So, after much hoping, praying, lobbying and fighting-the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was signed (with audience) by Yoweri Museveni. It has to become gazetted before it becomes law, but we all know that this counts for nothing, because people already have their knives out and ready to attack any person that appears different. And that’s really what is going to happen here-being different in Uganda has become illegal-with the advent of both the Anti-Pornography and the Anti-Homosexuality Bills. There is so much that has been said ad nauseum about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but there’s also what has not been said. Which maybe should have been said first, when this morality circus began, but since were here now- let’s just take it from here.
What we don’t know, or what we refuse to see, is that despite the naming-the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is not an attack on homosexuals in Uganda, it is an attack on human beings. What the government of Uganda has essentially done, is now legally own all Ugandan bodies. Big bodies, small, bodies, gay bodies, straight, bodies, dark bodies, light bodies-all bodies.
We have been led to believe that Uganda, and Africa, and the world has a homosexual minority, and that the homophobes can sit safe in their heteronormative spaces and not be affected by this bill. We have been cheated that we are a sexual minority, and that our mercenary sexual identities and orientations can be put out as one would a candle-with a single powerful blow. We have been convinced that right now homosexuality is the sin that sees God and his celestial army looking away from Africa, and giving us our due blessings. Because God knows there is no continent that is more religious and more in-keeping with fundamental religious moral statutes than Africa. We kill each other for our God. We hate each other for our God. Surely by now God should just give us what we want, right? But these damn homos come in and make god angry and this is the best way to solve this ‘little’ problem.
But like Dr. Seuss said, think and wonder, wonder and think-what next when the criminalization of same-sex desire does not solve Uganda’s problems? What then? The homosexuals would already have had their turn-so who’s next?
In this event, your heterosexuality will not save you. Maybe the next offenders will be seen to be the Muslims. Islam will be social scapegoat number 2, and at that point it will matter less whether you are a queer, straight, weird or tall Muslim-all will matter is that your belief system will put you on the wrong side of the law. Or an independent body of dedicated religious professionals will wake up one morning and say, they problem with Uganda is that we have too many women. And a law encouraging femicide will be instituted. Where will you hide your two year old daughter? Where will you take your 80 year old mother? Where will men put their other three wives? Again, if this happens, your heterosexuality will not save you.
People that support these bills (the Anti-Homosexuality and the Anti-Pornography ones) do so confidently because they assume that these are not their problems. One thinks, I am a law abiding, church going, woman loving, meat eating, beer drinking, African man-these things do not concern me. This is not my problem, let them that deal with this kind of nonsense deal with it. And some women think the same.
But if a government can take away my ability to decide what to wear, to decide for me where to go and how to look and who to love, it’s a matter of time before your government tells you what to eat. Bread will be determined to be the source of all evil in Uganda and a ridiculous act later, you will no longer be allowed to eat bread. Your heterosexuality will not save you there either.
This is why, these bills, are by no means after a minority group of sexual deviants. These bills affect every single Ugandan around. And it is really a matter of time before some other, seemingly minority group of deviants, becomes the scapegoat for bigger, deeper issues. So, heterosexuals, Christians, Muslims and others on your moral high horses about this bill, consider this-if you let the government decide for you, then it’s a matter of time before you too, are some or the other minority being targeted for hate, murder and abuse. Think about that.