I’m sure we have all read or seen something upon Russian anti gay legislation recently with all the media concerning the Olympics etc however I’m not paying as much attention to that as some may think I should.
Now don’t get me wrong I am by no means a fan of Russia and detest the way they are treating my fellow LGBTQs, however with all the focus upon them currently it is all too easy to forget one simple thing.
There is discrimination in other countries throughout the world and many at a far higher level than Russia.
The Russian law is incredibly vague which has allowed people to make claims about what its intentions are and what it allows. And thats fine you can argue back and forth about what it allows and how it is discriminating against us it is great to see people so passionate about LGBTQ rights. What I wish is to see that transferred to other countries throughout the world who are for the most part ignored. Also you have to remember that no one has been killed in Russia as a result of this and only a few dozen at most have been arrested. It is still an unacceptable breach upon their human rights and I detest it and wish to see it disappear but I am more concerned about those in other countries who are threatened with losing their life.
So what countries am I talking about at discriminate worse than Russia? Well the list is quite long, however there are a couple that implemented legislation very recently or are going to as a result.
Obviously Uganda, this one was in fact recently challenged in court by activists in Uganda but first what does the anti-gay act in Uganda entail?
You see this bill does infact ban homosexuality completely heres a quick summary:
Life in prison for gay sex of including things such as oral or life imprisonment for being in a gay marriage.
Seven years for attempting to commit homosexuality which includes things such as simply kissing a man.
Seven years in jail if you “promote homosexuality” and/or a 25,000 pound fine.
Seven years in Jail for the director of any business that “promotes homosexuality” and the business being shut down.
Obviously this is a simplification but I think you can see why this is worse than Russia.
Granted you might have heard of the Ugandan legislation as it has at least been reported on, however not nearly in the same amount as the Russian one has.
So why is this? Well a couple of reasons spring to my in this case one is minor and pure speculation, but I find it interesting enough to consider and the other is more important.
The minor reason is that the problem is fueled at the moment by American Evangelical Christian Conservatives. A several hundred have set up parishes and are preaching literalist Biblical views causing the anti gay views to grow in Uganda, now you could say that the American Media has no wish to report this fact though either way I have nothing concrete in support of it. I just thought it was a possible idea and it does help explain why there is so much anti gay feeling in Uganda and many other African countries as Uganda is not an isolated incident of this.
Now the bigger reason that it is gaining less attention is the HIV or AIDs virus which is prolific in African countries such as Uganda. Now the gay population gets the blame for this problem so some people, mostly right wing americans, attempt to justify the legislation against homosexuality in this way so feel there is no need to report upon such things as it is to them an acceptable concept.
I will point one thing out however, gays do not count for the any significant amount the AIDS problem in places such as Uganda. It is infact impoverished couples that account for the major population with the AIDs virus. This is because they do not have the means to protect themselves from the virus with condoms etc and in some cases, again due to evangelicals and people such as the ex-pope, they are told not to use condoms and are lied to saying that it encourages the spread of aids. Meanwhile the legislators are of the opinion it is the fault of the LGBTQ community so make such things illegal.
There is hope though, organisations are pushing for education of the population of these areas and the provision of condoms etc, so while I cannot think of a solution for Russia apart from perhaps a complete governmental reform. I feel that there is at least a chance for people in Africa as they have legislated out of fear essentially, so bringing media attention could not only highlight the plight but help to promote education and aid in such countries and to highlight those who spread the lies that the gay population is to blame. So don’t just focus on Russia the please do report on it, devote a larger amount of time to a problem we could actually solve.
Finally I recommend watching Kenya as due to Uganda a study has been ordered as to how they can enforce their own anti gay legislation more severely, so keep an eye on them as it is likely to develop in the next few months.