The Love That Dares

Mac McClelland in Mother Jones:

ScreenHunter_04 Dec. 10 11.10Uganda Penal Code Act of 1950, Chapter 120, Article 145: Unnatural offences. Any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; has carnal knowledge of an animal; or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.

That long-extant law didn't go far enough for the supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, commonly referred to in the Western media as the “Kill the Gays Bill” because it upped the penalty for same-sex sex in “aggravated” circumstances (with a minor, with HIV-positivity, with frequency) to a death sentence. Once it was discovered that its proponents enjoy the love and support of American evangelicals, like the prominent group of congressmen known as the Fellowship or the Family, the headlines flowed so hard and fast that Uganda became the world's most publicized anti-gay place. Not that that stops the gays I've come to meet. Though it got her kicked out of schools, Kasha has never spent a day in the closet, and has for years been coming out, swinging, in the papers, on the radio, in response to the president saying in '99 that more gays should go to jail or to the minister of ethics saying in '07 that Ugandan gays should just leave. When Kasha was little, her mom fretted about her manly daughter's “mental illness.” She wasn't allowed to live on campus when she went to university. She is tough and stylish, and she collects awards from international human rights groups for being absurdly inspirational.

More here.