Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sickening ...

Remember back in 2009, when the legislation in Uganda introduced legislation that would make homosexuality illegal -- and even punishable by death? Remember when Rachel Maddow, with help from Jeff Sharlet, linked American politicians to the legislation -- primarily through the secretive religious group The Family?

For a variety of reasons, that story fell off the proverbial radar in recent months, but the bill returned to the news this week. On Wednesday, MSNBC reported that Uganda was likely to drop the legislation. Quoting MSNBC:

The future of the bill remained murky. Wednesday was parliament's last scheduled day of session, and President Yoweri Museveni was scheduled on Thursday to be sworn in after his February re-election. It wasn't clear if the bill could be carried forward to the next session or if the bill's author would have to offer a new bill, which he has said he will do if needed.

Despite that burst of good news, Maddow theorized that the bill would still see the light of day at some point, because David Buhati, the man who drafted the legislation and has strong ties to The Family, remained steadfast even in the face of international condemnation.

There wasn't even any guarantee Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni would sign the bill if it passed, so good news all around, right?

Well ... maybe not.

Box Turtle Bulletin is now reporting the bill could be up for a vote on Friday -- and that it might pass. That's right ... we're once again staring at the prospect of a nation declaring that homosexuality is illegal. Not just being a homosexual, but knowing someone is homosexual and not turning them in, knowing someone is homosexual, but giving them a job.

We're talking jail time. We're talking the death penalty. Simply for being homosexual.

Here in America, we worry about marriage equality and benefits for same-sex partners that equal those for heterosexual couples. We worry about same-sex couples being able to adopt children. Until recently, homosexuals couldn't even serve openly in our military.

In fact, they technically still can't.

The problems facing homosexuals in America are numerous, and they are not to be taken lightly. But at least our country is not in the business of legally sanctioning jail time and murder for people simply because of their lifestyle.

Bigotry is abhorrent and dangerous regardless, but Uganda is taking it to the extreme -- and the fact that we have members of Congress who are linked to Buhati and his allies is a sickening reality.

Uganda could legalize an act that would be considered a hate crime in most other civilized countries. I honestly do not have the words to describe how vile and sickening that truth is.

CREDO Action has crafted a petition in an effort to stop the bill in its tracks. You can read the petition, sign it and share it on various social media platforms here.

This is not an instance where we can sit back and ignore the problem because it's not on our shores. Buhati's connections to The Family -- and the American politicians who secretly call themselves members -- make this an even more disturbing problem.

But more than that, this is an issue of human dignity and fairness. If Uganda can legalize the killing of a man for loving another man, what stops the next nation that wants to do it? The potential domino effect is horrifying, almost as much as the legislation itself.

This bill is evil, and it must be stopped. Hatred and bigotry have no place in this world, and they certainly have to place in a national legislature.

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