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Jennifer Knapp - Lay It Down (2000)Jennifer Knapp is a Dove Award-winning Christian folk rock musician.  She is best known for her first hit single "Undo Me" from her debut album Kansas (1998), and the song "A Little More" from her Grammy Award-nominated album Lay It Down (2000).  Her last studio release, The Way I Am (2001), was also nominated for a Grammy. In total, her albums have altogether sold approximately 1 million copies.

She recently revealed to Reuters that she is a lesbian.

Many homosexuals are devout Christians – which is something I find trouble understanding. Here, I am not talking about those that are Christian and are in denial of their sexual orientation – I am talking about those that have actually embraced their orientation wholeheartedly, are happy with it (possibly even in committed long-term relationships), and are still believing and practicing Christians. (An example might be Val Kalende, a prominent Ugandan LGBT activist, who is not only a Christian, but also serves as a minister, regularly taking her place on the worship team at her church.)

Yahweh, the ‘God’ of Judaism and Christianity  is believed (by those that belong to those faiths) to be on record to have said the following:

  • "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22
  • "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” Leviticus 20:13

You’d think the last thing gays would want to do is to grovel at the feet of a deity who detests what they do and wants them dead for just being who they are.

Now, I do not in any way believe that Yahweh or any kind of ‘God’ exists. But suppose, hypothetically, that Yahweh actually existed. Even so, it would be impossible for me to respect it, worship it, or grovel at its feet. I would proudly raise my head and call it a barbaric moron. I agree with Dawkins who famously said:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving, control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevent bully."

Indeed.

OK, back to Jennifer Knapp.

For now, it remains unclear how the Christian community is going to react to her revelation about her orientation.  She’s fortunate though – if she was alive 3,000 years ago record sales would have been the least of her worries:

KILL KILL KILL!!!Wait… the book of Leviticus only talks about gay men only, right?

Not so fast, you evil lesbians! Paul wrote in Romans 1:25-32:

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

So it would appear that not even lesbians will be spared from the wrath of Yahweh. Ouch. Burn, baby, buuuuurrrnnn!!

Burn, baby, buuuuurrrnnn!!Ugandans have been quite happy to use the above verses (and many others in the Bible) in their intended context to discriminate against gays and lesbians – their intolerance epitomised by attempts to introduce one of the most draconian pieces of legislation ever drafted in recent memory.

Anti Gay Demonstrations 2

Anti Gay Demonstrations in Kampala

Scott Lively

Martin Ssempa

The question is – why do many gays and lesbians continue holding to a religion, and worshipping a deity, that not only despises them, but explicitly instructs others to despise them also ?

I don’t get it.

In my February 8th post The Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the Silence of the Superstars I discussed the shocking (but not so shocking) silence of America’s ‘superstar’ evangelists with regard the proposed Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. In that post, I highlighted the amount of influence these tele-evangelists wield in Uganda:

Appeals from prominent Christian leaders all over the world to their Ugandan brethren to denounce the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill have largely fallen on deaf ears. The problem might be that those Christian leaders, while they may be significant overseas, seem to carry very little weight in the minds of Ugandan Christians – especially among the Pentecostals (whose influence extends right up to the First Lady of Uganda, whose own daughter is a pastor). So forget Rick Warren. Forget Archbishop Rowan Williams. Forget the Pope. In Uganda the Superstar Men/Women of ‘God’ are Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Rod Parsely, Paul Crouch and other TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) regulars.

For over a decade these televangelists’ programmes have been beaming straight into millions of Ugandan households on a daily basis through Lighthouse Television (LTV), the local TBN affiliate. Ugandans absolutely love these guys – especially Meyer and Hinn, whose Kampala crusades are always filled to capacity.

joyce meyer Joyce Meyer

There has been mounting pressure on Joyce Meyer and the other superstar televangelists over the last several months to speak out against this bill, and to use their influence and connections in Uganda to urge the Uganda’s leaders, as well as their followers to show love and tolerance towards Uganda’s gays and lesbians.

