Ugandans mark gay pride, but stigma tempers joy

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A man identifying himself as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community carries an umbrella as he parades in Entebbe, southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, August 8, 2015. The LGBTI community on Saturday celebrated one year since the Anti-Homosexuality Act was annulled by Uganda's constitutional court, which previously carried a death sentence for the offender. Photo courtesty of Reuters/Edward Echwalu

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ENTEBBE, Uganda (Reuters) Several dozen Ugandans marked Gay Pride on Saturday, cheering that such a parade could go ahead in a country that only last year tried to impose long jail terms for gay sex.

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  • Greg1

    To the statement: “I have a relationship with Jesus and I’m gay”, I refer you to a great bishop of the early Church, “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” (St. Augustine, Sermons 391 A.D.).

  • Be Brave

    Excellent post Greg1.

    What we are witnessing in L-G-B-T pride is a wholesale attack on Christian truth. It’s fascinating watching ISIS, Atheist/Secularism and G. A. Y. fanaticism teaming up in supernatural ways (evil) to destroy The Church.

  • Richard Rush

    What we are witnessing in religious fanaticism is a wholesale attack on LGBT people. It’s fascinating watching ISIS, Taliban, and Christian fanaticism teaming up in supernatural ways (evil) to destroy people who have the courage to reject their beliefs.

  • Larry

    Greg1, BeBrave feel to give us all your honest opinion on the proposed laws to imprison or execute people for being gay.

    You guys seem to be remarkably coy about it. Not really feeling like addressing the subject here. A little too embarrassing to be honest here I guess.

    The whole point of the demonstrations are to tell the world, “we are the people you want to murder. Take notice”

  • Cranmer

    Can you show me where Jesus condemns homosexuality in any of the four gospels? Oh, and it doesn’t count if you quote Romans!

  • Cranmer

    Amen.

  • Jack

    In other pressing news of the day, a group of gay tenant farmers in Outer Mongolia organized a march in solidarity with the celebration in Uganda.

    “With the media predictably focused on annoying little side issues like the unpleasant behavior of ISIS and those pesky refugees who just couldn’t hack it in Syria and Iraq, we feel it incumbent on us to focus on issues that matter most, namely our own,” said a spokesperson for the farmers.

    Asked to comment on the fact that he was neither gay, nor a farmer, nor an Outer Mongolian resident, the spokesperson declined to reply.

  • Larry

    Jack iif you are indifferent to the story, you can just iignore it without making a comment. Uganda was proposing to execute gays. That raises the interest level a bit.

    Not that people being jailed or murdered for being gay sparks much concern for you. But its not like florists being denied a privilege to discriminate. So it is of no concern of yours.

  • ben in oakland

    Well, Jack, as occasionally is the case for you, despite your general compassion, you occasionally just lose it some times, and appear no better the bqrq or be brave.

    I am concerned about gay people everywhere. So I can be concerned about Ugandans, because however difficult it might have been for them before, ever since the American evangelicals went there are proposed their “kill the gays” final solution, their lives are now threatened.

    As long as your people–loving Christians all– are killing, jailing, vilifying, and executing my people– people whose only offenses seems to be that they exist, and refused to be cowed any more– their will be a need for us outer Mongolians to stick up for our brothers and sisters everywhere.

    It’s a pity that you can’t. When the very real persecution that gay people face in a good portion of the world merits the same concern for you that a baker faces for (horrors!) having to bake a cake…

    let me know.

  • Dave F.

    @Richard Rush,

    Polly want a cracker?

    BB unsettles you all because he shows utterly no fear of exposing your agenda for what it is: Anti-Christ.

    Rah-rah!

  • Dave F.

    It doesn’t exist Cranmer. Your question is as absurd as asking if Jesus condemns usage of Taro cards. Marriage is man and woman. And nothing else CAN be applied. And as Jesus is an orthodox Jew and is shown for his exceptional knowledge of Torah, you have no standing in the matter at all. Just invent some new religion and be done with it. There is no reason to harass Christians for being honest that marriage is only what it is. And you guys strike out in three straight pitches.

  • Richard Rush

    Dave F., you have zero authority to require anyone to live according to the rules of your chosen religion. Why do you hate religious freedom?

  • Jack

    Ben, there’s a finite amount of news that can be covered in a given time, and thus the more one topic is covered, the less time for others. A cursory look on this site shows the obvious. It’s lopsided. It comes off as a parody fit for a Saturday Night Live skit featuring reporters desperately searching for the gay angle to every issue everywhere, no matter how forced it appears.

