Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Police Called to Break Up Same-Sex Wedding in Kenya

The New York Times is reporting that Kenyan police officers broke up a gay wedding on Friday and arrested several wedding guests, saying they had to intervene before an irate mob could stone the wedding party to death.

Like many other countries in Africa, which are intensely — and officially — homophobic, Kenya outlaws homosexual behavior. Violations in Kenya are punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

“It’s culture, just culture,” said a Kenyan police spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, when asked to explain the intense feelings about homosexuality. “It’s what you are taught when you are young and what you hear in church. Homosexuality is unnatural. It’s wrong.”

Mr. Kiraithe said that the planned wedding between two men had been kept a secret, but that a group of local people found out just before it was to start in Kikambala, a beach town along Kenya’s white-sand coast. A mob quickly formed, and some outraged bystanders even shouted that the people at the wedding should be burned.

“You know, down at the coast, where there are so many tourists, people tolerate a lot,” Mr. Kiraithe said, mentioning the rampant sexual tourism in which both expatriate men and women often hire lovers several decades their junior. “But this is too much. These people were nearly stoned.”

Mr. Kiraithe said that five wedding guests were arrested for unlawful behavior and that they might be subject to tests to determine if they had “illegal carnal knowledge of each other.” He could not explain why the couple who were planning to marry were not arrested, saying the reports from the scene were still arriving.

In neighboring Uganda, the homosexuality issue has become front-page news after a lawmaker with the governing party proposed executing gay people. Most people in Uganda support criminalizing homosexuality, and an anti-gay bill is being debated by the cabinet. But in recent interviews, many people said they thought imposing the death penalty was going too far.

The anti-gay bill has catalyzed a firestorm of criticism, with many of Uganda’s foreign aid donors voicing concern and some even threatening to cut off much needed help. In recent weeks, the Ugandan government has indicated that it may water down the bill or scrap it all together. Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s powerful president, who has been in office for 24 years, recently expressed apprehensions about the bill because it was becoming a “foreign policy issue.”

“The prime minister of Canada came to see me, and what was he talking about? Gays,” Mr. Museveni said. “Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to see me, and what was he talking about? Gays. Mrs. Clinton rang me. What was she talking about? Gays.”

Andrew Wasswa, a gay activist in Uganda, said he attended a meeting on Wednesday between several gay rights activists and high-ranking government officials, but it still was not clear what the government was going to do.

“They kept asking us, ‘Why all this criticism, why all this pressure?’ ” he said. “They seemed more concerned about the foreign pressure than anything.”

1 comment:

TERRY ANGEL MASON said...

Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you! For you kill, murder, and imprison the innocent (those who express love differently) in the name of The Righteous One, but it is clear that you do not know Him!

Like America, you label them pedophiles and child molesters, yet continue to close your eyes to the true heterosexual offenders, allowing them to continually rape your children and infect them with AIDS, foolishly believing that this will cure them from the pandemic.

It is said that you freed yourself from the tyranny and oppression of a king (Mwanga) who was demented, greedy, self-serving and who defiled the people and if this is true, this is good! But you forgot that even though he was said to be corrupt and accused of raping the people both physically and emotionally for years, still we must judge each human being by their own conduct, character, and deeds, and not punish the innocent for another’s sins.

Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you because even though the rain falls frequently upon your land in the south and beautiful lakes run through your northern region, they have not cleansed you from your transgressions for you are still blinded by hatred, fear, and intolerance, and cannot see that the sun rises upon the just and the unjust, so that all men may be wooed to the Creator by love and mercy and not by hatred and discrimination!

For hundreds of years other nations robbed you of your wealth, stole your children and carried them away to foreign lands and enslaved them. Even today, in many regions of your country you suffer from extreme poverty because of usury and exploitation from men who lusted after your riches, saw you could not defend yourself, and carried them away to distant lands.

You must be very careful lest the handwriting of God also appear in judgment for your offenses and likewise be written upon your walls and inscribed in your Constitution now laced with fear and intolerance, having been saturated by the influence of misguided, self-seeking American Evangelists, these words spoken by the prophet Daniel: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” The interpretation:

“God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEK: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to another!”

Thousands of you marched in your city streets to rid yourself of a sin that you say will most certainly bring the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah upon your land; but like the Scribes and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, legalism and an incorrect interpretation of the Holy Scriptures have blinded you.

Because of your hatred for what you do not understand, The Prince of Darkness deceives you yet again; prostituting you like the demented king you managed to free yourself from decades ago; have you still not heard the words of Jesus who said, “He was a murderer from the beginning?”

Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you! Don’t you know that you cannot kill the innocent, batter and abuse your children, and lock them away in dungeons of cruelty for life simply because you refuse to accept who they really are without the very King of the Universe (whom you claim you worship), championing their cause, and lifting his righteous hand of justice and judgment against you?

He has heard the voices of the children devastated by earthquakes and disaster in Haiti and He has freed the oppressed in America from hundreds of years of discrimination. He has even delivered the Jews from the oppression of a mighty pharaoh (once thought invincible) in Egypt. Surely, He will not turn a deaf ear to innocent same-gender-loving people in your country, nor allow you to murder them without cause and your land and your people not be judged for doing so!

Uganda, Uganda, I alone do not weep, “FOR A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE!” (Matthew 2:18)

By Terry Angel Mason, Global Author
Excerpt from Mason’s New Book: Love Won’t Let Me Be Silent — Pride Edition