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07 October 2008

Comments

Derrick from Philly

"We want it to become law in that if someone is a homosexual or confesses to being a gay or lesbian, then he is a criminal"

What further proof do the nations of the West need to justify granting asylum for gay people fleeing Uganda?

President Obama will have to tell these African leaders, "the reign of George the Second Idiot is over. If you don't stop this inhumane treatment of gays--we will cut off all that foreign aid that George the Idiot has been giving you."

Will it happen? Maybe.

Allen H

Hmm. I think you make a good point Derrick but not everything goes back to 'President Obama.' There is no doubt that Obama will be better than McCain in almost every area, especially gay rights, but making foreign aid contingent upon pro-gay policies in another land? I don't think so, but nice thought.

Obama hasn't made a move toward this while in the the senate, why would he suddenly do it after he is elected president? Ugandan gays can't vote for him and he it would surely enrage much of the world, ie, the United States interfering in their culture. Now where you are right is that this persecution provides basis for asylum and surely an Obama WH would be more respectful of human rights.

I am supporting Obama but I am very realistic. I don't see him supporting anything that he hasn't supported already.

GWM

Obama wants to expand faith based initiatives. He says this to black churches and evangelicals at the same time he says he will support gay rights and hate crime expansion. We will see who comes out ahead...

Shabaka

With all due respect GWM and Allen, no one needs to come out ahead of anyone else. This is about human rights and human dignity, as I'm sure you realize. I side with Derrick on this one simply because Obama giving a platform to evangelicals shouldn't prevail over any attempts on his part to pressure these "third world" nations to treat their SGL countrymen and women equally under the law. Obama is well respected in Africa and around the World. So his backing of certain civil rights issues is going to be given some level of consideration by those bigots who otherwise wouldn't think twice about it if said issues were raised by the UN or any other so called Western political body. This is as much a moral issue as it was for the west to rally behind putting an end to the apartheid regime in SA.

Derrick from Philly

Yes, SHABAKA, we don't have unrealistic hopes about what an Obama (or any liberal Democratic) Administration will do to help Gay Africans, but the end of the Bush reign will signal the end to total indifference to their persecution. Will he actually cut off aid, or threaten to? It depends on how much pressure Gay Democrats (and their friends) put on his administration.

President Obama and his Secretary of State will speak out against the oppression of Gay Africans by Africans. That's a beginning. You'd never see that from (the newly bigoted) John McCain and that Palin creature.

Rod Mc

Derrick and Shabaka, I'm very curious about your responses. What evidence is there to suggest Obama would link foreign aid to ending anti-gay policies? What specifically has he said or done on this issue? What authority would the Secy of State have to apply pressure? Is the Congress going to pass this or will the Obama Administration make this suddenly a priority?

Surely, human rights would become a more important focus under Obama. But in two plus years of doing this blog, I cannot recall Obama, any presidential candidate, or congressmen even suggesting foreign aid should be linked to pro-gay policies. Sorry, but there are no votes in Uganda or Nigeria and it would cause more problems to interfere in their legislative process.

I also cannot recall that Obama ever applied "pressure" to "third world nations to treat their SGL countrymen and women equally under the law." In Uganda, Nigeria, Jamaica, Egypt, etc, that is the "law" ... that gays and lesbians are not afforded the same rights as others.

Allen H

Derrick, now Obama is going to speak out for gays and lesbians in Uganda and Jamaica? Yes, that is somewhat unrealistic. Obama didn't even want to kick Donnie McClurkin off his tour bus.

Look, I'm voting for Obama too and think McCain will be a disaster but it becomes pie in the sky to claim he will suddenly take up all these liberal, progressive positions once he gets into office. What you see is what you get. How is Washington supposed to tell nations to change antigay laws when many of our own states have sodomy laws? And our own military routinely discharges homos? And Washington gives money to anti-gay churches ... we are going to stop doing that, too, or tell foreign churches they have to be progay to get our money. I don't think so.

Derrick from Philly

Rod,

Why wouldn't he speak out against oppression? You don't believe he would answer the call from a signficant group of those who elected him to speak out against the murder of gay people?