    As for Uganda, yes, there had been grisly talk of imposing a death penalty for homosexuality, but the whole world rightly came down on the government for such a twisted and bloodthirsty proposal.

    When such talk was occurring, yes, that constituted a religious news story as relevant as ISIS beheading Yazidis and Christians, because literal life and death was at stake, assuming Uganda was serious, which we have to assume it was.

    But that’s not been the norm here. Far more such stories fall into the “contrived” category. Often there is no news story.

  • Shawnie5

    Actually he DID condemn it when he condemned sexual immorality in Matt. 15:19. Sexual immorality to the audience He was addressing meant anything outside of a sexual relationship between a man and his wife.

  • Ben in oakland

    It’s easy to show no fear when you’re an anonymous commenter on the Internet. Just like it’s easy to pretend that religious bigotry isnt religious bigotry, but Christian love and concern for everyone soul. Just like it’s easy to pretend that gay people are antichrist and anti-Christian, when all we really want is to keep religious bigotry out of secular law.

    But sure. Whatever you want to believe.

  • Ben in oakland

    Well, Jack what can I say? The world did not come down on Uganda at all. There was a little talk here and there Among the more progressive democracies, but that was about it. The only reason that the law passed was through parliamentary chicanery, and the only reason it was tossed was because of the parliamentary chicanery. And of course, the world is said nothing about the laws passed in Russia, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and a few other places. In the world and said nothing about the proposal to reinstitute sodomy laws wherever possible, at least among the uncivilized.

    But we were talking about you, weren’t we? And the subject of this article was indeed the law in Uganda, wasn’t it?

  • Ben in oakland

    A man and his wife, or a man and his wives, or a man and his concubines and his wives, or a man and the wife he would be forced to marry after he raped her.

  • larry

    “As for Uganda, yes, there had been grisly talk of imposing a death penalty for homosexuality, but the whole world rightly came down on the government for such a twisted and bloodthirsty proposal.”

    But not American Christians.

    Certainly not the American conservative christians who lobbied for these measures. People you frequently support. American Christians chose to pretend it wasn’t going on, lied like crazy when the stories broke, and made excuses. Worse still the ones like yourself who act like it never happened and make such ridiculous belittling remarks.

    Btw, its not like there is much of a peep out of most American Christians about ISIS other than “Islam is evil BLARGH!!!!”. Ridiculously unhelpful tone deaf crap. Your concern trolling is duly noted. Nobody forced you to read the article or make a comment. If you just wanted to fling poo at the idea of the article, buzz off.

  • Greg1

    As usual, Larry, you read your own twist into my statements. I was strictly stating what I stated, and nothing more. Uganda can do whatever it wants; it is none of my business, but what is my business is people twisting and using the Gospel to promote the anti-gospel. What did Pope John Paul say back in 1976 just before becoming pope?
    “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of American society … realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel.“We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it…” That time is now upon us.

  • These puppets of the West must learn to respect Uganda’s deeply-held indigenous values and refrain from parading around in celebration of imported Western hedonism.

    Fight cultural imperialism!

  • Jack

    Oh yes it did, Ben. I was involved in my own small way in helping people go after the Russia law, which was a grotesque attempt to shut down freedom of expression of gay people. I helped friends of mine who were going against that law to frame their opposition in such a way as to shift the focus to the evils of Putin’s regime. We spent lots of time strategizing on that. People did speak up and speak out and I did my part.

    And I have done my part to convince like-minded Christians and conservatives not to be taken in by Putin’s claims to be standing up for traditional moral values. I have told them that Putin is a tyrant and a fascist who even signed what amounted to blasphemy legislation into law.

    And yes, there was plenty of criticism of Uganda….and Uganda knew it.

  • Jack

    Don’t be inane, Larry……I’m making an obvious distinction between real issues involving real lives and well-being and rights and the kind of politically correct drivel that morphs into an obsessive-compulsive drive to take hijack any issue and shoe-horn it into a single perspective. And when a web site does it, I reserve the right to mock it for inevitable silliness it exhibits.

    This is the gay or pro-gay equivalent of Christians who feel compelled to place Jesus stickers on every piece of matter on the planet. It’s overkill and it’s ludicrous.

  • Jack

    Yes and no, Ayesha. Yes, the worst cultural imperialists of our day come from the precincts of far-left secularism — some of the same people who rail against the cultural imperialism of past ages. And they’re at their worst when they try to force indigenous cultures to abandon their core beliefs.

