Category Archives: Society

When Do You Give to Beggars?

This is one of the biggest questions and challenges for people traveling to the developing world and, perhaps even moreso, for those living as western expats in countries with extensive poverty because we confront it on a daily basis. The … Continue reading

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African Bloggers Statement on David Kato and Uganda

I have written about the issue of Gay Rights in Uganda in a number of articles, including: Gay Rights in Uganda Homosexuality in Uganda is Not a European Import – Christianity Is Funeral Puts Spotlight on Anglican Church I admit … Continue reading

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Uganda After the Elections

This post takes a look at the reactions of bloggers to the peaceful elections in Uganda. Continue reading

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Uganda, Lets Have Elections Every Day

It’s never been so easy to drive across town in Kampala. The combination of some people laying low as a precaution against elections violence, and thousands of people heading back to their villages for the weekend to vote has left … Continue reading

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Great Ugandan Blogger

Check out Rosebell’s Blog for insightful and courageous commentary on the 2011 Uganda elections:

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Uganda Presidential Elections 2011

A guide to the on-line presence of the Uganda 2011 Presidential Candidates. Continue reading

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Uganda (Not) Ripe for Egypt-Style Uprising

A recent article in the Associate Foreign Press states that, according to the opposition here, Uganda is Ripe for an Egypt-Style Uprising.

I’m afraid that this is just a bit of wishful thinking on the part of Kizza Besigye, the main opposition candidate. Maybe I will be totally surprised by a tsunami of discontent that will surge after the election but, at this point, I just don’t buy it.

Here are the 5 reasons why I don’t think Uganda is ripe for any type of popular uprising: Continue reading

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Uganda Civil Society Statement on David Kato’s Murder

Press Release from Uganda’s Civil Society on the Murder of David Kato Continue reading

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Conflict at David Kato’s Funeral Puts Spotlight on Anglican Church

Originally Posted On Global Voices Online:

Ugandan gay-rights advocate, David Kato, was slain on January 26, 2011. He was bludgeoned in his home with an iron bar 22 days after he won an injunction against the Rolling Stone newspaper that printed his name, along with the names of 99 other Ugandan homosexuals, under a banner stating “Hang Them.”

David’s activism was boldly courageous in a country where homosexuality is illegal, and debate continues on a bill that would provide the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”

Despite the timing and the very visible role David played within the LGBT community in Uganda, Ugandan police refuse to consider this a hate crime.

His death has brought out the voices of friends and foes alike. Continue reading

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Homosexuality in Uganda is not a European Import. Christianity is.

I have asked many Ugandans why there is such strong homophobia in this country. Nearly every answer I get is some variation on “it isn’t part of our culture. It was brought here by Europeans, and they are trying to recruit young people to become gay.”

The irony is that homosexuality existed here long before Europeans had ever set foot on the African continent and it is, in fact, Christianity, a true European import, that has demonized homosexuals.

An article in the Guardian titled African myths about homosexuality, written by a man from Zimbabwe, cites pre-colonial homosexual activity in present-day Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina-Faso, Camaroon, Angola, and Benin. In fact, he points out that in Angola, homosexuality was common until the Portugese criminalized it.

Homosexuality was not brought here by Europeans. Christianity, and its attendant moral code, was.

The Christian Church is the new colonial power in sub-Saharan Africa. The European national powers laid the original and important groundwork for the advances of the church into all facets of life here. They taught Africans to feel ashamed of their cultures and traditional religions, and left a vacuum when local people did not reap the financial benefits of secular “development.” It was then very easy for the church to step in and fill the void. The control of the church here is far more powerful and complete than that of any of the European powers of the 19th and 20th centuries because it has been welcomed with open arms. There is no “opposition” or “underground movement” against it.

So here are my questions:

* Why are Africans so quick to renounce their traditional cultures and accept a European-introduced religion that strictly defines how they should live and who they should hate, even while the worst thing people can say here about homosexuality is that it was “brought here by Europeans?”

* Why the fear around homosexuality? What is the basis for someone to feel personally threatened by the existence of gay people? It is one thing to not like the fact that some people are gay – there are lots of people in the world that I don’t like, too – but what pushes it over the edge to make it seem ok to kill somebody just because you don’t like how they live their lives?

* How can anyone who is even mildly intelligent believe that people in the West are sending money over here to “recruit” people to become gay? Are you serious?!? The only money coming over here is coming from American Christian evangelicals to promote anti-gay hatred. OK – so maybe that was more an opinion than a question, but it seems that lots of people actually believe this, and I really don’t understand it. Continue reading

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