For a long time Joyce Meyer was reluctant to get involved in the fiasco but, finally, she has spoken out, thanks to an aggressive campaign initiated by Change.org, in which its members sent hundreds of e-mail petitions pressuring her to condemn the proposed legislation. The petition read:

Dear Joyce and Dan Meyer,

As you may know, Uganda is currently debating a bill known as The Anti-Homosexuality Act, which among other things, would create new laws in the country allowing the government to kill or imprison gays and lesbians, and imprison straight people who support gay rights.

I recognize that your ministry work rarely enters into political debates, but I also know that your work is heavily focused on humanitarian aid. There can be perhaps no greater a humanitarian struggle than preventing the potential slaughter of thousands of innocent people.

In this regard, I urge you to use your voice — a voice which is very popular in Uganda, with millions of followers — and denounce Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Many other pastors, including Rev. Rick Warren, have denounced this bill. Adding your voice to this list would only help protect and preserve human rights.

Please denounce this bill today. Neutrality in the face of a potential genocide of people, regardless of their sexual orientation, can’t be tolerated.

Thank you for your time.

Joyce Meyer Ministries issued the following statement in response on Monday, April 12th, 2010 (yesterday):

It is increasingly evident that the proposed "Anti-Homosexuality Bill" introduced in the Ugandan parliament is a profoundly offensive, dangerous and disturbing attack on the very foundation of individual liberties and human rights afforded not only to the good citizens of Uganda, but on the at-large global community.

If enacted, this hostile legislation will also further, and adversely, serve as a major setback in the global health efforts to combat Uganda’s AIDS epidemic and reduce the record-high infection rates among the country’s HIV population, an already at-risk community that could be further ostracized, threatened, and targeted as potential criminals.

Our missions and ministry message has always been to teach that the Word of God is about helping people – all people – learn that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives, not put guilt or condemnation on them.

As a global society, we do not have to agree, endorse or condone the lifestyle choices of others. However, history has taught us that we equally cannot and should not excuse those who would hide behind religion or misuse God’s word to justify bigotry and persecution.

With this statement, our motivation and intent is not to interfere with Uganda’s political agenda or internal affairs. As believers, however, we have a moral and ethical duty that compels us to speak out against injustice wherever it may be in the world.

Joyce Meyer Ministries

Bravo.

Will Benny Hinn be next? Maybe not so soon, considering the troubles he’s been encountering lately. But hey, you never know.

Ever since the horrendous Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 became a global sensation, I began following discussions regarding the bill that appeared in the worldwide blogsphere by creating a Google Alert for it. By far my most favourite blogs with regards to coverage of this bill have been Boxturtle Bulletin and Dr. Warren Throckmorton’s blog. On occasion I have left comments behind on some discussions that have ensued on those blogs.

On February 28th, 2010, Boxturtle Bulletin’s Jim Burroway posted an article titled Ugandan Religious Leaders, Human Rights Advocates to Petition Against Anti-Gay Bill in which he talked about how a group of Ugandan human rights advocates and AIDS service providers led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha, announced plans to present a petition to the Speaker and members of Parliament signed by more than half a million people around the world, opposing the egregious bill.

Among the first people to post a comment was none other than virulently homophobic Pastor Martin Ssempa, who said:

Ha Ha ha..Gideon Byamugisha a man who became famous because he got HIV/AIDS and told people that he got it!!!! Gideon is a shrill for homosexuals..an agent of colonialists and imperiealsits who have sent him with their signatures. He should be chased from our parliament and take those signatures back to his donors who bankroll his ANARELA.

I am sure he will get a per diem and that will be good for his pockets..his reputation will sink lower in the eyes of all right thinking Africans.

Other Ugandans joined the fray echoing similar homophobic sentiments. I felt compelled to say something. I posted the following comment:

Woah..many angry Ugandans posting comments today!