    However — when truly universal human rights — freedoms of speech and press, freedoms of religion, association, and assembly — are at stake, then no, we are not being imperialistic……we are not going against anyone’s culture; rather, we are going against their rulers who tyrannize them…..we are demanding that their rulers back off and let them live and breathe free.

  • Shawnie5

    I already went over that rape thing with Max long ago. The passage which supposedly compels marriage to a rapist is actually about any kind of premarital sex with an unattached woman, for which a man was obligated to take responsibility. The language which is incorrectly translated “rape” is actually closer to “seduction.” Genesis uses the same language with regard to Jacob’s wooing of Rachel. And the choice in the matter was always with the woman and her family.

  • Larry

    I guess an honest opinion on the subject is far too much to ask from you. So you give a patently nonsensical avoidance spiel.

    Of course you don’t really care if Uganda is willing to kill people for being gay. You would want the same in the US if it could be accomplished. American Evangelicals made that point crystal clear.

    “but what is my business is people twisting and using the Gospel to promote the anti-gospel”

    Murdering people in the name of Jesus (as Uganda and its American Christian supporters want to do) doesn’t appear to be an “anti-gospel” to you. But appreciation for religious freedom and civil liberties are. The more you spout off, the more worthless your beliefs are in the world for sane moral people.

  • So you are bringing your own extra-biblical interpretation to the discussion. It is your opinion that it refers only to all forms of pre-marital relations. But a plain reading of the text does not. The idea of consensual relations is not in the Bible except if one is willing to stretch the text to fit modern sensibilities.

    The idea of marrying one’s rapist has a long history in Christianity. In Sicily it was custom far into the mid 20th century. So whatever you thought it meant, in practice was closer to Ben’s reading of it.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franca_Viola

    And “sexual immorality” is so vague as to be whatever you feel like imputing to it. Again you have to go extra-biblical to relate it to the expressions of prejudice you feel are “scriptural”.

  • Inane was your post followed by your rebuttal. Fact of the matter is, the Christians on this board are remarkably silent about the whole Uganda proposal to execute gays. You included.

    Instead we have discussions of the coming armageddon, moaning about the existence of an LGBT based story and the usual bullcrap about why Jesus hated gays.

    How come this is the only subject on this site that Christians don’t really want to chime in on? My guess is they don’t like being called out on the most clear examples of extremist efforts

  • Ayesha is the “PC” version of Ronald. A poe troll of the highest order. A response is merely a waste of time.

  • Greg1

    The last time I checked it was the Parliament of Uganda that wrote and passed the Act. And as usual, you equate it with Christians wanting to kill homosexuals. And then as usual you extend it to Evangelical Christians as if they are out there killing gay people. You are losing credibility the more you continue on this. Your bias is glaring. To be fair, homosexuality is an aberrant lifestyle, that will ultimately lead to the destruction of any society if legalized, as the SCOTUS has done in this country, as it will ultimately lead to splintered families, a rendering of extended families to mere scattered lineage, and a breakdown of the very artiface of our society. So standing firm against gay marriage is for the common good, but to take it to the extreme as is being levied in Uganda is a bridge too far. But I agree with keeping gay marriage illegal, as it violates the natural law.

  • Shawnie5

    “It is your opinion that it refers only to all forms of pre-marital relations. But a plain reading of the text does not. The idea of consensual relations is not in the Bible” This is a nonsense statement on its face, which also has the unintended effect of erasing your buddies’ gay-affirming “interpretations.”

    “And “sexual immorality” is so vague as to be whatever you feel like imputing to it. Again you have to go extra-biblical to relate it to the expressions of prejudice you feel are “scriptural””

    No, you don’t. It’s all listed quite directly in Lev. 20, as Jesus’ audience knew (and Josephus confirms), and as did the observant Jewish Jerusalem church who agreed that nothing from the Torah would be held binding on Gentile Christians EXCEPT the prohibitions on sexual immorality and a few other things. However, you DO have to go extrabiblical — indeed, you have to into outer space — to somehow separate out SS behavior from sexual immorality.

  • Shawnie5

    “The idea of marrying one’s rapist has a long history in Christianity. In Sicily it was custom far into the mid 20th century”

    What Sicily did or didn’t do about rape is irrelevant. We’re talking Bible here. Since human nature changes very little, how it played out “in practice” was probably pretty mundane — young people playing around with sex without parental permission and responsibility having to be assumed by someone, namely the male.

