Mar 2, 2010

Legalizing mass murder

by Katie Bell

An extermination has begun in Uganda.

The Ugandan government is attempting to pass a piece of legislation called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda. However, if the bill were to pass, punishment for the act would be more severe.

The new bill would condemn homosexuals to a minimum sentence of life imprisonment, as well as execute those Ugandans who test positive for HIV, according to CNN. Individuals who have knowledge of homosexual activity taking place and do not report it will also be subject to three years in prison, according to CNN. The bill prohibits the promotion of “homosexual activity,” which includes prohibiting organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention, according to CNN.

No date has been set to vote on the legislation but politicians who oppose the bill will pay the price for it in the next election, according to CNN.

There are currently 940,000 people in Uganda with HIV, according to If it were to pass, this bill would devastate the work of AIDS education and awareness programs in a nation where AIDS is as common as the flu is in the United States.

“Who will go to HIV testing if he knows that he will suffer the death sentence?” U.N. Special Envoy on AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka said, according to CNN. “The law will drive them away from seeking counseling and testing services.”

The rationale behind the bill is horrendous. The legislator sponsoring the bill, David Bahati, claimed he was encouraging constructive criticism to enhance the law, but insisted harsh measures were necessary to stop homosexuals from influencing schoolchildren, according to Fox News.

Preventing homosexuals from recruiting schoolchildren is in no way a valid reason to try to pass a law which would incriminate and potentially murder a community of otherwise productive members of society.

“The youths in secondary schools copy everything from the Western world and America,” high school teacher David Kisambira said, according to Fox News. “A good number of students have been converted into gays. We hear there are groups of people given money by some gay organizations in developed countries to recruit youth into gay activities.”

What is even more shocking is that Uganda is not the only African nation in which it is illegal to be gay. In Nigeria homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment or death. Burundi recently banned same-sex relationships and Rwanda is considering it, according to Fox News.

Discrimination and hatred do not begin to describe what homosexuals in Uganda face on a daily basis.

“Right now, you can’t go to places that are crowded, because the mob can attack us or even burn us. We can’t walk alone. We are ostracized by relatives. But if this bill passes, it will become impossible for me to live here at all. And that part hurts the most,” Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha said, according to CNN.

People have no right to dehumanize others regardless of race, religion or creed. It is hard to imagine why a nation would devalue the lives of some of its citizens, but it has happened in the past as evidenced by the holocaust. If this law were to pass, history would indeed repeat itself.

Whether straight or gay, all human life is sacred. What right does the Ugandan government or any government have to say who lives and who dies?

Contact Katie Bell at

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