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Denounce Uganda By Supporting New Jersey

12.04.09

gay marriage

Uganda is on the verge of passing legislation that will recommend the death penalty for those convicted of engaging in homosexual acts.

This is an abomination.

It is institutionalized genocide and all UN countries must act according if/when this bill passes into law.  To single out a minority demographic of a country and send them to the executioner simply for being who they are is genocide.  No nation that claims to support humanitarian causes and civil rights should remain quiet as this atrocity happens before our very eyes.

For that matter, no human being should sit silently as this gets closer to reality.  The more pressure we put on our own government to excoriate the Ugandan parliament the better chance we have at making a difference.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for the legislation to be thrown out, along with the support of Canada, Britain, and the European Union, who provide almost 75% of Uganda’s funds to fight HIV/AIDS.

That’s not enough.

If this becomes law, the international community should charge those in the Ugandan government who drafted the bill for crimes against humanity and send them to The Hague.  Can you imagine the world uproar if the minority in question weren’t homosexuals but a minority ethnicity or religious group?  There would be outrage across the planet on a much larger scale.

I’m sure most Americans will denounce the extreme punishments suggested upon Ugandan homosexuals as being wrong, but at the same time, anti-sodomy laws were still on our own books until as recently as 2003, when the US Supreme Court ruling of Lawrence v. Texas found that Texas’ sodomy laws were unconstitutional, thereby making all states’ laws follow suit.  So, it’s hard to look at our own society and say that we’re so morally superior and advanced when we have an entire political party – and many in another voting in agreement with them – basing most of its values on those of discriminating and denying rights to the same group that Uganda is looking to execute.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that denying marriage rights to gays in America is equal to this new Ugandan legislation.  But, discrimination is discrimination.  Uganda has taken its bigotry toward and hate for homosexuals to new, appalling levels that must be condemned across the board, no matter what your stance is on our own American debate.  The thing about this recent development in Uganda is that it really sheds light on a scary reality involving our own marriage equality issue – the same rationale is being used to defend the Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda as is used stateside to support the denial of marriages rights to gays and lesbians: “gay relationships are against God’s will”; gays are trying to recruit your children; protect traditional family values.

Sound familiar?

The question then becomes – to those who agree with that rationale when it comes to American marriage laws but not to Ugandan death penalties – why should there be any punishment of any kind whatsoever?   (Yes, denying two American adults the right to marry simply because of their sexual orientation is a form of punishment.)  Denying civil liberties to a minority group is wrong no matter the severity, so how is that same rationale valid for outlawing marriage to adults simply because they happen to be of the same sex?

And if you think I’m going way overboard because being denied marriage rights is not a big deal at all compared to the threat of execution, take a look at the same US politicians against marriage equality who are also members of The Family, a Christian fundamentalist group that supports the Ugandan bill and tell me that I’m inflating the situation.

Hate is hate.

As we denounce the disgusting Ugandan legislation, let’s rally for New Jersey, who will be voting on marriage equality as early as next week.  Let’s lead by example instead of “do as I say, not as I do.”  Our leaders failed us in New York.  Let’s demand they do better in Trenton.

(Photo courtesy of Steve Bott)

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