Uganda's Anti-Gay Laws and Leftist Silence

Where are America's black and gay activists?

uganda-gaysOn Monday, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda signed into law harsh, anti-gay legislation. The law includes provisions that would jail repeat offenders for life, outlaw any promotion of homosexuality, and require the Ugandan people to denounce it. In the face of genuine persecution of gay people, of course, the LGBT community and their supporters are conspicuously silent. And while the Obama administration has released a statement criticizing the law, most black activists remain completely MIA as well, including the man leading the charge against the anti-gay marriage agenda in America, Eric Holder. 

This largely non-reaction to the far more serious developments in Uganda stands in stark contrast to the efforts by both entities on the home front. Holder, who wholeheartedly embraces the selective law enforcement agenda that has become the trademark of the Obama administration, has extended that agenda to the gay marriage debate. Speaking to the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday, Holder advised his state counterparts that they needn't defend the laws of their states they consider discriminatory. 

Holder cited his own experience with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as the template state attorneys general should apparently follow. "Any decisions -- at any level -- not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare," Holder said at the meeting. "And they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreements--hinging instead on firm constitutional grounds." He then added that his own view is that "we must be suspicious of legal classifications based solely on sexual orientation."

One is left to wonder how those constitutional grounds are determined if a state attorney general can simply refuse to defend a challenge to any law they themselves deem to be discriminatory before a trial takes place. Moreover it is hard to see how the refusal to defend the rule of law would be anything but a political act. 

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange of the Republican Attorneys General Association eviscerated this dangerous nonsense. "A state attorney general has a solemn duty to the state and its people to defend state laws and constitutional provisions against challenge under federal law. To refuse to do so because of personal policy preferences or political pressure erodes the rule of law on which all of our freedoms are founded. A government that does not enforce the law equally will lead our society to disrespect the rule of law," he said in a statement.

Political pressure is a specialty of the LGBT community whose most recent focus has been a religious protection law proposed by the state of Arizona, which was recently vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer in light of an enormous public outcryThe purpose of pointing out what happened in Arizona is not to evaluate the pros or cons of Brewer's recent veto. It is to demonstrate the enormous power of a mobilized LGBT community that apparently feels no similar compulsion to mobilize against Museveni in Uganda. Even as they remained focused on Arizona, the Red Paper, a Ugandan tabloid, published a list of 200 people it accused of being gay under the headline "Exposed!" "Uganda's 200 top homos named," the paper declared. "In salutation to the new law, today we unleash Uganda’s top homos and their sympathisers," it added, compiling a list of those who had declared their sexuality and those who hadn't. The list included activists, priests and music stars.

Frank Mugisha, director of the group Sexual Minorities Uganda, illuminated the implications of the new law. "We're going to see people getting beaten on the streets, we're going to see people thrown out by their families, we're going to see people being evicted by their landlords, we're going to see people losing jobs, we're going to see people thrown out of school, because they are  perceived or not as homosexuals," he warned. "Even the suspicion will get someone in trouble."

It is trouble welcomed by Uganda's Muslim leaders. “It takes a courageous leader to defy all the western powers who have gone as far a threatening to cut off aid to Uganda in case the president signs the anti-gay bill," said Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Public Relations Officer, in a statement.

Perhaps it takes no courage at all, either for Museveni or the LGBT community and Eric Holder. Forbes Magazine contributor Cedric Mohammed explains that geo-political concerns take precedence over human rights issues. "Despite the strong rhetoric coming from the Obama administration over the signing of an anti-Homosexual law by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, there is no way President Obama will allow the issue to compromise long-standing American military interests in the region and there’s little chance the LGBT political establishment will ask him to....Militarization trumps everything else as evidenced by the influential LGBT-rights group, The Human Rights Commission’s lack of lobbying on the issue," he writes.

No doubt that decision is made easier by the left's general contempt for Christian values and Western civilization. Yet the outpouring of vituperation against the "cartoonish" bigotry or "vile" exclusivity of Christians opposed to endorsing the gay agenda stands in odious contrast to the LGBT calculated silence surrounding Uganda's unquestionably reprehensible -- and possibly deadly -- treatment of homosexuals. That hypocrisy goes double for Eric Holder, whose sense of outrage for any injustice directed at homosexuals and people of color apparently fails to extend itself beyond the borders of the United States.

Thus, barring a sudden change of heart, the genuine persecution of gays in Uganda will not be impeded by the self-professed champions of tolerance and human rights. In short, if the LGBT community and Eric Holder didn't have double-standards, they'd have no standards at all.

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