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

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs