By this, I am referring to the BBC poll that asked whether homosexuals should face execution, commenting on the situation in Uganda – who are voting on whether homosexuality should be ‘punished’ by death. Of corse they shouldn’t, and opening the question up provides legitimacy to the idea that it is a right question to even be asking. Imagine asking if it is ok for jews to face execution? – I am sure that wouldn’t even cross the minds of the BBC to ask.
The editor of the BBC website, David Stead said:
“We agree it is a stark and challenging question, but think that it accurately focuses on and illustrates the real issue at stake. If Uganda’s MPs vote to proceed with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, they will bring legislation that could condemn people to death for some homosexual activities.”
This misrepresents the need of debate however. Yes, debate is needed, but only debate around how to STOP this. Discussion even tending to support it should not be given the air to breath. It is simply disgusting to toy with the suggestion of whether homosexuals should be executed. On what premise do heterosexual people have to say that homosexuals should be killed? Absolutely none. Sexuality is a social construction, it is not some innate force – sexual acts and sexual identities are social constructed. What harm is homosexuality doing to the people of Uganda? Absolutely none, except from necessary blurring of the distinctions between ‘natural’ and ‘peversive’ sexaultiy. The BBC poll risks undermining the advances that people such as Peter Tatchell have actually put their life in danger to achieve (Tatchell has recently had to pull out of being a Green candidate due to brain injuries sustained campaigning on issues such as anti – homophobia in countries such as Zimbabwe and Russia).
The bill specifically proposes:
“the death penalty for those having gay sex with anyone under 18, or while infected with HIV/Aids, or with someone who is disabled, or for being “a serial offender”. Stating that “same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic” (taken from The Times.)
The discussions around sexuality being ‘innate’ relates to my comments above. Furthermore, there is further discrimination within the bill against those with AIDS and those who are disabled. The AIDS = homosexual rhetoric is clear, which is something our society has not successfully eradicated either (such as how gay men are unable to give blood, for example).
Trying to justify the bill, Uganda’s ‘Ethics and Intergrity’ (how ironic) minister claims that:
“I do understand in [the west's] case homosexuality is normal but here it is totally repugnant, it is repulsive, it’s not something you would want to do if you have your normal faculties functioning. But there you are, in other societies it is different.”
His ‘justification’ can be used clearly to highlight their flaws in their ‘innate’ argument. If heterosexuality was so ‘innate’, then why would homosexuality be a common practice amongst all societies? What would he do if his daughter or son (if he has any) was homosexual? Would he freely kill them?
And if that wasn’t enough, Rwanda are also set to hold a vote of whether to criminalise “”[a]ny person who practices, encourages or sensitises people of the same sex, to sexual relation or any sexual practice.” Where is the world going? I have several gay friends and to think of them being executed and criminalised for liking the same sex, makes me sick. The vote is supposedly occurring today, i have had a look around and have found nothing of yet, so i can only assume the debate is still taking place.
I would love there to be an easy way to produce an international law to protect people’s rights, not only homosexuals, but all minorities and majorities basic human rights. To hear talks of killing homosexuals is scary. I seriously hope that the bill will not pass, if not, I feel intervention by the UN for example, will need to be stronger then just saying they will stop building an AIDS research centre in Uganda. The international community would have to act tought to stop the inhumane killing of innocent people.