Kadaga gets kudos for defending country
Posted Friday, October 26 2012 at 01:00
Monitor readers laud the Speaker for representing and defending Uganda well while gay rights sympathisers think otherwise.
Support for Speaker Rebecca Kadaga over her firm response to a Canadian minister who attacked Uganda’s position on gay rights yesterday went viral on the Internet. The government also said she ably represented the country.
In a stinging retort to Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird statement at the ongoing 127th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Quebec, Ms Kadaga told Mr Baird off and reminded him that Uganda was neither a colony nor protectorate of Canada and as such her sovereignty, societal and cultural norms were to be respected.
She reminded the Canadian minister and other gay rights sympathisers that the gay rights debate began in the US in 1967. That, to-date, 39 states in the USA still prohibit same-sex marriages and that in the Anglican Church the matter is not yet settled.
By press time, Ms Kadaga’s retort carried in the Daily Monitor yesterday had attracted numerous comments on this newspaper’s web site with most of them applauding her for defending the culture, values and norms of Ugandans from “Western cultural perversion”.
In one of the comments, an online reader writes: “Hahaha!! I have read so many of these forums but trust me, I have never seen so many comments yet all speaking with a single voice! Kudos Ugandans, I am proud of all of ya (sic). It means all is not lost of our society.”
Sexual minority groups, however, yesterday jumped to the defence of Mr Baird. They asked Ugandans to “stop burying their heads in the sand”, even as the government’s spokesperson, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, made it clear that Uganda would not tolerate those who recruit children into “gayism”. “As Ugandans, we have our value system which should and must be respected even beyond our borders,” Ms Karooro said.
Weighing in on the diplomatic spat, State minister for International Relations Henry Okello Oryem said the position of government is that sodomy is a crime and that Uganda does not persecute sexual minorities. “We have no business with the people who are behind closed doors but those who flaunt sexual activities in public will be dealt with,” Mr Oryem said.
Mr Okello Oryem observed that in Britain - Uganda’s former colonial master – the law books described “sodomy as a crime long before Uganda even got its independence”.
In reference to Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s anti-homosexuality Bill, which is in Parliament, Ms Kadaga said, “as a Speaker of Parliament, it is my responsibility to protect the rights of Members of Parliament; hence I cannot deny them the right to move private members’ Bills. The debate on homosexuality is not a settled matter.”
Yesterday, Mr Bahati also congratulated Ms Kadaga for what he said was defending Uganda’s sovereignty and family values and asked the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to expedite the processing of his anti-homosexuality Bill. “The Western world needs to understand that the time for colonialism is behind us and the mentality of imposing evil on our society has no place in a modern world,” Mr Bahati said, adding that “Kadaga has done Uganda proud”.
Ms Julian Onzima, the spokesperson of Sexual Minority Uganda, a local non-governmental organisation that works towards achieving full legal and social equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda, asked the government to lead a national dialogue on the matter and “stop being defensive.”
While Western powers have vowed to cut aid to Uganda if the Bahati Bill is passed into law, Mr Bahati and other legislators across the political spectrum who talked to Daily Monitor yesterday asked Ugandans to defend the family from extinction.
“We don’t want their evil money,” Mr Patrick Nsanja (Ind. Ntenjeru South) said. “If their condition is for us to allow men to marry fellow men before they give us their money, let our people starve but we cannot accept to be immoral to that extent. Let them take their bloody money. We can still survive without money from gay sympathisers.”