By Melanie Nathan, February 02, 2023
Ugandan authorities seem to think rainbows can hurt children. In a formal Mayoral announcement, as seen here, they have removed a rainbow painting from a children’s park following complaints from propagandized parents who asserted that the design to be a satanic promotion of homosexuality.
A local organization had painted one of the park towers in Entebbe in rainbow colors as part to add fun by way of rainbow colors at the park. Mayor of Entebbe, Fabrice Brad Rulinda said in a statement released on yesterday:
“For years, the children of Uganda have only understood the rainbow as a beautiful arch of colors and biblically it reflects the beauty and majesty of God. It is unfortunate that certain movements have decided to use the rainbow to represent and reflect certain acts that go against the norms of the people of Uganda. We need to curb any vices that would corrupt the minds of our children and it is on this background that the concerns raised by the public were heeded to and the rainbow painting was removed from the children’s park.”
Emmanuel Mugabe from the National Parents Association of Uganda told a reporter that the tower’s rainbow colors were “satanic” and signalled an “invasion of homosexuality through manipulation of children’s minds. We are happy the rainbow painting has been removed before we removed it ourselves,”
The incident follows an uproar in southwestern Uganda where local authorities in Kasese are allegedly trying to pass legislation recognizing the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Government last month set up a committee to investigate the alleged “promotion” of gay, lesbian and transgender rights in schools.
This must all be viewed in light of Uganda's conditions for LGBTI+ people. It is a country that criminalizes sexual orientation and gender identity through draconian penal codes, where attempts have been made to legislate harsher and more punitive measures with the intent to eradicate homosexuals.
In 2014 President Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, dubbed "The Kill the Gays Bill", which Uganda's Parliament passed without the requisite quorum. Hence the Act was struck down by a Court after a lawsuit was filed by local human rights defenders. Parliamentarians are seeking to bring back the legislation to include life in prison, a clause that criminalizes the faux notion of promotion of homosexuality, and also a clause that will send parents, doctors, teachers, siblings, pastors, neighbors and friends to prison for four years if they fail to report a "known" homosexual to police.
Whether the law is present or not, whether current penal codes are enforced or not, these conditions all serve to license state and non-state actors to exact out vengeance through horrific violence and persecution, to include beatings, so called "mob justice", torture, detentions, extortion, kidnappings so called "corrective rape," firings, expulsions, evictions, banishments, and killings of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and non-binary people in Uganda.
As a country conditions expert witness here in the United States of America I am privy to so very many of the stories where people are given asylum as they fear returning to Uganda, and understandably for all these reasons. It is mind blowing to think that Uganda's majority populace and politicians, all who consider homosexuality an abomination and Satanic based on their Christian faith, are willing to perform these violent criminal acts, while police and Mayors such as Rulinda turn a blind eye, and yet react so vehemently to an innocent rainbow design in a Park just because it happens to be used as a global symbol of acceptance, love and tolerance.
Unfortunately Ugandans have been influenced by American extremists to view sexuality as a a sex act, rather than an orientation that pertains to attraction and as relational. The irony of the Penal Codes is they were delivered to Uganda by the British white colonizers, who have since decriminalized in their own country. And further irony is that the enhanced new legislation is a weapon of further Colonialism at the instance of American Christian Evangelicals, who see Africa as fertile ground to export hate, as they lose their influence to EQUALITY in their own country. Perhaps the Mayor could use a lesson in history of the use of the Rainbow as a symbol of PRIDE and a lesson in human attraction and sexuality. No amount of painted colors in a park can hurt a child or command a change in that child's natural born sexual proclivity. The worst part of the Mayor's statement is that it will serve further persecution as the anti-LGBTI rhetoric and myth licenses further violence and harms.