GayDadSwag has spent the last month coordinating with an extremely courageous man in Uganda, who under the condition of anonymity, was willing to talk to us.
It is a life threatening situation for him, and we hope his story gives The World insight into the oppression Ugandan gay citizens are facing daily under their current leadership.
I got married to cover up, so that I survive.
(It’s Illegal to be a LGBTI in my country)
I have been married for 23 years with 2 girls, but my wife doesn’t know that I am also in a relationship with someone else.
If my secret is discovered, I could be sentenced to jail. In Uganda both male and female homosexual activities are illegal. Under the Penal Code, “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.
Section 145. Unnatural offences. Any person who—
(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; [or]
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) 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.
Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences. Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section 145 commits a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
The newly passed Anti Homosexuality Bill which was passed on the 20th of December 2013, still awaits the President to endorse it into law. The constitution guarantees rights to privacy, Article 27 of the Constitution provides: “No person shall be subjected to unlawful search of the person, home or other property of that person; or unlawful entry by others of the premises of that person. No person shall be subjected to interference with the privacy of his home, correspondence, communications or other property.”
These rights have always been abused when it comes to our community. They have been arrests of LGBTI persons in Uganda, and the way they are conducted they abuse our right to privacy.
The Anti – Homosexuality Bill and the publicity it got on the passing, gave a very wrong view to the ordinary Ugandan. Some think that it’s already in force and they can do anything to a gay person, and no one can blame them.
Religious leaders have gone too far on planting hate in the society. Some Pastors are going around correcting names of those they believe to be gay. We only pray that the President doesn’t sign the bill into Law. But I think even if he does not sign it, the harm is done, may be when the above penal code acts are also amended to ensure our safety. However , It will be more deadly to be gay or lesbian in Uganda if the bill is signed into Law by the President. When you read the stories that come out in the media today they are all homophobic.
I got married to cover up so that I survive. Am not alone in this kind of life, they are many people who are living this way and if the bill becomes law many families will be affected. They are men and women who got married because it was expected of them. Their spouses don’t know that the person they got married to is in a same sex relation as well.
When I see people shouting that Museveni should sign it, I pity them because it will come into their houses too.
I hear the Police started investigating gays gathering information on our residences, and work places, so that they can conduct blanket arrests, naming and shaming us.
When people talk about gays, they don’t consider us human beings. They always say we promote homosexuality and we will spoil the children. We condemn RAPE and DEFILMENT committed by any person, and those convicted should be punished, but don’t label all the LGBTI community “Rapists.”
I live every day in fear, as I don’t know when and where they will find me. We who are in double life style, we stand to lose a lot. I have a friend who lost all he worked for in the fear of being arrested. When a woman finds out that you’re that way, they take advantage and ask to retain all your property. Because we fear stigmatization and discrimination we end up submitting to the demands. Imagine am 42 years now, when would I ever recover all that?
*Editor’s Note: This has been reprinted exactly as originally published at GayDadSwag.com.
Additional information: On February 14th, Officials in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s administration announced his intention to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. You can find more coverage of this issue here:
After Review, Ugandan President Will Sign Antigay Leg)islation (NYTimes)
Ugandan Leader Says He Will Sign Anti-gay Bill (Aljazeera America)
Officials: Uganda’s Leader to Sign Anti-Gay Bill (ABCNews)
Ugandan President To Sign Anti-Homosexuality Bill (World.Time.Com)
Officials: Uganda’s leader to sign anti-gay bill that includes life imprisonment (CBSNews)
Photo Credit to Sussex Life