Thankfully, not all Ugandans are as hateful, intolerant and above all, ignorant as the homophobic mob making headlines all over the world, and posting inane comments like the ones above.

I stand proud as a Ugandan that recognizes the right of LGBT Ugandans. I cannot commend Cannon Gideon Byamugisha enough. I wish I had had the honour of placing my signature on that petition.

Several other comments were later posted by what seemed to be American readers, mainly ridiculing Ssempa (deservedly). Later another Ugandan, called James (not me!), decided to post a comment addressing me and attacking other Ugandans publicly opposed to the bill:

Oh Uganda, I love your National Anthem….it begins Oh Uganda may God uphold thee…we lay our future in thy hands……..and it goes on and on.

James Onen Fat Boy and the likes, we must stand and say yes every indigenous efforts to fight a vice which is like leprosy. Gideon Byamugisha who for long has eaten a lot of money out of sympathy for his HIV statusmust be reeducated. For long Gideon has misrepresented the nation and we the young generation cant allow such misrepresentation to go on. Fired from the Anglican Church, Sdenyonjo also called Bishop has found solace in homosexuality. I have nothing to write about this worn out man, there are no new developmental thoughts from this ageing “prelate”. I am grateful that we long committed the future of Uganda in the hands of God. That is a done deal.

Speaker Edward Ssekandi’s response to the gay sympathisers was enough to show the world our stand. Collecting more than 400,000 signatures from outside Uganda is no big deal in any way. that does not represent the thoughts of ugandans.

By the way How is Gideon’s moral stand? How did he get HIV/AIDS? Wasn’t it thru infidelity?

Rubaramira, how did he get HIV/AIDS? Wasn’t it thru raping women in the bush and infidelity? Let the truth now flow.

What followed was the most elegant rebuttal I have ever read. So elegant and sensible this rebuttal was, that it is what actually compelled me to write this post today. I want you to read what this person had to say. Responding to the above James (not me!) a commenter named TampaZeke wrote:

James, how sad the ignorance of so many of your people; how ironic, shameful and dangerous the twisted revisionist Ugandan/African history they are being taught by their foreign oppressors.

You sing your beloved national anthem about allegiance to a god that was forced upon you and you sing it proudly in the tongue of those who colonized you, ruled you, literally OWNED you all in the same breath with which you irately denounce the imposition of “Western” values on your country.

You defend your current anti-gay law as “protecting African culture from imported, pro-gay, Western, anti-African influence” all the while ignorant to, or ignoring the fact that it was ENGLAND, a WESTERN, NON-AFRICAN country that IMPOSED this COLONIAL law upon you in the first place, when you had NO law restricting homosexuality before their imposition.

You claim that Liberty and freedom of expression for UGANDA’s gay people, as it existed before your colonization, is an unwanted import from the West.

You are ignorant about, ignore or have been taught by WESTERNERS to hate the rich, historic, spirituality of Africa and the gods of your ancestors. You have for centuries been forced to adopt and worship the God of your oppressors and most recently you have become willing, yet unknowing, puppets to American fundamentalist COLONIZATION. In spite of all of this historical and contemporary fact, you manage to see your oppressors as your liberators and their western, foreign, bigoted, oppressive UN-AFRICAN laws as your Declaration of true Africanism.

The people of Uganda and Kenya are no different that any other oppressed, colonized people in history. They are submitting to the authority of foreign power, turning their backs on and even becoming hostile to their own history and culture and arts and tradition; replacing them with the values of their colonizers, their conquerors, their masters and demonizing anyone who speaks truth to the travesty.

I weep for you. I weep for all Ugandans. I weep for all Africans who are falling victim to these hateful, bigoted, Western, Africa-colonizing wolves.

May God bless Africa with the wisdom to resist the wolves who come to her shores carrying Bibles concealing daggers and crosses laced with poison.

Sinclair Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

I dare say the same is true for Uganda and Africa.

Indeed, a truly classic response to the tirade of a homophobe… minus the ‘May God bless Africa …’ part, of course.

