and soul of every fundamentalist and supremacist movement in the world.
I keep thinking of Margaret Atwood's book, A Handmaid's Tale. That book scared the hell out of me when I first read it, because I saw just how plausible it was.
On my darkest days, I think about how all the progress we have made depends on political and economic stability. Rights for minorities (and women) only exist in societies where governments are stable and the middle class is politically invested. In societies where survival is at stake, patriarchy rules with an iron fist.
We are one major disaster (economic/environmental/political) away from being thrown back in the Stone Ages. And that does not bode well for either of us. Gay men and uppity women are the first ones executed in the Republic of Gilead...
Where's Rowan? Bringing up in the rear behind the pope and Rick, or dropped out of the race.
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