Melanie Nathan; Feb 27, 2011.
A protest will be held in Johannesburg today regarding the visit to South Africa by David Bahati, the author of the Ugandan gay-death bill.
According to the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP), Bahati will be the country to take part in a television panel discussion debating gay rights on the continent, filmed by the BBC.
I am disturbed that the South African government has allowed this man entry into the Country to debate the issue that they have failed to lead on, especially in relation to Bahati. According to South Africa, the only debate should be between its own people – to enhance and serve its own democracy, that is if the subject were debatable at all. To give this monstrous position a voice on Television – where ever it may be shown – on South African soil, belies the protection the South African Constitution affords South African gays and lesbians.
Bahati, a born again Christian, is the MP for the constituency of Ndorwa West and is a member of Uganda’s ruling party.His Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which remains pending in Uganda’s parliament, would impose the death penalty on anyone who has consensual and safe sex with an HIV positive person or if found repeatedly guilty of “homosexual acts”.
He has also played a key role in inciting the ongoing anti-gay climate in Uganda which many believe led to the recent murder of activist David Kato. He has also had many conversations with me and is unable to redeem his thoughts on the criminalization of homosexuality and lesbians. He is a dangerous man who spews lies about gays – his voice should not be heard because its is based purely on lies that go contrary to the science of homosexuality.
Let me preempt his talk, He will try and make you believe that gays are recruiting Children in the schools into and I quote “the homosexual lifestyle.” This is not a possibility. One cannot recruit homosexuals. One is either gay or not; science has proven this fact. Bahati’s stance is at the behest of USA right wing evangelical Christians, who are losing the battle against gay equality in the USA and hence have taken it into Africa, where scapegoating would be a tactic that may feasibly generate their misconceived hate- obviating a deterrence from the real problems in Africa; such as Rape as a weapon against men and women, Pedophilia by straight men, poverty, torture and HIV /AIDS.
He will also say that homosexuality can be cured and that gays and lesbians should redeem themselves and denounce being gay- as if it were a choice.
LGEP called on activists, ozrganisations and concerned individuals in Gauteng to join the protest.
“Bahati must be held personally responsible for the murder of Kato and the ongoing persecution of many others in Uganda simply on the basis of their sexuality and gender identity,” said LGEP.
It added: “This is a picket to send one clear message to Bahati, a message he must keep with him whilst in Johannesburg, in Uganda and everywhere he goes for the rest of his life! We say to Bahati: We are all David Kisule Kato! We are all Ugandan queers! We are queer, African and proud!”
The picket will take place outside the recording studios of Urban Brew, on 28 Harley Street, Ferndale, from 11.30am to 3.30pm on Sunday, 27 February.
The organizers added that the picket is not against the BBC or the producers of the show.
It is time for President Zuma to recall known homophobe SA Ambassador to Uganda Jon Qwelane from Uganda and set the stage for the very leadership that our hero Nelson Mandela anticipated of a Parliament of the ANC and an all inclusive constitution.