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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid