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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More