  • Shawnie5

    Our opposition to Uganda’s actions has already been expressed. As I have stated numerous times, I am opposed to criminal restrictions on behavior beyond that which is absolutely necessary to maintain public order. How many times does it need to be reiterated before it gets through?

    However, I was responding to a scripture-related question. I see no reason why either you or Ben needed to “chime in” on that, as it involves both faith you do not share and knowledge you do not possess.

  • Larry

    Last time I checked Scott Lively was being hauled up before the Courts for his involvement and support of the Uganda measure.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/scott-lively-kill-the-gays_n_2436373.html

    You like to forget that happened and are ignoring American Evangelical involvement in these measures all over the world. Your avoidance is too dishonest to bother taking seriously.

    Its telling that you can’t even give an honest, direct, clear opinion on the proposed Uganda Law. You obviously are so lacking in moral fiber that you would turn a blind eye or make excuses for executions in the name of your religion.

    Yes I have a bias. I am biased against self-righteous liars who attack the liberties of others.

  • Larry

    Leviticus 20 mentions a lot of things which are hardly treated as relevant by Christians. Banishment/ostracism of mediums and spiritualists, killing disobedient children, killing adulterers, the list goes on. You are being quite selective in your indignation if you are going to use this by proxy. But that is really the point here. Proof-texting the Bible to pick out whatever suits your position.

    “What Sicily did or didn’t do about rape is irrelevant.”

    Except they took direction for their laws from Biblical rules concerning rape and marriage. What Ben referred to. In the plain reading of the text as given. Something you are claiming is not read that way. Obviously that is not true.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Sure, shawnie. As always, whenever the bible says something inconvenient, just pretend it says something else entirely. That way you self esteem and purity remain n untouched, while you get to wish religious and political dominion over others.

  • Ben in Oakland

    I couldn’t tell whether she is a shill or poe troll or not, either.

  • Shawnie5

    The operative passage reads: “If a man entices (pathah) a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies (shakab) with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins.” Exodus 22:16-17.

    If it were talking about rape, the passage would have used the term “chazaq,” as did the description of Tamar’s rape by Amnon.

    “Leviticus 20 mentions a lot of things which are hardly treated as relevant by Christians” True, but none of the others are the sexual prohibitions retained by the Jerusalem church. And it was they who made the decision — not because it “suited” anyone’s position but because they matched what had always been required of righteous Gentiles.

    “Whenever the bible says something inconvenient, just pretend it says something else entirely. ” It isn’t inconvenient, and I’m not pretending. The operative words have specific meaning.

  • Jack

    Shawnie, the bottom line is that neither of us fit into Larry’s cartoonish stereotype of evangelicals, nor do millions of other like-minded Americans. But rather than revise the stereotype to reflect this broad reality, Larry keeps at it, banging his head against the same cold-stone wall of reality. It’s painful to watch, but Larry is probably immune to it by now.

  • Jack

    Earth to LarryWorld:

    There’s nothing more foolish than calling detail-driven people liars when they claim to have said something.

    If you can’t figure out why, you’re hopeless.

  • Jack

    Just missed Larry’s silly questions. Here are my answers:

    I oppose any law to imprison or execute gays for being or behaving gay. I do not personally know a single soul who supports any such law…..If I did, I would argue with them and attempt to change their mind on the issue.

    In my worst moments, however, I’d be tempted to support public floggings for inane posts, although I would probably relent in the end.

  • Larry

    Of course you two fit into the mold of Evangelicals.

    1. Pretending that proof-texting the Bible is somehow evidence that God supports your position (and all other believers are not really “authentic”). The number of times the two of you insult other Christians who disagree with you is rather numerous.

    2. Always willing to weaselword, distort or flat out lie to support a position concerning your faith. Especially when the subject is history. Both of you like to dip into the apologetic well quite often

    3. Someone who thinks religious freedom means merely free exercise of their faith and conveniently forgets things like the separation of church and state.

    The only major difference between you guys and the others is the willingness to divert discussions down rabbit holes of innane and irrelevant details that most shy away from.

  • Jack

    No, Larry, it’s about the meaning of words when uttered by other people — not what you wish them to mean but what the writers intended them to mean.

    I interpret Scripture as I would any other example of communication — plainly, straightforwardly, and in context — whether the resultant interpretation makes me comfortable or uncomfortable.

