Has Uganda Learned Nothing From Its Sudanese and Rwandan Neighbors?

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An infrastructure of mass killing is preparing itself for the upcoming decade. There has been an apparent shift from genocide in the region based on ethnic group to genocide based on sexual orientation. New Ugandan legislation, once passed, would hope to usher in an era of state-sponsored killing, all in the name of God. So, what would Jesus do? Apparently, according to certain Ugandan leaders, Jesus would kill or imprison all homosexuals and AIDS patients suspected in the country.

A proposed law would not only sentence homosexuals and AIDS patients to death; it would also imprison anyone for three years for knowing a homosexual, but not reporting them to the proper authorities. A prison term would also extend to anyone who defends the rights of gays and lesbians in public. The proposed law is even an extraditable offense; any Ugandan even suspected of being gay could be extradited back to Uganda and punished.

God is the justification. Apparently, U.S. evangelism has gone past mission trips and into policy making in the form of a Ugandan anti-homosexuality agenda. Western conservative religious movements have obtained strong footing in Africa, often capitalizing on Africa's traditional family value system.

Three men, Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries, Don Schmierer of Exodus International and the International Healing Foundation, and Lee Brundidge, who often works with a group called Extreme Prophetic, were invited to the conference of the Family Life Network of Uganda [in March of 2009] to help organize what Lively called "an effective social and political force" to combat "anti-family Western agitators."

Those agitators, he said, are led by gay activists in Europe and the United States who "plan to spread sexual anarchy throughout the world under the guise of 'human rights' and 'family planning.' "

Why now? Why the insistence on such widespread, destructive, generation-changing legislation and the resulting, foreseen impact on Ugandan society, not to mention the entire region? Surely, border neighbors, like Kenya and Tanzania, would become a nearby refuge for those looking to flee the country as a result of this legislation.

Why, at a time when Uganda, a country that ranks 200 when measuring life expectancy at birth be moving toward eradicating the entire gay population instead of using more of its resources on public health efforts? Why allocate such resources in law enforcement and human capital and waste it on something so destructive when the country and the region could instead use such capital more toward increasing economic empowerment efforts on a micro level?

Why, as a country, and sometimes as an entire continent, are eyes so easily taken off the prize? Ugandan citizens are described as highly susceptible to any of the following diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, malaria, plague, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) and schistosomiasis.

So, what's the response to all this? Let's kill all the gays! Why is this making sense to Ugandans that are in support of this legislation?

Uganda has fertile soil, regular rainfall and sizable mineral deposits of cobalt, copper and gold. Uganda also recently discovered oil, a major development that should shift Uganda's focus toward rapid economic development. So, why would a country blessed with such resources be so focused on state-sponsored eradication of a segment of its population?

Some critics say that given Uganda's issues with widespread corruption, the anti-gay agenda is a very real way of distracting people from Uganda's true societal ills. But, amid international protests and criticism, Uganda appears to continue on with its efforts.

It's unlikely that pressure from other countries, even those providing development dollars, will make substantial impact on the law thus far. The bill's author, David Bahati, of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, has been quoted as saying, "We cannot exchange our dignity for money."