Uganda

World Bank Postpones Uganda Loan Over Anti-Gay Legislation — Update

Worth $90 million

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law Monday, February 24, the "Anti-Homexuality" bill, which stiffens penalties against homosexuality, already criminal under Ugandan law.

The legislation was first proposed in 2009 and passed last year. Museveni said he would sign it, then that he wanted the U.S. to tell him whether homosexuality was a choice or a trait, before saying no, he would sign it after all.

The Ugandan government do not appear to have put anything up about the signing of the bill into law on their "Media Centre" website, but did run a "press statement" from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council that lauded Museveni for his "courage" in signing the bill despite pressure from the West, and offered that the law would "strengthen the fight" against homosexuality, "this foreign and inhuman act."

The Monitor of Uganda has Museveni's full statement, where the president suggests "the topic of homosexuals was provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism" and that he "didn't pay much attention" at first because he had "immediate issues" like defense, electricity, and the roads.

President Obama said in a statement last week he was "deeply disappointed" that the bill would be signed into law, and that it would "complicate our valued relationship with Uganda." In 2011, Obama deployed 100 troops to Uganda to hunt for local war criminal Joseph Kony. Last year in Senegal, where homosexuality is also criminalized, Obama said "we" had to "respect the diversity of views that are here."

UPDATE: A Ugandan tabloid has published a list of the country's "200 top homosexuals."

UPDATE: The Netherlands, Denmark and Norway have frozen or redirected millions in aid to the country. According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the United States is reviewing its relationship with Uganda after the president signed the law.

UPDATE: Uganda's health minister insists gays will continue to get healthcare.

UPDATE (6:45 p.m. ET 2/26/14): Secreary of State John Kerry has likened Uganda's anti-gay bill to nazism and apartheid saying, "You could change the focus of this legislation to black or… Jewish, and you could be in 1930s Germany or you could be in 1950s, 60s apartheid South Africa."

UPDATE: (8:37 a.m. ET 2/27/14): At least three European countries have already begun the process of cutting foreign aid to Uganda.

UPDATE: (1:12 P.M. ET 2/28/14): The World Bank has postponed a $90 million loan to Uganda in response to the recent passage of homophobic legislation. 

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  1. I thought black people were the oppressed. Now they are the oppressors? What’s going on around here?

  2. Here’s the important question: Can they have cake? Because I don’t see my lefty gay FB friends being able to sum up enough outrage if cake and/or Arizona isn’t involved.

  3. “They eat the poo-poo!”

  4. Misuse Of Words

    Theologically, the Judeo-Christian Bible in both Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is specific and explicit . . . homosexuality is an abomination. Mohammedans agree.

    Opponents of this Biblical abomination play into the hands of those whom they are attacking by misusing words. Words are important. Words can kill!

    “Homophobia”. Antipathy toward homosexuality is not a phobia, a mental illness.

    “Gay”. What’s gay about homosexuality? Do homosexuals feel more gay than heterosexuals?

    The label was derived from Gay Street in Greenwich Village in … where else? … New York City. In the 1950s, it was an area in which homosexuals congregated to find sexual partners.

    To adopt the language of your opponent is to legitimatize his argument. Opponents of homosexuality as an acceptable, alternative lifestyle should use their own language not that of those whom they oppose. Homosexuals aren’t “gays”; they’re homosexuals. Biblically and historically, their sexual acts are abominable perversions.

    1. Umm, where are you getting your folk etymology?

      I’ve never heard the gay street source and the word has been around since old french. John Boswell traces its use to refer to homosexuals back further than the 1950s.

      Also the word homosexual was coined specifically to destigmatize homosexuality when it would’ve much more likely been called “sodomy” during the debate during German unification if they should keep the Prussian anti-sodomy law or abandon it since some of the German free states cared and many of them didn’t.

      If you don’t want to cede the linguistic ground call us “sodomites” (historically not strictly used to describe homosexuals) and watch as everyone backs away slowly from you.

      But nice try on trying to ejummacate us asshat.

      1. I’ve never heard the gay street source and the word has been around since old french. John Boswell traces its use to refer to homosexuals back further than the 1950s.

        My understanding was that it was amorphous association of the gay attitude, sexuality, and dandyism, as exemplified by Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron.

        Since are the aspects of homosexuality that repulse me (I didn’t/don’t choose to be repulsed by it!), I tend to use the term gay.

  5. Aren’t we being Islamophobic if we criticize a homophobic law supported by the Muslim Supreme Council?

  6. So according to Kerry, the United States was like Nazi Germany until, when? 1975, when the federal government lifted its ban on gay employees (which Kerry would probably say was like the Nuremburg laws which banned Jewish employment in the German civil service)? Or 2003, when sodomy laws were struck down?

  7. Obama can go to war to free teh gays

  8. TBF, Museveni already Godwinned the shit out of himself:

    But since the medical authorities, the department of genetics of the Medical School from Makerere, say there is no proof yet that people are homosexual by genetics, I told those scientists to put it in writing and they are going to do so. Then I will sign the bill.