    I wouldn’t want anyone to twist my words, so I don’t try to twist the Biblical writers’ words. If the result isn’t complete conformity to our culture, so be it. If the Bible is God’s Word, I wouldn’t expect it to conform completely to any culture. Every culture has its flaws and so I would expect conflict between all of them and books which claim to be God’s revelation to humanity.

    That’s partly why Christians are so persecuted. They are the most countercultural folks on the planet. They bring bad news to cultural conformists of all kinds, but good news to those who know something’s deeply wrong and want answers.

  • Shawnie5

    “Always willing to weaselword, distort or flat out lie to support a position concerning your faith. Especially when the subject is history.”

    Larry, I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. I certainly haven’t lied about anything, I try not to distort anything, and since I have a rather tough skin and care very little for popular opinion I have no real motivation to “weaselword” anything.

    On the other hand, while on the subject of history, I AM still waiting for your scriptural/historical argument for gay-affirmation in the church, which you have never delivered yet. I hope it doesn’t involve the degree of “weaselwording” you employed to try to argue that a sex-change operation such as Mr. Jenner is contemplating doesn’t involve castration within the meaning of the Torah. That was quite a hoot.

  • Shawnie5

    @Jack: “But rather than revise the stereotype to reflect this broad reality, Larry keeps at it,”

    Having to abandon the clumsy intellectual shorthand upon which he has relied for so long might induce a complete cognitive collapse. It’s a lot of stress for the limited to deal with the diversity of real life and real people. Much easier to simply press the “I-don’t-take-you-seriously” shut-off valve.

  • Greg1

    Yes, Larry, and I am biased too, in the sense that I believe in the Gospel. We are beginning to see very destruction that Leftist politics bring down upon the civilized world. The Devil has been hard at work trying to destroy the family, as once the family is destroyed, the civilized world as we know it collapses, and he knows that. The Evil One has made divorce easy in our day, divorce and remarriage, divorce followed by fornication, or no marriage but just living together in fornication is becoming commonplace, having babies out of wedlock if becoming the norm, now gay marriage is becoming legalized. Next there will be transgendered men, marrying transgendered women, and on, and on. If you don’t see a method to the madness, then you are blind. This is how the Devil operates, and once he has destroyed the family, all is over for mankind, as the family is the domestic church. Once you see total indigence, the end is not far off. And we are getting very close to that point.

  • Greg1

    Yes, Shawnie is correct, the word “porneia” is translated sexual immorality, but it means any sex outside of marriage. For example Jesus said, “from within a person … comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality (porneia), theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7). So if “porneia” is sex outside of marriage, then what defines marriage? Well, our Lord said plainly that “‘…a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ (Matthew 19:5). So of course Jesus condemned homosexuality, as Paul reiterated in 1Cor, and Romans, but he also condemned all sex outside of marriage.

  • Jack

    “Complete cognitive collapse…” Nice alliteration, Shawnie.

    Nice word picture, too….

  • Larry

    “I AM still waiting for your scriptural/historical argument for gay-affirmation in the church,”

    Which church?

    There is no “the church”.

    There are numerous ones which say just that. I have always suggested you contact them. You have heard the arguments before. Its important to talk to them since they actually believe this stuff. You may disagree with their reasons, but lets face it, nobody made you God’s spokesperson. You have an opinion you want to consider fact. That is simply fundy ego talking.

    I have always noted that arguments from scripture are always selective, self-serving and have no bearing on how people actually believe. When plain reading of scripture won’t help, the discussion always involves extra-biblical arguments and alleged support from sources which can never be considered objectively conclusive.

    So why am I going to bother? Rational arguments should be made for rational issues. Religion is never rational.

  • Jack

    So in other words, because people differ on what the Bible means on a subject, that means…..that nobody has the right to say that their particular interpretation is the correct one?

    Larry, that’s utterly irrational.

  • Shawnie5

    @Jack: Of course it’s irrational, but he doesn’t really mean it–he’s more than ready to accuse you of not knowing what the political terms you use mean, remember? But when he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, suddenly it doesn’t matter. 😀

    It’s just his way of crawling away from a challenge he invariably can’t handle. I’ve yet to see ANYONE here who can — Larry least of all.

  • Shawnie5

    @Larry: “There is no “the church”.”

    Sorry but that’s not what Jesus said. “Upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against IT.” And Paul liked to call the church “The Body of Christ.”

    One entity, made up of many parts.