Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Uganda, Nigerian and Russian anti-gay behavior seems unprecedented, aggravated by western successes with gay marriage (citing the "ick" factor)

The most recent of the outrages overseas has been not only Uganda’s president Yoweri Musveni’s signing the draconian anti-gay law, but his statements referring to what he perceives as the mechanics of male homosexual acts (the "ick" factor), recalling the rhetoric of the “Dallas Doctors Against AIDS” in Texas around 1983.
The law makes it a crime for others not to report suspicion of homosexual acts.  The media has reported unbelievable street demonstrations against tolerating even "private" homosexual relations.   
Musveni is also proclaiming that homosexuality is learned or chosen, ignoring all the science on the matter. 

The new law affects lesbians as well as gay men.
In both Nigeria and Uganda, the legal climate seems to be aggressively pursuing people perceived as likely to engage in consensual homosexual acts.  This seems unprecedented even when compared to the climate in the United States in the 1950’s. 
Newspapers (particularly tabloid) actually print names or pictures of homosexuals and a witch-hunt mentality seems to have been implemented.
In Russia, on the other hand, homosexual acts are legal, but talking about them is not. In practice, Putin and the Russian government are perceived as baiting anit-gay vigilantism, much as Russia seems also to be goading technie teens into hacking American financial companies to steal consumer wealth.

And Putin himself, with his provocative media statements ("please, leave the children alone") shortly before Sochi,  seems to feed the idea, popular in the Russian working class, that male homosexuality is equivalent to pedophilia. 
The usual explanation for what happened in Uganda is the influence of a certain group of American Evangelicals stirring things up, stoking resentment of western culture left over from colonialism. 
But politicians in some third world countries see western propagation of gay marriage as the west’s promoting acts that their culture believes as unseemly.  This is easier to exploit in countries with a low standard of living.  It still seems that people have trouble living up to what is expected of them if they believe that others won’t have to. 
Virgin Airline’s Richard Branson has called for a boycott of Uganda, here
This could lead to a big asylum and refugee issue recalling that of Cuba in 1980.  

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