Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Is Homophobia Really a Ugandian Value?

After reading some of the despicable comments left on the edition of the BBC's Have Your Say asking "Should homosexuals face execution?" (see previous post on this here and my complaint to the BBC here).

This "brilliant" piece of investigative journalism comes in the context of the debate around Uganda's proposed bill that would have enshrined death penalty for homosexual acts in law and also encourage people to snitch on others for fear of being prosecuted themselves. Although it seems that the people involved are now backing down and will remove the death penalty element from the bill in favour of "a more refined set of punishments".

Without going into what is wrong with the very fact that the BBC should feel it appropriate to ask such question - Should blacks face execution?, Should Jews face execution? - I would like to answer one of the recurrent arguments I have seen (not just on the BBC's site) in that debate in response to the international negative reactions and pressure to the bill. Sign a petition here.

The argument is that Ugandians (and Africans) should not allow western values to dictate what they do in their country. Fair enough BUT - and what a big but this is - things are not that simple.

This is forgetting the fact that influence from right-wing American christian groups has been clearly exposed and established in the creation of this bill.

More profoundly though, what those people seem to forget when they claim that they hatred of homosexuality is rooted in traditional african values is that it is in fact rooted in Christian values and that those values are another product of western influence, via colonisation.

So one is left to wonder is if homophobia really is a Ugandian value or are the supporters of the bill simply trying to have their cake and eat it.

Sadly it seems that some people in Rwanda have been inspired by the Ugandian bill.


  1. The discussion topic was a real Bill to kill gays. No such Bill is under discussion regards blacks or Jews, so the Ugandan Bill is a legitimate topic of discussion on the BBC.

  2. It certainly is but not in the terms the BBC chose to word the first time round (the second wording is appropiate).


Please leave your comment here. Note that comments are moderated and only those in French or in English will be published. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and to leave a thought.