Sunday, December 13, 2009

One step forward, two steps back

Well, I'm glad to say that Uganda is doing some things right. Take a look at the following excerpt from an article on the CNN website:

The Ugandan parliament unanimously passed a bill banning female genital mutilation, a traditional rite that has sparked an international outcry and is practiced in some African and Asian communities.

The practice, which involves cutting off a girl's clitoris, is also called female circumcision. In some communities in eastern Uganda, it is practiced in girls up to age 15.

Convicted offenders face 10 years in prison, but if the girl dies during the act, those involved will get a life sentence, according to officials in the east African country.

"A majority of Ugandans felt it is a disgusting act, but you have to remember that this is a cultural belief that has been practiced for generations," said Fred Opolot, the government spokesman. "That's what took the bill so long to pass."

Now, here's the problem - and it's a big one. You probably already know that Uganda is all set to pass a bill that will put gays in prison for life - even execute some. Also the bill criminalizes any one who is supportive of gay rights (regardless of their own sexual orientation) and who neglects to report a person believed to be gay. You might like to read the Guardian article on that right here.

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