News / Africa

Uganda's 'Daily Monitor' Editor: Threat to Gay Rights a Threat to National Justice

Daniel Kalinaki, managing editor of Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, writes that a threat to gay rights is a threat to justice in his latest Op Ed Piece in Uganda's Daily Monitor Newspaper.
Daniel Kalinaki, managing editor of Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, writes that a threat to gay rights is a threat to justice in his latest Op Ed Piece in Uganda's Daily Monitor Newspaper.

Multimedia

Audio
Gabe Joselow

A government raid on a meeting of gay rights activists in Uganda has prompted debate on the country's stance towards homosexuals. Daniel Kalinaki, managing editor of Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper, spoke with VOA correspondent Gabe Joselow about his recent opinion piece arguing that the threat to gay rights is a threat to justice throughout the country.

JOSELOW: "First of all, the title of your article is 'Those Who Go After Gays and Sex Workers Will One Day Go After Teachers and Doctors.' Can you explain what you mean by that?"

KALINAKI: "What I basically mean is that people need to stand up against injustice, even if it's meted out against people they might disagree with, because injustice creeps up on society, starts with minorities, starts with people who are different from the rest of us all, but eventually it consumes the entire society.  And I give examples in the article of people who are like us, you know, they're standing up for basic rights of pay, of work conditions, who have been subjected to the same kind of disruptive interference by state agents as the homosexual community or the gay rights activists in Uganda."

JOSELOW: "And later on you go on to say that regardless of your views on homosexuality, something like the recent raid on gay activists should concern everybody.  So, how do you convince someone who is against homosexuality that they should be concerned as well?"

KALINAKI: "Well because you need to separate the moral from the legal.  You might have your views about homosexuality, you might detest homosexuality and people who choose to be homosexual, but you must be willing to defend the basic fundamental rights of association of assembly and of expression.  Because if they take those rights away from the homosexuals, nothing stops the government from taking those rights away from you.  So it starts with people who are easy to isolate and demonize but it eventually - and history is littered with hundreds of examples - it eventually catches up with everyone."

JOSELOW: "Was the recent raid an isolated incident, or part of a bigger pattern in Uganda?"

KALINAKI: "We have seen of course, the gay-bashing in Unganda has been around for a long time and there are people who have very strong views against homosexuality and they are entitled to those views.  People who have a problem with homosexuality are as entitled to holding those views as those who think that homosexuals have a right to live their lives as they choose.  And that debate needs to take place, but what we're seeing is not just the gay bashing, we're seeing an erosion and the curtailment of civil liberties.

Opposition demonstrations and political rallies have been interrupted. We've seen attempts to influence the content of radio and TV broadcasts as well as print articles, we've seen demonstrations by teachers, by doctors broken up.  There is a pattern and I imagine the pattern is the government, where people hold views that are critical of its policies, or views that the government does not agree with, is willing to abuse the constitutional rights of assembly of expression, bringing the law enforcement agencies to actually abuse the law."

JOSELOW: "Now, Uganda has received a lot negative attention from the international community because of an anti-homosexual law being put forward in the parliament.  The government's response has been that this is a Ugandan issue, it doesn't concern anyone else.  Do they have a point?"

KALINAKI: "A lot of the criticism by the international community has actually been self-defeating.  You cannot stop, or you should not condemn those who hold alternative viewpoints.  If there are people in Uganda who have strong views against homosexuality, they have the right to be heard they have the right to have their views debated.  But the people who say they have the problem with homosexuality do not represent every Ugandan.

Now as a straight Ugandan with a family and a partner I have my views about homosexuality, but I don't think it is my place to determine how the next guy chooses his life and what sexual orientation he chooses.  So this needs to be seen as a rights-based issue.  The people who try to stop the debate actually force the issue away from a rights-based issue, they lose the moral high ground and they give fuel to homophobic people who say this is something that is being pushed and sponsored by the outside."

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs