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  • BBC Documentary Explores Anti-Gay Attitudes in Uganda

    by guest
    16th February, 2011 at 3:34 pm    

    This is a crosspost by Richard Bartholomew

    On Monday evening BBC 3 broadcast The World’s Worst Place to Be Gay?, a documentary about Uganda presented by gay DJ Scott Mills. There are few surprises: gay people are forced to live in slums, rejected by their families and at risk of violence, while a sampling of random interviewees from the street shows a visceral hatred for homosexuals and a wish for their execution (“everything bad should be done to those people”, says one young woman).

    Mills also spoke to some of the individuals who are actively promoting anti-gay feeling: Giles Muhame, managing editor of Rolling Stone newspaper; Pastor Solomon Male; and David Bahati MP, author of the notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill (a bill not unfairly dubbed by critics as the “Kill the Gays Bill”). Muhume is notorious for “outing” homosexuals in his newspaper (although a court injunction recently put a stop to this), and he explained that his paper had got information through having “infiltrated their circles” and by talking to “ex-homosexuals”. Muhame also claimed that stories of attacks on gay people were lies, and (rather unconvincingly) that if his own picture had appeared in the paper he wouldn’t be scared. He added:

    We are not policing but we are assisting the police to do their work.

    Muhume also told Mills that homosexuality reduces one’s lifespan by 24 years – that particular talking-point comes from Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute (Cameron has featured on this blog previously).

    Pastor Male, meanwhile, was introduced as claiming “he was first to openly come out against gays” – he has appeared on this blog here (it’s perhaps worth noting that Male has deployed accusations of homosexuality against rival pastors). Male’s views, expressed with a smile, are what you would expect: homosexuality is “morally incomprehensible, abominable”; “of course” gay people are as bad as paedophiles; “it is beyond human imagination that people of the same kind can love each other”. When Mills tells Male that he was gay from birth, Male insists that he is saying this “to deceive other people, because you want so many people to come to your ranks”.

    Mills then went on to interview David Bahati on the grass outside the Parliament building: he described his proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill as “a wonderful piece of legislation that will help those who are involved in this behaviour, but also protect those who are not involved in this”. He also claimed that a quote attributed to him about killing homosexuals was a misquote, and that he wants gay people “to come back to normality”. Like Muhame, Bahati further claimed that accounts of abuse and violence against gay people was “planned deliberate propaganda by the gay movement… I’ve not seen any person being harassed”. As for parents chasing away their gay children, “I’ve not heard of that in this society”. Bahati explained that once the Bill was passed, parents would be expected to report their children to the police, and then “the law enforcement agencies should take care of that”.

    Mills then told Bahati that he is himself gay; Bahati’s first response was awkward, and then became slightly hysterically jocular:

    Well, I think if I had known, it would be a different matter for this interview…. I think it’s not professional, right, to engage in this… If you are we could probably ask our police to check if that’s right [laughs]…. Make sure you are not caught in the act because if you are you will be put in.

    Bahati then terminated the interview; Mills tells us Bahati followed up by calling his fixer asking for information, and that police had been sent to a hotel where Bahati incorrectly thought they were staying. Bahati previously featured on this blog here.

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    Filed in: Civil liberties,Culture,Current affairs

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    1. sunny hundal

      Blogged: : BBC Documentary Explores Anti-Gay Attitudes in Uganda

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      BBC Documentary Explores Anti-Gay Attitudes in Uganda

    1. Kismet Hardy — on 16th February, 2011 at 3:59 pm  

      Not sure if easy-questioning Scott Mills was the right choice, his frustrations weren’t voiced to anyone he interviewed, understandably I guess, but it’s easy for me to sit here and wish he tried to educate some of the hate-filled kids at least, but nonetheless, good to see the issue outed, so to speak

      PS. ““it is beyond human imagination that people of the same kind can love each other”.

      So it’s not okay for a father to love his son? Clearly not, if this is the kind of shite they pass on to their kids

    2. Tory — on 16th February, 2011 at 5:46 pm  

      I still do not uderstand why Uganda has gone down this route. Within the region, it seems they are trying to emulate Somalia and Sudan.

    3. Rumbold — on 17th February, 2011 at 10:20 am  

      Excellent piece Richard.

    4. douglas clark — on 17th February, 2011 at 11:00 am  

      Mr Bartholomew makes exceedingly good cakes.

      I have been a silent admirer of what he has to say for ages now. Only found out about an exceptional blogger though the links on this very page.

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