Kate Bukulu Sman is a Humanist from Uganda. Here we talk about the anti-LGBTI bill with an emphasis on the gay community.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: The titled “kill the gay” bill from Uganda received some news attention, recently. What is the start of the bill, this narrative?
Kate Bukulu Sman: It is claimed by some gay rights advocates that around 500,000 people in Uganda or 1.4 percent of its population are gay. The existing laws criminalize LGBTI people with prison sentences lasting up to 14 years.
The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 was overturned by the constitutional court because it includes the death penalty on a technicality in 2014.
The government is now reintroducing the same bill to criminalize LGBTI people and curb the promotion of homosexuality among youths as it is alleged by the Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo.
Jacobsen: What has been the admixture of responses from the public?
Sman: About 90 percent of our population is homophobic because they think homosexuality is evil and it is worrying that the bill is very popular among the population.
How can the secular and freethought community throughout the world provide some additional coverage on the facets of this bill: Creating anti-homophobic campaigns and awareness of LGBT rights in Uganda. The International uproar is very important in resisting this draconian bill.
Jacobsen: What is the important inflection point for the LGBTI community in Uganda.
Sman: LGBTI community activists are lobbying for human rights, especially when the LGBTI people are living in fear.
Jacobsen: Many in the west may not realize the number of humanist communities and organizations in Uganda in contrast to much of the African region, especially North Africa.
How is this one of the key African nations to fight for and entrench secular values and humanistic principles of governance?
Sman: Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in the region is the worst. In Uganda, evangelicals have spread the gospel of hate against the sexual minorities of Uganda. People believe it is inhuman to be gay.
Jacobsen: What are the humanist communities doing there now?
Sman: Of course the humanist communities are playing a big role in educating the masses to live life based on reason and science, not superstitions and believing religious fallacies.
Jacobsen: What are the major hurdles legally and politically to defeating this violence implying and human rights violating and equality destroying bill?
Sman: Most politicians use this bill as strategy for political capital.
Jacobsen: Any recommended organizations or contacts for talking more thoroughly and learning about this?
Sman: Dr. Frank Mugisha: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +256 772616062.
Director: Sexual Minorities Uganda.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Kate
Sman: You are welcome, the pleasure is mine.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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