Yes, linking foreign aid to pressuring African countries to stop the persecution of gays is a long shot. It's possible that I may be disappointed. I was disappointed with human rights legacy of our last Democratic president, but maybe ths time...well, maybe.

Maybe there will be openly gay people in an Obama Administration. That in itself is sending a message.

Derrick from Philly

"... to claim he will suddenly take up all these liberal, progressive positions once he gets into office."

ALLEN,
he's already one of the most progressive & liberal voting senators in Washington. Does campaigning in black churches make one a conservative? Many members of the Congressional Black Caucus are probably church goers, or actively seek the support of church-goin' black folks, but that doesn't them from voting constantly in favor of gay people's civil rights.

Just like any Liberal Democrat, Barack Obama would...I mean, he will be a plus for Gay Americans and Gay Africans when he is in the White House.

Ryan Canty

im reading the responses...

but, obama isn't progressive at all. he's always been centrist and decidely republican in many of his plans and policies...

he won't step in and do anything. why would he? he's not going to get involved with countries who will pretty much a) not care about US interference and continue persecuring LGBT folk b) will find the US intrusive and will side with OTHER countries that have issues with us stepping in and "cleaning" up their messes and that number is GROWING by the day.

the US hasn't bothered to get involved in Ugandan, Kenyan, Egyptian, etc human rights issues because they don't care.

and why should we expect obama to step up for LGBT folk in those countries when he ain't even standing up for US here?

obama should be fighting to beef up hate crimes/anti-bias legislation; improving human rights for LGBT folk, immigrants, etc. He isn't going to do that.

don't expect him to start doing what he should be doing HERE..for countries in africa.

and, i wouldn't hold your breath in regard to his hiring LGBT folk for his cabinet if he's elected...

that went with the clinton era in the 90s...sorry.


and how is he "liberal", derrick? name something he's done that is TRUELY LIBERAL or would suggest he is a true liberal, progressive democrat. because, i've only seen centrist/moderate democratic republican doubletalk at play with obama. its pretty bad when both he and mccain BOTH sound the same on various issues and that scarest he hell out of me..ok?

Derrick from Philly

"...and how is he "liberal", derrick? name something he's done that is TRUELY LIBERAL or would suggest he is a true liberal, progressive democrat".

What is his rating by the ADA? It's somewhere in the mid 90s, isn't it?

Yes, the more I think about it, there will probably not be a threat to end foreign aid to African countries based on human rights violations against gays. But an Obama Administration will not stand in the way of world organizations who are trying to fight such persecution.

But let me say this, if African countries are not that important to US foreign policy interest, then why would a President Obama risk his re-election by offending millions of Gay Democrats when all he has to do is denounce African leaders because of their human rights violations against gays? Why wouldn't he do that in order to keep (what I hope will be) his winning coalition together?

I have never seen a candidate for president from a major party reach out to American Gays as much as Barack Obama has, and still get so much criticism from gay communities. He has spoken out for gay people's civil rights in front of hostile black church congregations. Told them that such bigotry aint right. But still he gets no credit here.

Not even when Jimmy Carter defeated Ted Kennedy for the nomination, or Michael Dukakis refused to ask Jesse Jackson to share his ticket have I witnessed a Democratic Party Nominee face such animosity by members of his own party...with less than 4 weeks to go till the election. Now that scares me, but even more, it angers me.

Rod Mc

Derrick, your response to my question had some great points. Obama has done more outreach to the LGBT community than any other presidential candidate. Obama also promises to restore human rights as a top concern by his administration. These are among the reasons why I support him.

OTOH, I don't use Barack Obama as a cure-all to solve every problem. This was about the internal politics of Uganda and it quickly became about an American presidential candidate. I never suggested Obama should speak out for LGBT Africans on the campaign trail, and, seriously doubt he would do this in office. This is traditionally the work of NGOs, the United Nations, legislators and gay rights lobbyists. I'd like to see Obama elected and make some accomplishments for our community before tackling the world.

As far as Obama geting "credit here" for mentioning homophobia before several black church audiences, perhaps you were referring to the other comments? My blog was among the first to report those positions and I've consistently applauded Obama's LGBT positions in magazines, tv and radio.

Mel Smith

Honestly, I think EVERYONE in that country should come out of the closet. Scare tactics don't work.

Mel Smith

Also, I think the gays in Uganda need to organize. If Uganda arrest people for simply being gay, I think you will see MAJOR news coverage.


Ryan Canty

YOu're backtracking, Derrick. but, that's ok...


But let me say this, if African countries are not that important to US foreign policy interest, then why would a President Obama risk his re-election by offending millions of Gay Democrats when all he has to do is denounce African leaders because of their human rights violations against gays? Why wouldn't he do that in order to keep (what I hope will be) his winning coalition together?

but, what is a denouncement going to do when you are basically asking obama to go in and radically change how a country of people have been governing themselves for several hundred years in regard to LGBT men and women? several hundred years, derrick. How does obama do that in a country that a) is quite hostile to western superpowers stepping in and telling them how to run their people? b) isn't recognized for being particularly respectful of human rights PERIOD and c) really isn't going to listen to him because he's american and america already has a negative image in the eyes of many third world countries...but, you keep drinking that kool-aid and believing that obama is going to change the world...and completely ignore the problems THIS COUNTRY, the country he wants to "run" so "badly" are having...so obama should denounce uganda for their horrid anti-gay laws? sure...fine. but he can do that AFTER he denounces black churches for anti-gay rhetoric in their churches? states that lack hate crimes laws, etc. didn't think so...


I have never seen a candidate for president from a major party reach out to American Gays as much as Barack Obama has,
and still get so much criticism from gay communities.

it's not criticism at all...obama is miles ahead of mccain in regard to being tolerant of LGBT rights...but, he's still conservative and still of the mindset that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and isn't really making THAT much of an effort to condemn the black church, and really all churches for the entrenched homophobia they spit every sunday...not too mention advocate for MORE funding to find some kind of vaccine to combat the AIDS virus or more money into safer sex education in public schools..so kids can make positive choices in regard to sex and sexuality (using condoms and safer sex methods, etc.)
he does this, and ill gladly say he's worthy of the "praise" you feel he gets...but not really.

He has spoken out for gay people's civil rights in front of hostile black church congregations. Told them that such bigotry aint right. But still he gets no credit here.

right..but why was ms. donnie mcclurkin all up in his bus during the democratic primaries? kinda hypocritical to be "speaking out" against homophobia and you have a homophobic pastor working for your campaign..how does that work, derrick? please explain that to me. i'd love to hear you "analysis" of that one.

Not even when Jimmy Carter defeated Ted Kennedy for the nomination, or Michael Dukakis refused to ask Jesse Jackson to share his ticket have I witnessed a Democratic Party Nominee face such animosity by members of his own party...with less than 4 weeks to go till the election. Now that scares me, but even more, it angers me.


um, actually you have..and her name is hillary clinton...and her husband bill clinton..jesse jackson, geradline ferraro, etc. all democrats who have run for office who have had their party turn on them by their own party for whatever reason...

but, somehow obama is special because he's the first black man to be this close to office? you can't have your cake and eat it too, derrick...

if that's the case, will you be acknowledging your animosty towards hillary, richardson, kucinich, etc. because they were standing in the of the "chosen one" and his journey to the white house?

cause i remember you commenting with VITRIOL about hillary and many of the above democratic candidiates...a spade is a spade, dear...call yourself out and be angry with yourself before you come after anyone else here.....

Black African Guy

Hey guys,

I read all the comments and would like to point out the following:
- Buturo's only agenda ever since he got appointed has been focused on homosexuals AND women wearing longer skirts
- Museveni (Uganda's president) plays the "let's condemn homosexuality" card whenever he's hiding something (corruption issues)
- Although Obama seems to be the most appropriate candidate for this race, very few countries have ever pressured Uganda in regards to Human Rights or Gay Rights. These countries are the Netherlands and Denmark (where gay marriages are legal. Denmark since 1988 and the Netherlands around 2000): these two countries are very big donors
- The US has already threatened Uganda of cutting its funding but seen as this is not as large as other countries, Uganda could manage without it. This happened in 1992 when Uganda opposed the invasion of Kuwait and was "sanctioned" by the US. In response to this, the countries of the European Union increased their aid to Uganda

Thanks Rod for this magnificent blog. Please keep up the good work.

Yours,
B.A.

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