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Oct 10, 2007 Editorial: Ugandan Gays Can't Leave With Empty Hands
By Viktor Zimmermann

Recently, the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity repeatedly has suggested that Gays will not be tolerated in the Ugandan society and that all Gays should leave Uganda, presumably to places where they will be treated in a less hideous way. „Let them go to another country, and not here,“ the Minister was quoted by the pro-government newspaper New Vision. If we accept this notion for a moment, than let us consider all the implications of such an exodus of Gays from Uganda.

To make it clear, we are not talking about the 10 to 20 individuals of SMUG who had the courage to stand up and speak out for their rights, no -- we are talking about all the Ugandan Gays, whom the Minister apparently has in mind. That’s a population segment strong of 6 to 8 percent, which amounts to approximately 1.6 - 2.2 millions individuals. Those millions are as diligent and hardworking people as anybody else in Uganda, and many of them possess houses, land and businesses. Now the Minister can’t seriously assume that all those homosexual Ugandan citizens will leave the country, voluntarily abandoning their possessions to the very people who allegedly hate them so much? Let’s talk straight about the issue of property: what does the Minister suppose to happen with it? In case he thinks of an involuntarily separation of Gays from their property, did he consider in whole what the consequences of such a measure will mean about the government of Uganda?

Let’s not pretend such a measure would be something different from theft and robbery, simply because it is initiated by administration officials. Stealing property and businesses is a handiwork of thieves and bandits, not of democratically elected governments. Those governments who participate in theft and robbery are -- logically -- a gang of criminals, of the Mugabe’s sort of politicians.

Since the Ugandan government certainly does not want to be viewd as a gang of thieves and bandits, they will wish to offer a suitable compensation for all those houses, land and fabrics Gays are expected to leave behind while being forced out of the country. Will the honourable Minister please tell us which part of Uganda’s territory he will as readily dispose of as he does with the Gay part of its population? For clarification, we are talking about some 6 to 8 per cent here.

In case the Ugandan government is unwilling to negotiate about territorial separation of Gays from Uganda, it remains in the duty to provide just and responsible governance to all of its citizens, including the homosexual ones. Anything else will amount to a Nazi-style tyranny, provoking an (armed?) resistance.

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