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Uganda’s presidential adviser tells America to go to hell over new LGBT policy. How will America respond?

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By Adam Bink

Via AMERICABlog, here’s an example of why yesterday’s memorandum issued by the Obama administration on actions taken to back up Secretary Clinton’s speech is so important. From the BBC:

Mrs Clinton did not outline sanctions for countries that fail to reform same-sex laws, but an official memorandum directs US government agencies to consider gay rights when making aid and asylum decisions.

Her comments follows a warning by UK Prime Minister David Cameron last month that the UK would reduce some aid to countries that refuse to recognise gay rights.

Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Botswana.

Reacting angrily to Mrs Clinton’s speech, Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda told the BBC: “That fellow [Mr Cameron] said the same thing. Now this woman [Clinton] is interfering.

“If the Americans think the can tell us what to do, they can go to hell.”

Ah, Uganda, home of the “kill-the-gays” bill. As John notes, Uganda gets plenty of military aid from the United States. A perfect place to put actions to words. Let’s see how America responds.

19 Comments

  • 1. Joe  |  December 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I vote to stop all aid to Uganda immediately. Reviewing their general history, I can't imagine why we ever sent them aid. It ONLY falls into corrupt hands.

  • 2. Kate  |  December 7, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Too bad Brian and Maggie don't emigrate to Uganda.

  • 3. Gregory in SLC  |  December 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

    South Africa fails to protect black lesbians: rights group:
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-b

  • 4. mark  |  December 7, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I think the next step is for the US to revoke the tax exempt status to all US religious organization that stir this kind of BS up in other countries!

  • 5. Fr. Bill  |  December 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I don't know about homophobic RCs like Brian and Maggie but the rabid homophobic evangelical Christianists are involved in Uganda up to their eyeballs.

  • 6. Nursling  |  December 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I spent some time speaking with the Ugandan military who were searching for the LRA rebels, (with the financial help of the USA) in Central Africa this year. What we noted was that it was and is in their best interest not to find or capture any rebels, otherwise their lucrative funding would be over…
    I say defund. I know enough about the often corrupt African political classes in these countries that it is ONLY money and the social accoutrements of wealth that truly interest them, Chinese, American,…whatever. The African poor rarely see any of the money that goes through official channels anyway, believe me.

  • 7. Joe  |  December 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

    No one can make us subsidize their hate.

    And if they were killing Christians, you can imagine how quickly we would be cutting off their aid.

  • 8. LCH  |  December 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I say defund them. This kind of aid never seems to accomplish anything that is in our interest in the end. Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba the list goes on.

  • 9. Sagesse  |  December 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    @

  • 10. mark  |  December 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I think the next step is for the US to revoke the tax exempt status to all US religious organization that stir this kind of BS up in other countries!

  • 11. Derek Williams  |  December 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I would sooner spend an eternity in their "Hell" than a nanosecond in their vainglorious, sanctimonious company.

  • 12. Derek Williams  |  December 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    The total population of Uganda exceeds 32 million, meaning that based on a conservative 4% of the population being homosexual, there are at least 1.2 million homosexuals whose lives are being wrecked.

    Uganda's prisons are already massively overcrowded with an occupancy rate of 223%, and a prison population at 91/100,000 of the national population. 56% of these prisoners are still awaiting trial.

    There is no way such a horrifically under resourced prison system could possibly accommodate even 10 per cent of the homosexual population being sent to detention prior to trial, let alone being imprisoned thereafter.

    Therefore, I believe the way forward is for Uganda's homosexuals to call the bluff of the administration by all volunteering themselves en masse for arrest as was done successfully in Tasmania, although Australia is clearly a far more moderate country. This would of course involve personal risk, but since life is already completely intolerable in Uganda anyway, what have they go to lose but their lives? Better dead than to have to live like that.

    In any case, I can't see even so barbaric and primitive a government as that of Uganda gunning down and killing 1.2 million of its citizens without trial, even if admissions have been made in such an act of civil disobedience. Regardless, if they do, within a decade there will be another several million of us born to our heterosexual parents.

    It is reassuring in the meantime to note the level of disquiet being so strongly expressed at the highest level from all corners of the civilised world.

    edited:

    The total population of Uganda exceeds 32 million, meaning that based on a conservative 4% of the population being homosexual, there are at least 1.2 million homosexuals whose lives are being wrecked.

    Uganda's prisons are already massively overcrowded with an occupancy rate of 223%, and a prison population at 91/100,000 of the national population. 56% of these prisoners are still awaiting trial.

    There is no way such a horrifically under resourced prison system could possibly accommodate even 10 per cent of the homosexual population being sent to detention prior to trial, let alone being imprisoned thereafter.

    Therefore, I believe the way forward is for Uganda's homosexuals to call the bluff of the administration by all volunteering themselves en masse for arrest as was done successfully in Tasmania, although Australia is clearly a far more moderate country. This would of course involve personal risk, but since life is already completely intolerable in Uganda anyway, what have they go to lose but their lives? Better dead than to have to live like that.

    In any case, I can't see even a stone age government like that of Uganda killing 1.2 million of its citizens without trial, even if admissions have been made in such an act of civil disobedience. Regardless, if they do, within a decade there will be another several million born to heterosexual parents.

    It is reassuring in the meantime to note the level of disquiet being so strongly expressed at the highest level from all corners of the civilised world.

  • 13. Warner  |  December 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    maybe he wants america to go to hell, since compaired to uganda, american hell is heaven to a ugandian, and he want to immigrate without the culture shock of being in a place where infant-rape is illegal and the laws enforced.

  • 14. Brad M  |  December 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I think I'm in the minority here, but I'm at least a little hesitant to think conditioning aid on LGBT rights compliance may be the most effective policy.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-canavera/not-i

    If African activists are rejecting this kind of thing, it should give all of us pause. Obviously, I'm aware of the terrible atrocities (e.g. "corrective" rape) that happen to LGBTs around the world and my comment should only be construed as an invitation to think a little more carefully about this.

  • 15. Rich S  |  December 8, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Brad M,

    I completely agree with your sentiments, however that Huffington Post article is not accurate when it says "the United Kingdom […] will consider reducing foreign aid to countries that criminalize homosexuality". Andrew Mitchell, the UK Secretary of State for International Development, has stated that the UK will "find other mechanisms for trying to help the poorest with food, education and health care as well as building up business structures." The aid is still going to these countries, and still in the same quantities, but instead of being paid to the governments of those countries, it will be directed to charities, NGOs and other such organisations.

  • 16. Guest  |  December 8, 2011 at 5:46 am

    A law should be passed to stop them exporting homophobia from the US.

  • 17. Brad M  |  December 8, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for sharing, Rich. That is certainly a much more nuanced position from the UK government. Hopefully, the UK will be able to get that message (and the aid) out past the protests and likely obstructions of the governments that will lose their funding to local NGOs. At any rate, it seems more sensible now.

  • 18. Prop 8 Trial Tracker &raq&hellip  |  December 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    […] issued by¬†President Obama instructing U.S. agencies abroad to protect LGBT rights. ¬†He also covered the negative response of a Ugandan presidential adviser to the new […]

  • 19. Mark Canavera  |  May 3, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Actually, I was almost very nearly quoting Cameron in that article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15511081

    There are many other reports of Cameron's words, very close to what I described.

    I did contact the Prime Minister's Office for comment; they did reply, which I also linked to the article: images.huffingtonpost.com/2011-11-29-OPMresponse-OfficeofthePrimeMinisterresponse.pdf

    I think what happened was the UK government backed off when it realized that it didn't have the support of African activists.

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