You’ve probably heard or read in the press that the African nation of Uganda has passed a law calling for life in prison for the practice of homosexuality.
It’s mentioned in nearly every Western news account of the action taken by the Uganda legislature and signed by President Yoweri Museveni.
One would get the impression from these stories that someone convicted of one consensual act of homosexuality might find himself in prison for life.
But is it true?
No, not really.
Life imprisonment is reserved only for aggravated cases that include, essentially, convictions for a form of homosexual rape or what is defined as “serial homosexuality,” as the bill clearly states.
Now, do I approve of this law?
No, I don’t. I would not like to see homosexuals jailed for consensual acts, though, as a Christian, I believe it to be sinful.
My point is, however, there is a lot of hyperbole and hysteria about Uganda’s new law. Western nations, including the U.S., have either cut back foreign aid or cut it off entirely. Secretary of State John Kerry is sending a “scientific” delegation to Uganda to meet with Museveni to persuade him that his assumptions about homosexuality are wrong. “Progressives” all over the U.S. and Europe are up in arms about Uganda.
The news stories and cable TV discussions about Uganda also leave one with the impression the nation is out of step with the rest of the world, a pariah even in Africa. In fact, homosexuality was already illegal in 37 other African countries, a reality seldom referenced in any news accounts. In 10 nations, homosexuality is punishable by death.
One has to wonder why so much fuss about Uganda when other countries have much harsher laws on the books – including Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Sudan. Of course, these countries all share a common characteristic that Uganda does not share. They are all Islamic. In several of these countries, including Saudi Arabia, the death penalty can be carried out by stoning.
Don’t I recall Barack Obama bowing down to the king of Saudi Arabia on a visit there?
Why is Uganda getting such scrutiny for its laws on homosexuality while others, mostly Muslim, get a free pass?
That’s one of the questions Museveni has about a duly passed law that is, by all accounts, very popular among the citizenry.
But there’s more to puzzle over with regard to the Uganda frenzy.
Other nations do things all the time that are repugnant to Americans. But this one in Uganda is in a class by itself in terms of attention, criticism and reprisals.
Just a week ago, Kenya’s parliament passed a bill allowing men to marry as many women as they want without the approval of the wife.
This would seem like an action that would rile up feminists in the West. Yet I can scarcely find any condemnation. No threats of aid cuts. No planned trips by State Department task forces. No hysterical op-eds in the major media.
What’s the difference?
Well, Kenya, too, is a mostly Islamic country.
It seems the multiculturalists on the left have one standard of “tolerance” for Islam and another for Christian-oriented nations like Uganda.
Is that a surprise?
It shouldn’t be.
The West is reticent to impose its sense of morality on Islamic nations. It is more than willing to apply its multicultural standard when dealing with Muslims and Shariah law. But when Christians are in charge, as in Uganda, you would think, based on the furor raised, that Idi Amin had returned to power in all his butchery and savagery.
In fact, Uganda may be a more serious concern for U.S. progressives right now than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korean tyranny, Islamic terrorism and worldwide sex trafficking.
Would it be fair to say the left is losing any sense of perspective?
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