Oh dear, what a fine mess to add to the confusion.
Back in December last year, the nauseous, fit-only-for-wiping-your-arse-with, tabloid Red Pepper did one of its regular exposes, this time on a leading Ugandan football coach, Chris Mubiru. So graphic and hate-filled was the expose, that members of the LGBTI community feared for their safety more than a week later:
Friends stand warned look out for your security people are ganging up to attack those who look like or they suspect to be Homosexuals so pals please your security first. After the Executive Director of Uganda Media Center Fred Opolot said they are looking for chris mubiru
Now, news has just broken:
Whereas we can all agree that Red Pepper is a noxious waste of rainforest, this all leads to a slightly bigger issue. As one blogger points out:
Both defilement – having sexual relations with a minor – and homosexuality are crimes according to Ugandan law.
The problem being that Uganda has very little (let's say no) grasp (at all) on the distinction between someone who abuses children (a paedophile) and a gay person (a gay person).
This is at the heart of a lot of the bubbling, ignorant hatred that's spewing over in support of the Bahati Bill. People honestly can't tell the difference, to the extent that it seems many people deliberately don't want to.
Trying to compensate for the chant 'all gays are peodophiles,' there is a danger that gay rights campaigners might jump on the opposite bandwagon of 'Mubiru is only being persecuted because he is gay!'
He is being persecuted, there's no doubt about that.
But at this point in time, we can't be entirely sure why.
To put it very simply, in terms even David Bahati might be able to understand:
- Being gay is fine.
- Molesting children is not.
And, if you're following so far, the crucial lesson:
- Being gay does not mean that you are any more likely to molest children than straight people.
I don't think we can put it any more simply than that, yet we're fairly certain some people still won't get it.
Anyway, whereas it's good to support Mubiru if he is being persecuted for being gay, it is also worth keeping an eye on the story, and any independently verified facts, to see whether that is the entirety of the situation.