Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Africa: First Do No Harm

Governments have always had a grubby habit of getting involved in their citizens' sex lives. But it is relatively new to see sexuality as part of foreign policy. In the past few months we have watched the peculiar spectacle of Russia and the United States transposing their geopolitical antagonisms onto a struggle over gay rights in Russia. Now, Ugandan leaders are using homophobia to pursue anti-imperialist politics, while Western leaders are painting their criticism of this as indicative of their concern for human rights. But neither posture is genuine. There are two truths in this sad tale: mutual hypocrisy and the victimisation of Uganda's LGBTQ community...

David Schneider, Independent Voices.

But sit back and watch as certain gay media and 'campaigners' now forget all about 'uncivilised' Russia, and start obsessing over 'backwards' Africa...
These people don't play by our rules! etc etc.
Let's see how many pro-gay progressive voices from Africa are quoted.
Oh, and President Museveni doesn't give a hoot if you sign a silly online petition...

Presumably in the interest of balance, Independent Voices have also published this daft piece of knee-jerkery; LGBT Ugandans are facing a crisis - what action will the UK take?

What's also worrying are the comments from Mr Museveni's spokesman when he made the announcement this morning [Monday]. The president, he disclosed, did not opt to quietly sign the bill over the weekend, while the world was distracted by the revolution in Ukraine. Instead, he wanted "the full witness of the international media to demonstrate Uganda's independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation".

In other words, this is no longer just about gay rights, in Mr Museveni's view, but about the West lecturing an African country on how to run its internal affairs, in this case on a matter of sensitive sexual morality...

The new issue of Uganda's Red Pepper
PS African LGBT campaigners queue up to condemn Peter Tatchell's interventions as dishonest, unhelpful, patronising, counter-productive... Follow @TatchellWatch


  1. "a matter of sensitive sexual morality..."

    If a British government introduced an anti-gay bill and defended its right to do so on the above 'justification', would you be so willing to accept to accept such a bigoted excuse?

    If you won't defend unequivocally other people's right to enjoy the same fundamental rights you yourself have, by what moral logic do you claim such rights for yourself at all?

    Your moral relativism is always from a convenient point of personally being all right jack, from which you jeer at those who believe everyone else should have those rights, and you make saracastic excuses for those who would deny them to LGBT people in other countries. If you just came out and admitted your view of human rights is purely selfish and hierarchical, that would be one thing, but you seem to think you have some moral high ground here, and that you are somehow a socialist while making excuses for why others shouldn't have the same rights as you. You are a fraud, Richard.

  2. With respect, you seem to have missed my point.

  3. Raptured his bunu?!

  4. As a different anonymous to the one above, what makes you think your point is clear? So bigots in Uganda want to claim that condemning the persecution of homosexuals is western provocation. That means western imperialists should keep silent and just let them get on with it does it? This blog is constantly taking pot shots at "gay media and campaigners", but there is never a hint of a better alternative.

  5. Sadly, in my life I have seen reports from many different countries of many different people being persecuted or killed. The one common theme is that the persecutors try to keep out journalists and the persecuted want their stories told. This ridiculous "first do no harm" argument smacks of those people who claimed sporting boycotts would alienate white South African opinion and sanctions would impact disproportionately on the black population. Personally, I am glad that Governments are threatening countries that want to lock up gays, rather than selling such regimes instruments of torture as they used to.

    1. I don't understand your South Africa analogy, I'm afraid...

    2. People in the West constantly argued that sanctions/sporting boycotts should not be applied to South Africa because it would do more harm than good. But I suspect you are being deliberately obtuse.

    3. Still don't see the comparison here.
      Beyond an apartheid version of Godwin's Theory...

    4. God you have to out up with some moronic shit on here, Fabgurn.
      Love you!
      In all the years I've know you, your judgment, goodness and moral compass has always seemed spot-on (apart from 'Vicious').
      But I've a feeling you know how good and right you are.
      Still, it's worth saying...


  6. Sorry but if a country makes an anti-gay law, it *is* backwards. No need for quotes.

  7. 'Personally, I am glad that Governments are threatening countries that want to lock up gays, rather than selling such regimes instruments of torture as they used to'... pity that doesn't really extend to our totalitarian allies such as Saudi Arabia. By failing to be consistent on gay issues, these criticisms by western governments look more like political point scoring rather than genuine concern.

  8. This letter condemning Tatchell is dated 2007 - seven years ago. Given the hundreds of African LGBT campaigners, most evidently declined to sign the letter. I wonder why they refused?

    Reading the letter I could not see any concrete examples of the harm Tatchell actually did - no dates, places or names. A lot of general allegations but no specific evidence.

    I did a bit of research and found a response to this letter by Tatchell and a Ugandan activist - http://www.petertatchell.net/international/world_general/africanlgbtismears.htm