OK, so Ugandan religious leaders also agree that Pastor Martin Ssempa was being a moron when he screened hardcore gay pornography in a church full of believers on Wednesday 17th February.

Afrik.com reports:

Anglican church senior priest, Rev Canon John Kapetwa said that showing such video in church is outrageous. “It is unbelievable that a pastor is showing Christians such videos in church. Although most of us do not support homosexuality, it is not fit to show their dirty activities to Christians in Church,” he said.

A Muslim leader in eastern Uganda, shiek Abdul Twawula said that although he is a Muslim, he is aware that a house of God of any religion should be respected. He said, “Ssempa should not show such pictures in the Church. The house of God should be respected.”

Catholic priest, Father Richard Mujumba said that it is the first time he is learning of a pornographic video being shown in church. “I have never heard about such a thing in my life. Church leaders should always think twice before taking any action. I condemn the showing of such videos in Church.”

What a moron.

Indeed he did, according to AFP.

A pastor seeking to bolster Uganda’s anti-gay laws which already make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment screened gay porn in a packed Kampala church Wednesday in a bid to drum up support.

The screening was attended by around 300 supporters crammed into an evangelical church in the Ugandan capital after plans for a “million-man march” were thwarted by police.

“We had planned to have a million-man-and-woman march in Kampala but unfortunately we were told that we could not march because of security concerns,” Martin Ssempa told the crowd.

“The major argument homosexuals have is that what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms is nobody’s business but do you know what they do in their bedrooms?,” the pastor asked.

Ssempa then displayed a slide show of gay pornographic pictures.

“This one is eating another man’s penis,” the pastor said, before going into even more graphic descriptions.

Goodness Gracious. What a moron.

Appeals from prominent Christian leaders all over the world to their Ugandan brethren to denounce the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill have largely fallen on deaf ears. The problem might be that those Christian leaders, while they may be significant overseas, seem to carry very little weight in the minds of Ugandan Christians – especially among the Pentecostals (whose influence extends right up to the First Lady of Uganda, whose own daughter is a pastor). So forget Rick Warren. Forget Archbishop Rowan Williams. Forget the Pope. In Uganda the Superstar Men/Women of ‘God’ are Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Rod Parsely, Paul Crouch and other TBN (Trinity Braodcasting Network) regulars.

For over a decade these televangelists’ programmes have been beaming straight into millions of Ugandan households on a daily basis through Lighthouse Television (LTV), the local TBN affiliate. Ugandans absolutely love these guys – especially Meyer and Hinn, whose Kampala crusades are always filled to capacity.

The radicalised politicisation of Christianity that Uganda is experiencing today is largely thanks to the efforts of the conservative Evangelical  (born-again) movement which boasts as members very highly influential people who wish to more or less turn Uganda into a theocracy. (In fact, they are the ones who gave birth to the anti-homosexuality bill.) The aforementioned televangelists wield an immense amount of influence over this community of believers, and have fairly easy access to Uganda’s Head-of-State and First Lady. In fact, Uganda’s First Lady is known to have personally invited Benny Hinn to Uganda to stage a crusade in May 2007.

Soulforce, an American social justice and civil rights organization that ‘resists religious and political oppression’ of LGBT people, seem to have latched on this very interesting fact and have written an open letter to these very televangelists, telling them that…

It is very possible that your silence on this matter will convince the people of Uganda that it is God’s will to condemn homosexuals to life imprisonment or even death by hanging. Your powerful media voices have made you superstars to Ugandans. We implore you to use your power to denounce this bill. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this time you and the Christian community behaved in the manner of love and justice rather than fulfilling the stereotype of the “liberal media” as ‘hate-filled bigots?

These superstars have power. These superstars have influence. Soulforce are therefore right. These superstar televangelists do have a responsibility to use their power and influence to encourage their flock in Uganda, especially political leaders and legislators whose respect they command, to end discrimination and violence against LGBT people.

The question remains as to whether or not they will care enough to do so.

During his speech at the start of the Uganda Conference for Science Communication in November 2008, President Museveni said, “There is need to develop enough science communication capacity of our own which can easily explain new concepts early enough to make sense to our needs.”

I have decided to heed his call.

The claims we often hear from our legislators, government officials, and our religious leaders, pertaining to the nature of homosexuality (and the purported ‘gay agenda’) come not from actual peer reviewed scientific literature – but straight out of conservative and fundamentalist Christian anti-gay propaganda books, and claims of practitioners of scientifically discredited “reparative” or “conversion” therapy.

Ever since the ‘anti-homosexuality’ conference which took place in Kampala in March 2009, the works of authors such as Richard Cohen (‘Coming Out Straight’) have been brandished as ‘evidence from authoritative sources’ that homosexuality is a disorder, and that homosexuals can become straight if they choose to. Don Schmierer of Exodus international, Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries, and Caleb Brundidge of the International Healing Foundation met with Ugandan legislators and other leaders during this same period and made presentations in which they reiterated their various theories on homosexuality – and our MPs uncritically accepted their claims as facts. Their views were heralded as views of ‘experts’, and today their words can be heard coming out of the mouths of nearly all the proponents of the Anti-homosexuality bill. Especially the words of Lively.

But just how authoritative are these individuals and organizations, and are their claims scientifically valid?

Scott Lively, by his own admission is not a medical doctor nor qualified as a psychiatrist, but merely a pastor and a lawyer. His wild, unsubstantiated claims about an imaginary ‘global gay agenda’ have fuelled public hysteria over homosexuality, leading to unjustified vilification of homosexuals all over the world. It is indeed puzzling as to how a person who claims that homosexuals were responsible for the Rwanda genocide can be taken seriously, let alone be considered an authority.

Richard Cohen, founder of the International Healing Foundation, who is often cited as an ‘expert’ by the most vocal promoters of the anti-homosexuality bill, is actually not licensed as a therapist, having been permanently expelled in 2002 from the American Counseling Association for multiple ethical violations. In a statement released on December 11th 2009, the president of the American Counseling Association wrote, regarding Richard Cohen, “.. his writings have been exposed as inflammatory and filled with erroneous facts and suppositions. His writings lack research evidence and should not be used as the basis for any public policy. ACA does not support his position or the use of his work in any way.”

In his book, “Coming Out Straight“, Cohen relies on studies carried out by Paul Cameron to promote the idea that homosexuals, among other things, have a higher propensity for sexual predation of minors. But who is Paul Cameron? Paul Cameron is an American psychologist who was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983. In 1984 the Nebraska Psychological Association issued a statement disassociating itself from what they said were “the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron”. In 1986 the American Sociological Association passed a resolution condemning Cameron for consistent misrepresentation of sociological research. In 1996, the Canadian Psychological Association disassociated itself from Cameron stating that he had “consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism”. In a revealing interview on December 8th 2009 during MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show“, Richard Cohen stated he would remove the passage in future editions of his oft-cited book “Coming Out Straight” in which he makes reference to Cameron’s studies linking homosexuality with sexual predation. This same book, containing this same flawed information, can be seen on YouTube being quoted from at the Kampala March 2009 Anti-Homosexuality conference. Paul Cameron is also cited as an expert in an article appearing on the Uganda Media Centre website titled “Homosexuality: We Can Still Avoid Foreign Bad Press.”

It is quite remarkable that these individuals, and their organisations, whose works are being touted as authoritative science – actually lack any credibility in the scientific community of certified professionals in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, sociology, pediatrics and counseling. What is even more remarkable is that Uganda’s scientific community isn’t making this known to our policy makers and the general public, whose views on homosexuality are being shaped by this bad science from individuals devoid of credible expertise.

THE SCIENTIFIC CONSENUS:

Below is a summary of the consensus views of actual certified experts and scientists relevant to the subject of sexual orientation. Their views are based on empirical research whose results are published in respected peer-reviewed scientific journals:

On whether homosexuality is a mental disorder

According to the American Psychological Association (the major professional organisation representing certified psychologists in the United States, with about 150,000 members):

“…research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder.”

