Friday, April 9, 2010
He spoke to Peter Tatchell founder of Outrage UK a pro-gay rights group based in the United Kingdom. The near half an hour exchange saw some salient points as it relates to the captioned item.
Mr. Tatchell was careful to point out that the perceived notion that foreigners are imposing rules on Uganda or similar states, he stressed that the debate is about reminding the Ugandans that their own constitution protects citizens despite sexual orientation although it never specified orientation as a defining factor. They should follow their own rules.
Uganda also is a signatory to the African charter a non European act agreed and developed by African states signed and ratified by Uganda which pledges equal rights and non discrimination for every person in Africa without distinction and discrimination. It is not about trying to boss around African states in any way he continued. Uganda should uphold the laws, treatise and convention that it has agreed and signed to. Host Lloyd D’Aguilar raised the issue of the UK introducing anti terrorism prevention bills that whittle away at personal freedoms juxtaposing the Ugandan constitution’s protection of its citizenry and on the backdrop that the UK doesn’t have a constitution. Mr. Tatchell responded by he would welcome a letter from the Ugandan authorities condemning the UK parliament for passing such encroaching laws, he wouldn’t think that Uganda would be imposing if they stood for what is right.
Other points include:
The Ugandan anti gay bill calls for the death penalty of persons conduct more than one counts of homosexual conduct a touch geared towards some homosexual act also attracts a life imprisonment sentence even if the touch is given by consent.
Members of the public who know of a homosexual and doesn’t report in 24 hours they may be imprisoned for three years.
The UK Prime Minister and others during a recent commonwealth meeting tried to impress on the Ugandan President on the amendments or withdrawal of the Bill. The Ugandan President has said it may not be a good idea to have the death penalty on a pubic platform a month ago but the bill in its original form still sits in the house and may be passed as is soon.
Anti gay laws originally were passed by the British when they occupied parts of Africa as a way to make civilize the considered wild tribes and people, Britain now has changed those laws.
The irony is that the western import was not homosexuality but homophobia as many tribes before the British occupation and colonialism had open homosexuality and it was accepted in some tribes and villages. Many gays in tribes were seen as holy men, priests or shamans as part of indigenous culture.
There is no known society where homosexuality did not exist as evidenced in oral histories from tribal societies and groups as there are hardly any written accounts to back it up. The lifestyle was understood in a way.
Reference was made to an old Nigerian male villager who shared accounts with Mr. Tatchell of known gay men in his village who were given specific roles to carry out unimpeded which never disturbed the life of the village in any way. They were accepted as different and incorporated as a part of the village now under Christian and Muslim fundamentalism homophobia and violence rages.
There is a connection between Christian fundamentalism and homosexual hate; the missionaries imposed the fundamentalist aspects of the bible on the indigenous peoples. Mr. Tatchell made reference to the old anthropological accounts, writings from European explorers and colonial administrators the narratives suggest that they were offended by the described disgusting vile homosexual practices of the peoples in Africa and the Caribbean. Homosexuality was said to be common in tribes they came across hence the conclusion arrived at that the tribes are barbarian and uncivilized. Colonialism was therefore justified by the belief that the masters could civilize them by imposing a Christian order to stamp out homosexual practice.
“You can see there is a quite close correlation between western homophobia and western racism, homosexuality in some African and Caribbean societies was used as a justification by the western powers for colonization and Christianization.” Peter Tatchell, April 8, 2010
In response to the Gleaner article on the travel website naming Jamaica as unsafe for gays Mr. Tatchell said that not all Jamaicans are homophobic but given the strong history of homophobia and scale of the homophobic violence it may not be safe for gays to come here or himself for now as he wouldn’t feel safe
On the matter of boycotts he said that they can unintended consequences hurting persons who don’t deserve to be hurt he squared the responsibility to the government and the church that have the power to change things, they have not helped to prepare the country to be safe for all.
Host Lloyd D’Aguilar suggested that the Prime Minster at the least should apologize for his unfortunate not in my cabinet comments and the repulsion of the buggery law should be considered.
He ended by making mention of the Charter of Rights that has been languishing for some twenty years that excludes orientation matters a point reinforced several times over on this blog.
Peace and tolerance
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thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it