In the last few years, we have seen a trend in leaders from around the world strongly denouncing homosexuality as something unsavory and intolerable. Although, it is certain these sentiments have existed for eons, it is only in recent times that we are seeing such a public “wagging of the finger” and show of disgust for the gay community. From Ahmadinejad’s denials and alleged executions, to Putin’s implications that gays are “evil,” to the recent Ugandan President’s anti-gay legislation – it’s becoming clear that our Western way of tolerance is an increasing threat to these much less progressive countries. Why? That is the question…
As our country leads the way in equality for the gay community (although we ourselves have a ways to go), it’s almost as if a backlash of fear has been created. With every gay marriage that is performed, you can almost hear hate mongers, conservatives, and religious extremists from all over the globe cringe just a little bit.
Perhaps, this is ultimately a good thing. Maybe correcting this point of view that, somehow, homosexuality is something to be fought as opposed to tolerated, can only come about through ousting those with such extreme and clearly hateful ideals. In the meantime, what is happening in Uganda is not good news for the gay community directly being affected by this surprising new bill just signed today by President Yoweri Museveni. This piece of….“legislation” calls for the incarceration of homosexuals for life and threatens to punish sympathizers.
What is Museveni’s rationale for these sudden new laws? Well, of course, there is not necessarily any rationale when regarding one’s beliefs, especially if they are rooted in religion. In fact, in that region of Africa, Evangelical Christianity happens to be surging with popularity. However, in listening to Yoweri’s explanations for such a radical decision, one can’t help but wonder if he, along with being hateful, is also a bit senile or deranged.
According to the Ugandan President, homosexuals are actually heterosexuals, specifically engaging in oral sex for money. Hmmm… Moreover, he seems only to be pointing his rage towards gay men and not women. For, how can men be attracted to other men as opposed to “all these beautiful women”? What about straight women – are they wrong for their own attractions? Are lesbians A-OK in his book? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time a straight male persecuted gay men while fantasizing about “chicks” getting it on with each other. Finally, he apparently believes that oral sex leads to “worms” of some kind entering one’s stomach. Worms? What kind of worms? Big worms? Small worms? Killer worms? Does he mean sperm?
The fact is intolerance and ignorance is nothing new. What is new is the intensity with which other countries are defining their anti-gay policies, as a way of almost defying the Western way of life. Our country is not guiltless when it comes to sticking our nose in foreign affairs. We have invaded, imposed, and simply annoyed the rest of the world time and time again. That alone could have more to do with this enhanced trend of hate than anything else. These countries have found a way to say: “shove off” without completely cutting ties – at least, not yet. Unfortunately, it’s at the expense of their very own people.
The Western world has been warned by Museveni not to interfere with his new policies. However, the way in which we choose to look at this situation is truly a matter of perception. If we regard the world as one group of human beings – as opposed to a bunch of separate entities – then are we meddling in others’ affairs or are we just looking out for our own?
Editorial by Josh Taub
The Huffington Post