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Baird battles Ugandan politician over gay rights

Baird battles Ugandan politician over gay rights

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Rebecca Kadaga decries minister's 'promotion of homosexuality'
A war of words has erupted between Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and a representative of the Ugandan government over the issue of gay rights.
 
Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, admonished the Canadian government Oct 25 in front of the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in Quebec City. She styled Baird’s support for gay rights as a colonial attitude aimed at “forcing the people of Uganda to embrace homosexuality.”
 
The administration of President Yoweri Museveni has been chided repeatedly for its positions on gay rights. His government has established some of the world’s most strongly worded anti-gay legislation, including one bill that – if passed – would establish the death penalty for homosexual Ugandans. Baird condemned Uganda’s anti-gay legislation this week in an address to the conference.
 
Kadaga made her remarks during a three-minute reply to Baird’s speech to the delegations. She addressed the controversy over one piece of legislation that was introduced in her parliament – which has been dubbed the “Kill the Gays” bill – saying “I will not stop the private member’s bill from going ahead.”
 
Her nearly four-minute speech was met with a smattering of applause from the attendees, who come from parliamentary democracies worldwide.
 
“On behalf of the Uganda delegation and the people of Uganda, I protest in the strongest terms the arrogance exhibited by the foreign minister of Canada,” Kadaga told the plenary during the opening session, “who spent his entire presentation attacking Uganda and promoting homosexuality.
 
“I was not aware that we had been invited here to promote homosexuality,” she said.
 
Kadaga was reacting to Baird's pointed criticism of the Ugandan government.
 
In his speech, Baird decried countries that still have laws criminalizing homosexuality, especially those that are enforced and carry "draconian punishment and unspeakable violence."
 
Baird cited the example of David Kato, a Ugandan gay rights activist who was bludgeoned to death in his home. Meanwhile, Kadaga said Kato’s death was “a crime of passion,” echoing her government’s line that Kato was killed by a male sex worker who he had not paid.
 
But Baird took the more common line that Kato “faced constant death threats because of his work and sexual orientation,” adding that a Ugandan newspaper published a picture of Kato, along with other homosexuals, with the headline “Hang them.”
 
Baird acknowledged that bringing up such an example brought “the discomfort of the people sitting across the table.” Undaunted, he proclaimed that “Canada will speak out.”
 
He called on Uganda, and countries that have similar laws, to repeal them and “protect its people regardless of sex, sexuality or faith.”
 
He shrugged off Kadaga’s comments in a scrum later in the day. “Sometimes the truth hurts,” he told reporters.
 
Nova Scotia Senator Donald Oliver, the president of the Canadian IPU group, chaired the IPU meeting. While he can’t recall the specifics of Kadaga’s comments, he says that the document the IPU is drafting – the Quebec Declaration – has “rubbed some the wrong way.”
 
It is focusing on establishing “rules and procedure for advancing tolerance,” especially in the fields of linguistic and cultural matters – which includes rights for sexual minorities. Some delegations have “difficulties with that kind of language,” Oliver says.
 
While some may object, Oliver is optimistic that “most parliaments . . . will accept those principles.”
 
The draft version of the declaration is set to be published Oct 26. Xtra is following this story.  

In the video below Victor Mukasa speaks about the corrective rape he endured while living in Uganda. 
 
 
  

Comments

On Hatred.
It appears you Ugandan's have failed to learn the lessons of history. As a citizen of another country, I would not "impose" acceptance of homosexuality on your nation (as if I could!). Nonetheless when you pass a law to impose life imprisonment and death on a vulnerable and marginalized group, essentially disowning your fellow citizens, you have crossed a moral line; you follow in the footsteps of the Nazis. There is no religious justification you can make for this kind of behavior, it goes against the very spirit of Christianity. I can assure you as a Canadian citizen I will be doing everything I can to pressure my government to cut off humanitarian aid, trade and diplomatic relations with this regime. If Uganda wants to follow this path, let them do so alone, and let all reasonable, charitable people stand against them.
Not imported, not promoted. Just is.
To the Ugandans who have remarked here, I'm glad you've chosen to communicate with Canadians, Americans, and others around the world. But there is a problem with your argument that cannot be denied. There are LGBTI Ugandans and there always have been. Your history tells this story clearly. As does your present. I have met and befriended many of your LGBTI sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, lawyers, teachers, government officials, and doctors...the list goes on. These individuals do not wish to remake African or Ugandan society -- they are, in fact, African/Ugandan. But the do wish to live without fear and with the same rights enjoyed by their fellow citizens. I respect Ugandans and I respect Africans; I've learned so much from my time here and my exchange with you. And I hope that you are wiser, more compassionate and accepting than those other countries -- namely, we in the West -- who only recently came to see more clearly. This situation could easily change, and you could be the leader in that development on the African continent, Uganda. Just by independently embracing and acknowledging what has always been.
Jason Kenney & John Baird for PM
The Conservatives deliver again. As long as these African savages are on our welfare tab, they'll do what the West damn well tells them. The gutless Canadian left never stood up to black African homophobes.
one more thing
Canada gives roughly $46,000,000 in foreign aid to Uganda. That gives us plenty of right to tell you what your values should be. If you don't like it, quit taking our money. Until then try to learn something from a country that in every measure is superior.
A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE
Stella and Glioma, gay rights are human rights, just as the rights of women and the rights of visible minorities. So sad that LGBT people in your country feel so afraid to love each other, because of irrational hatred towards them. LGBT people aren't interested in eating your children or stopping you from marrying your straight partner. We are only interested in the same rights as everyone else: housing, a job, education, freedom from violence and injustice. It is that simple. Gay people are not a phenomenon of "developed countries", "former colonies," "The West" or any other racist term you may choose. LGBT people are everywhere on the planet, unfortunately so are ignorance, hatred, prejudice and stupidity.
Gay news is my news
Gay news is my news, Stella. Go read your bible and judge not.
Uganda making news in Canada, it seems
And it does seem that Ugandan news is keenly followed in Canada by people like JR.
Widely read in Uganda, it seem
Xtra is widely read in Uganda, it seems. And populated by people with names like Ken and Stella. Convenient.
Uganndans are not backword
This is to inform all those who think like the Canadian minister who attacked our Uganda that, Ugandans have their culture and homos are not part of it. (PERIOD). Please understand that you so called developed CANADA. If Modernity is to be a homo, please we beg you leave us to be backward and that’s it. No one has ever killed a homo, No want will kill a homo in Uganda; Kato was killed just because he refused to pay for the services of his fellow homo. What Ugandans don’t like is to legalize the homo thing in our society. We can’t let our young generation be indoctrinated by the so called developed Canada. Please rest your case.If Obama backed off, back off too
Values
Dear Canadians, What the speaker of Uganda said was that each country and society has it's own values that it stands by. Homosexuality is not one of our values in Uganda, simply understand that! It is not something we accept. If in Canada you choose to do so, don't dare think that the rest of the world will do. And Mike, if polygamy, corruption, etc are still happening in Uganda it still does not make it right. AIDS, in Uganda we are living positively with it. Poverty?? If you are so rich and got all u need, what explains the high suicide cases you've got? You just haven't discovered how so rich we are in our 'poverty'. Anyway back to the point, Canada will not define Uganda's values. We are people enough to know what is acceptable to us and just to let you know this is not IGNORANCE.

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