PBS’s Newshour featured a segment on Uganda’s ongoing struggle for LGBT equality Thursday, and the nation’s hostility to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s historical call to treat gay rights as human rights. Polls still show that 95 percent of Ugandans favor criminalizing homosexuality — and many back the infamous “kill gays bill,” which would impose harsh penalties on homosexual behavior.
The piece includes Pastor Joseph Serwadda, who heads an association of Pentecostal and evangelical churches, accusing the West of spreading “gayism” and imposing “an agenda for homosexuals in Uganda.” He claims that “Nobody has gone to jail; nobody has been harassed; nobody has been ostracized because of their sexual orientation” and says that he has never met a gay person. Watch it:
Watch In Uganda, Gays Face Growing Social, Legal Hostility on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
Though anti-gay sentiment continues to be fierce in Uganda, the slow but steady growth of public advocacy for gender issues is showing progress. A recent march organized by Sexual Minorities Uganda, for instance, had 30 participants, as opposed to just four at a similar march four years ago. Activist Frank Mugisha points out that the mere fact the nation is having a national conversation about the issue of homosexuality — hostile though it may be — represents a change from a time when it was so taboo people would not even talk about it.