- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on kissing boy,
- Australia court strikes down 5-day-old, gay-marriage law
- Fake interpreter at Mandela service: ‘Sorry,’ I have schizophrenia
- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Creator of ‘Selfies at Funerals’ blog retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
Advocacy of gay rights unwelcome in Uganda
Move to ban NGOs called a diversion
Question of the Day
KAMPALA, Uganda — The Ugandan government is seeking to ban 38 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that it accuses of promoting homosexuality — a move that critics say aims to divert attention from the administration’s political troubles.
“I have investigated and established beyond reasonable doubt that these NGOs have been involved in the promotion and recruitment in terms of the [gay] issues,” Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, and has been the focal point of violent attacks. In February, a lawmaker reintroduced legislation that would have imposed the death penalty for “serial” offenders.
Mr. Lokodo, a former Catholic priest, has submitted to the Internal Affairs Ministry a confidential list of local and international groups to be investigated and subsequently banned. He accuses some NGOs of conspiring with foreign backers to recruit children into homosexuality.
According to the Ugandan weekly newspaper the Observer, a leaked portion of the list includes the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law, the Refugee Law Project, the Rainbow and Diversity Organization, the Angel Support Group, Trans Equality Uganda and the Rainbow Foundation Mbarara.
The partial list could not be independently verified.
The move to ban the NGOs was made during sharply declining support for the government and power struggles within the administration.
An Afrobarometer poll in March found that Ugandans’ approval of President Yoweri Museveni’s government had fallen to 26 percent, from 64 percent in January 2011.
Meanwhile, news outlets reported late last month that Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi are angling to unseat the 68-year-old president, who has been in power for 26 years.
“This campaign against sexual minorities is meant to shift attention from the challenges this country is facing and the issues affecting day-to-day lives,” said Hassan Shire, executive director of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.
NGOs have become more vocal and critical amid the government’s increasing reliance on patronage to retain power, massive unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and violent crackdowns on journalists and activists.
Late last month, Internal Affairs Minister Hillary Onek accused NGOs of “stabbing the government in its back” for criticizing the government’s brand of politics and urged the groups to stick to humanitarian work.
The anti-gay fervor in Uganda peaked early last year, when the international community threatened to withdraw financial support if the legislature approved a bill that would have made it illegal to rent property to a homosexual and would have required citizens to report to police people they suspect of being gay or else risk a fine or prison sentence.
The bill was reintroduced in February, but it will not contain the death penalty clause when it is brought to parliament for a vote, likely later this year, according to its sponsor, lawmaker David Bahati.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow