By Josepha Jabo
On Thursday, September 13, 2012, David Cecil Edwards was arrested by the Uganda Police for, ‘staging a play which was still under review (temporarily banned).’ The other charge preferred against Edwards was, ‘disobeying lawful orders contrary to the penal code.’
It is ironical that Mr. Edwards, a British National, would blatantly disregard Uganda’s Anti-Sodomy Laws and go ahead to produce a homosexual play (and have it performed on Ugandan soil) when his British forefathers are the ones who introduced Anti-Sodomy Laws in Uganda in the first place! The still-relevant anti-sodomy laws are based on Christian principles (Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:24-31). Uganda is not the only country where homosexuality is illegal. Homosexuality is illegal in more than 70 countries worldwide and 41 out of 54 countries in the British Commonwealth uphold anti-sodomy laws.
The title of the play itself, ‘The River and the Mountain,’ by Beau Hopkins is misleading because it craftily conceals the true nature of its content. Who upon reading such a title would fathom it is a play about homosexuality? At its crux; the play portrays Uganda as a homophobic country that ‘persecutes’ gays.
This is the second Briton to champion gay-rights in Uganda. In 2011, a British Radio One DJ, Scott Mills, came to Uganda and filmed a documentary, which was later aired on the BCC claiming, ‘Uganda is the worst place to be Gay.’ If Mills’ claims are correct, then Uganda is the best place to be heterosexual. Homosexuality is not a human right—it is a lifestyle choice. Therefore, those practicing it cannot claim to be persecuted.
President Museveni has made his position clear on homosexuality. Uganda does not persecute homosexuals Uganda just does not promote the practice. He also does not believe in sexual exhibitionism. On Friday, November 11, 2011, New Vision newspaper quoted President Museveni who said, “If Cameron was talking about not persecuting homosexuals or harming them, then I think he wasted his words. But if he was talking about promoting homosexuality in Uganda, I think he will meet serious opposition.”
It is not accidental that both Britons are involved in entertainment. In recent years, there has been a push to condition viewers towards homophilia with an aim of making them more accepting of homosexuality through the world of entertainment. More and more Hollywood Stars are making statements showing themselves to be sympathetic towards homosexuals. For example, some female stars have admitted to ‘girl-crushes’ and ‘celebrities’ are ‘coming out’ publically disclosing to the world their homosexual status—daring anyone to challenge their sexual preferences! In addition, it is no longer strange to see male-on-male kissing scenes, whereas in the 80s and 90s such movies would have been banned! Above all, it is almost mandatory for the main actress to have a gay-side-kick in these popular American reality series. Therefore, the actions of Edwards (and the actors who participated in this play) are not all that surprising—they have become part of this world-wide push. Gay marriage (a.k.a. same-sex marriage) has become an issue so contentious that it has threatened to split the Anglican Communion.
When Ndora West MP David Bahati’s revamped private-member’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 was re-tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 Bahati received a standing ovation from both NRM MPs and Opposition MPs—uniting the House. In an interview with The Observer newspaper in its Wednesday, August 8-9, 2012 issue, when asked about the death penalty in the Anti-homosexuality Bill, Bahati said, “The death penalty has been removed. The Anti-homosexuality Bill seeks to stop the recruitment and funding of homosexual activities. I find that these are not provided for in the existing legislation.” In April 2012, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga did not cow to pressure from donors to shelve the Anti-Homosexuality Bill during the 126th Inter-Parliamentary Union conference saying, “In Africa, we don’t talk about sex in public. Respect that and don’t push that thing down our throats.”
The Writer works for Uganda Media Centre