On whether sexual orientation is a choice

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (the main professional organisation of psychiatrists in the United Kingdom with 15,000 members):

“It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice.”

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (with approximately 60,000 members who include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists. More than 34,000 members are board-certified):

“The mechanisms for the development of a particular sexual orientation remain unclear, but the current literature and most scholars in the field state that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice; that is, individuals do not choose to be homosexual or heterosexual. “

On whether homosexuality as an orientation can be ‘unlearned’

The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association (the main professional organization of psychiatrists, in the USA – with 38,000 members), and National Association of Social Workers (a professional organization of social workers in the United States – with 150,000 members) state:

“Sexual orientation has proved to be generally impervious to interventions intended to change it, which are sometimes referred to as ‘reparative therapy.’ No scientifically adequate research has shown that such interventions are effective or safe.”

The Royal College of Psychiatrists states that:

“There is no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. “The best evidence for efficacy of any treatment comes from randomised clinical trials and no such trial has been carried out in this field.”

The Australian Psychological Society (the professional association established to represent psychologists in Australia – with over 15,000 members) acknowledges:

“..the lack of scientific evidence for the usefulness of conversion therapy.”

The view on the general immutability of sexual orientation was also reiterated by the US Surgeon General David Satcher in a statement released on July 9th 2001 titled, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behaviour” . In it, he stated:

“..there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”

It is therefore interesting that one of the adjustments being proposed to the current bill is making “reparative therapy” mandatory for convicted homosexuals. Claims of practitioners of so-called conversion, or reparative, therapy such as Exodus International, NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), and Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation have been called into question by mainstream scientists, and are not considered to be validated by peer reviewed research. In fact, it has instead been found that such therapy is detrimental to the individuals that are subjected to them, and is therefore not advised. By endorsing forced “reparative” therapy for Ugandans who are homosexuals, they will go down in history as legislators who endorsed pseudo-science. Incidentally, both Exodus and NARTH, the world’s foremost practitioners of conversion therapy are opposed to forced therapy, so to whom do the advocates of the bill intend to send the homosexuals for ‘rehabilitation’? Even its so-called ‘experts’ want nothing to do with such an idea.

Conclusion

The view that homosexuality is a “mental disorder”, or claims that “homosexuality is learned, and can be unlearned” (as the Bahati bill boldly declares) are thus completely unscientific. The proponents of such fringe views have failed to validate their claims through the scientific peer-review process, as is required by all scientists who intend to have their work taken seriously.

Of course, anti-gay religious groups and gay conversion ministries are usually quick to dismiss the scientific consensus on sexual orientation as biased. Many reading this article will probably try to convince themselves that some kind of sinister “international gay agenda” controls all the scientific research institutions of the world, therefore the view of scientists cannot be trusted. On any other day such a silly conspiracy theory should evoke laughter among those that are sensible, but in today’s Uganda, where such silly conspiracy theories have found a more than receptive audience and led to the tabling of one of the most inhumane pieces of legislation ever drafted, the joke stopped being funny a long time ago.

Homosexuals will always exist, and will always be among us. It is not true that they are all defilers, and we are yet to be presented with any verifiable evidence of organised, systematic recruitment. In Uganda, incidences of defilement of girls are rampant, but no sensible person claims that hetero-sexuality is the crime – the crime is defilement. Likewise, even if there are cases of defilement of boys by men (whose numbers pale in comparison to that of defiled girls), it does not mean homosexuality is the crime. The crime, also, is defilement. Many homosexuals and lesbians are kind, loving people who contribute positively to our society. The sooner we accepted this fact, and learnt to be tolerant of them, the better.

Therefore, not only should the egregious Anti-Homosexuality bill be scrapped -it is also high time homosexuality is decriminalised all together.

Freethought Kampala

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