    Am taking all these precautions because am historically answerable for whatever I do as a leader. There were mistakes made in the 1930s by Hitler because he wanted to make Germany strong..Some of these issues are very crucial and should be handled objectively not emotionally.

    IF YOU HAVE TO COMPARE WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO WHAT HITLER DID TO JUSTIFY IT STOP AND DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

    1. TBF, if he can stimulate the economy and effectively annex the productivity/wealth to the nations around him…

      *without killing anyone* !!!!11!!!

      then the parallels to Hitler come off pretty well.

      I don’t like the notion of throwing people in prison for being gay but if they aren’t kicking in people’s doors in the middle of the night and it eliminates much of poverty and blight that afflicts the country I have a hard time being actively opposed to it.

      And, as Americans, we both share a wide array of luxuries not available to Ugandans or their leadership.

      1. Because in Africa groups that are scapegoated never end up being rounded up and systematically wiped out. You’re also assuming that this active, public scapegoating will have any kind of positive affect on Ugandan well-being.

        1. Because in Africa groups that are scapegoated never end up being rounded up and systematically wiped out.

          Thanks for mentioning it, I was beginning to think I was the only non-interventionalist asshole around here. Mass murder in Africa occurs all the time but the passage of this law is singularly intolerable?

          You’re also assuming that this active, public scapegoating will have any kind of positive affect on Ugandan well-being.

          I suppose that depends on the definition of what it means to be a Ugandan.

          Lemme know when we get to a tragedy half the size of Rwanda (are there even really that many homosexuals in Uganda, esp. at this point?) and I’ll adjust my apathy levels accordingly.

          1. I suppose that depends on the definition of what it means to be a Ugandan.

            So “Ugandanness” is a good reason for a group of people to be specifically targeted for imprisonment. That tells me pretty much all I need to know about you.

            I’ve mentioned before I think that if there is going to be aid (ideally there wouldn’t be), it should be tied to an overall basket of human rights improvements, and I think passing laws to arbitrarily imprison people participating in consensual adult relationships should be a black mark against that. We don’t OWE Ugandan’s money and if we’re going to give it, we have the right to attach strings.

            1. So “Ugandanness” is a good reason for a group of people to be specifically targeted for imprisonment.

              As was pointed out, this isn’t some uniquely Ugandan behavior. Rounding up men, women, and children that are marginally different from yourself and slitting their throats is a past time in that part of the world. Passing a symbolic law (several foreign agencies have said the laws effect is minimal/immaterial, as in, this is the will of the people) is kinda new.

              That tells me pretty much all I need to know about you.

              I don’t know what Ugandaness is, I’m not Ugandan. This law appears to be the will of the people rather than the act of some cruel dictator so, yeah, it does seem like Ugandaness. Your rush to judge me and lump me in with Ugandans because my heart doesn’t bleed profusely for this humanitarian non-crisis speaks as much to your personality as it does to mine.

              I’ve mentioned before I think that if there is going to be aid (ideally there wouldn’t be), it should be tied to an overall basket of human rights

              I see. So it’s not about actually helping people as much as it is about controlling them. Whether the imperialism is hard or soft, it’s still imperialism.

              1. So it’s not about actually helping people as much as it is about controlling them.

                Private charities are free to give no strings attached money that they’ve collected voluntarily all they want. Tax dollars used to prop up third world governments should come with the expectation that those governments are at least working on a basket of humanitarian aims and that the money is actually being directed to humanitarian ends.

                You’re either being naive or disingenuous if you think that aid dollars are being spent for altruistic purposes and not to wield soft power in these countries. I’d rather see better civil society than easier access to raw materials for a few favored companies, or available land for another military/intelligence outpost.

                1. Tax dollars used to prop up third world governments should come with the expectation that those governments are at least working on a basket of humanitarian aims and that the money is actually being directed to humanitarian ends.

                  Sounds overbearingly moralistic and controlling to me. Even if money is given, say… to combat an HIV epidemic, as long as the HIV numbers go down, “mission accomplished”. Everything else is Imperialistic scope-creep.

                  You’re either being naive or disingenuous if you think that aid dollars are being spent for altruistic purposes and not to wield soft power in these countries.

                  I don’t doubt the aid is being used to wield soft power. You’re the one arguing, not about more or less aid, but that soft power should be attached to it. Always.

                  I’d rather see better civil society than easier access to raw materials for a few favored companies, or available land for another military/intelligence outpost.

                  Wow, I have a hard time reading your notion of foreign aid as anything other than imperial socialism. Seems like corporations rather than the state would be more likely to ‘win hearts and minds’ but, regardless of state or corporate influence it seems like pushing ‘civil society’ has been tried on these ‘savages’ already. Maybe, if the most advanced civil society in the world gets involved, not only would they hate homosexuals, but they would spy on them as well.

  9. I respect the president, who has signed such a law, being well aware of the consequences. Sometimes the future and the dignity of your nation are much more valuable than monetary support from Western world.
    Jull from SterlingStore

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