Exporting hatred

What do gay horses eat? Haaaaay! What do lesbian horses eat? HAY! Sound ridiculous, or just silly? Well recently, three evangelical Christians armed with just as ridiculous logic influenced Uganda into endorsing similar stereotypes-legally.

What do gay horses eat? Haaaaay! What do lesbian horses eat? HAY! Sound ridiculous, or just silly? Well recently, three evangelical Christians armed with just as ridiculous logic influenced Uganda into endorsing similar stereotypes-legally.

Their motives, means and methods have influenced the latest opposition on gay rights in Uganda. It is only fair to say that the three evangelical Christians who traveled to the sub-Saharan country to do a series of anti-gay talks should be held responsible, at least, to change what they caused.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda. The consequence for being homosexual is incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. On Oct. 13, 2009, Uganda proposed an Anti-Homosexual Bill that would, if enacted, expand the criminalization of homosexuality by introducing the death penalty for people who have been previously convicted, are HIV positive or those who engage in same-sex acts with people under 18 years of age.

The bill also includes provisions for those living in Uganda but engage in homesexual relations outside of the country, consequently being extradited back to Uganda to face charges. In addition to that, the bill also includes penalties for any individuals, companies, media organizations and NGOs that suppoort LGBT rights.

As noted by many different newspapers such as The New York Times and San Francisco Gate, the proposed legislation has been heavily influenced by three American evangelicals who traveled to Uganda. Thousands of Ugandans, including politicians, police officers and teachers, listened to the evangelicals. They spoke in a series of talks over three days about ways to make gay people straight, how gay men sodomize teenage boys and how the ‘gay movement is an evil institution.’

An evil institution? Ways to make gay people straight? Quite frankly, I am disappointed in the lack of new stereotypes anti-gay people come up with. What happened to casting gays and lesbians as threatening, sexualized or socially deviant? Or claiming that they carry AIDS and are very eager to seduce heterosexuals?

Sadly, gay rights opponents like Scott Lively, one of the three evangelicals who spoke in Uganda, are running out of things to say. People like him invoked these stereotypes from the early years of the gay rights debate about whether or not it is biological to be homosexual or if it is a choice people make. It didn’t work here, so Lively took it to Uganda.

For example, an article titled ‘Whose Rights? Public Opinion about Gays, Lesbians, and Homosexuality,’ written by Paul R. Brewer, claims that ‘anti-gay activist who opposed military service by gays and lesbians often invoked the ‘seducer’ stereotype through ‘images of shared pup tents and showers.’ Likewise, they invoked the ‘diseased’ stereotype through such specters as ‘gay bowel syndrome.’

It is no wonder why the three evangelicals used the same anti-gay rhetoric as all anti-gay activists to obtain what they originally went to Uganda for.

Some residents of Portland may remember Lively from an incident reported in the Portland Mercury in 1991, where he kicked out lesbian Catherine Stauffer from an Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) event. Stauffer was eventually awarded a monetary judgement of $31,000 in a suit against Lively and the OCA.

Lively, along with Kevin E. Abrams, co-authored the book The Pink Swastika, a book based on supposed links between homosexuals and the Nazi Party. Ironically, the title of the book runs alongside the historical pink triangle that was used in Nazi Germany to identify gays as its symbol and the words ‘Silence = Death’ as its motto.

Although the evangelicals who went to Uganda have since expressed disappointment with the Ugandan legislation, The Box Turtle Bulletin reports that Lively has also been quoted admiring the results of his anti-homosexuality campaign in Uganda, stating ‘our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the ‘gay’ agenda in Uganda.’

A nuclear bomb? The only nuclear bomb here is the one that could very possibly becoming our way because of the close-minded ex-President Bush, who has people like Lively in his entourage of supporters. The sad thing is that people who go about spreading propoganda like this don’t even realize that it isn’t so much about gender as it is about civil rights, a concept that we should be exporting instead of hate.

Do you really think that homosexuals are so different from heterosexuals that they must not even be human? No. It’s about civil rights. Homosexuals want housing, food and water. And they too care about the war, marriage and adoption. They care about discrimination and they care about health care.

What Lively and his cohorts may not understand is that, despite their views, homosexuals are still human and as we believe here in the United States, all humans have unalieanable rights. If I can get freedoms under the Constitution, why can’t they?