Uganda journalist Godfrey Maganda, http://www.garoweonline.com/, recently asked to contribute stories to Gay South Florida about gay life in his country. Here's Maganda's first report:
Gays at war with Uganda government
BY GODFREY MAGANDA
The government of Uganda has advised homosexuals who can not drop the homosexual habits to migrate to countries where the practice is acceptable.
Gays and Lesbians in Uganda have been in lime-light for the last two weeks since they held a press conference in Kampala advocating for their rights and requesting for recognition by government.
They want the government to revoke the law against homosexuality which they say renders them to live like outlaws. According to the constitution of Uganda homosexuality is illegal and whoever is caught in the act is liable to be punished with imprisonment of between 2 to 10 years.
Their press conference sparked of protest demonstrations by religious leaders and moralists saying that homosexuals had no place in Uganda. They carried placards reading that, 'Uganda is a religious country with no place for Homosexuals.'
The Ugandan minister of ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo, said,'' I advise them to migrate to other countries because their acts are shameful ,abominable and unGodly. My view is that of the majority of Ugandans. The view is clear that their acts are not accepted in our society. They are wasting their time that they are advocating for their rights.''
Buturo said that the law is clear that homosexuality is illegal. He said. ''If God is against homosexuality ,who are we to legislate for it? We would be bringing a curse on Uganda.''
But the leader of homosexuals in Uganda ,Victor Mukasa said that gays have absolute rights. She said,'' It is unfortunate that even the government minister Buturo who is supposed to uphold the constitution by protecting our human rights has joined the religious leaders and other people to condemn us. We are human beings and have a right to belong to society.''
The government says that it is ready to help those who are ready to leave the homosexual way of life. Minister Buturo said '' As government we shall do everything possible to help them change and those who don't want to change would be arrested.''
Uganda government also accused some organizations in developed countries which support gays and lesbians in Uganda. He said that they give them a lot of money to promote the vice in the country.
He said that some developed countries have appealed to the government to let the homosexuals live freely in Uganda but that can not be accepted. He said,'' We shall not act under pressure from donor countries. It is nonsense to say that homosexuality is natural .''
However, homosexuals in Uganda continue to appeal to the public and government to let them exercise their freedom to live the way they want.
Their coordinator, James Bibingi said, '' I want the public and government to know that we are not criminals because we are not raping or defiling anybody. We are having relationships with people who have the same feelings like us, people who are attracted to others of same sex. That is not crime. The government is harassing us for nothing.''
The homos have appealed to the international community, especially developed countries that donate to Uganda to come to their rescue.