To analyze the news coverage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, we chose news sources from 4 geographic locations. We studied CNN’s coverage of the bill in the US and BBC/Belfast Telegraph’s coverage in the UK because of the U.S. and UK’s threat to cut aid. We also chose to discuss Nigerian Punch Newspaper/ ThisDay’s coverage in Nigeria and New Vision’s coverage in Uganda to look at countries that have already outlawed homosexuality.
There is not a lot of variety in the opinions of those supporting LGBTQ rights. They firmly believe the LGBTQ community deserves to be treated equally and that their members in no way deserve punishment for their sexual orientation. They counter the belief that being gay is a choice and that it is something the Western world has brought to Africa.
Those in support of the bill believe that homosexuality is unnatural and “unafrican,” that it was brought from the West and is spreading into their country. They claim it goes against their family values and is something from which they need to protect their children. Organizations like UNICEF are accused of trying to recruit children to homosexuality through their involvement in the school system. Allegations of organizations include distributing educational materials supposedly promoting homosexuality and recruiters bribing students to change their sexual orientation. Those against homosexuality also view it as counter to their Christian faith. They also argue against international countries’ involvement in Ugandan legislation, claiming Uganda is a democracy and does not need the influence of foreign powers to pass laws.
CNN offered sympathetic coverage of the LGBTQ community through the voice of CNN reporters rather than Ugandans.
examples: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/06/world/us-world-gay-rights/index.html?iref=allsearch, http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/01/29/uganda.gay.activist.funeral/index.html?iref=allsearch
The UK sources incorporated the prominent role religious leaders have played in the discussion of the bill and included interviews with those opposing homosexuality.
examples: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17054414, http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/top-cleric-warns-against-demonising-gay-people-15068489.html
These Nigerian sources (Nigeria Punch Newspaper and ThisDay) did not write in support of the bill as one may have assumed. Instead, they pointed out the lack of support for the bill in the Ugandan government and suggested Bahati may revise the bill to make it more lenient.
examples: http://www.punchng.com/news/africa/uganda-denies-backing-anti-gay-bill/, http://www.punchng.com/news/africa/african-leaders-must-respect-gay-rights-ban/
This source gave insight into the belief that human rights organizations are promoting homosexuality and targeting children. It also acknowledged the importance of religious leaders, discussing the power dynamics amongst bishops. The authors of these articles quoted anti-homosexuality opinions, but did not seem to adopt it.
examples: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/729779, http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/12/675619
*We attempted to find Middle Eastern commentary on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but our search of Al Jazeera, Al Hayat, and Al Arabiya only produced one article on the topic.
There was a plethora of videos on the bill, both pro and anti-homosexuality present on YouTube. Click the links below to watch a few videos:
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has expressed his firm stance against homosexuality. However, he has been reported by BBC in 2011 as pulling away from the bill, refusing to fully support it. For more on his views, click here.
David Bahati is the Ugandan member of Parliament who created the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He is very open about his disapproval of homosexuality and his Christian beliefs. For an interview with him click here.
James Buturo is the Minister for Ethics and Integrity. He is also open about his opinion on the issue, and claims the pro-rights side lies. Click here to learn more.
Pastor Moses Male leads the National Collision Against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuses in Uganda. To hear more, watch the beginning of this video (also linked in the YouTube section).
Giles Muhame edits the Rolling Stone, a Ugandan newspaper that printed the headline “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos” with the caption “Hang Them.” This article outed homosexuals and put the in danger of violence. Click here to hear an interview with Muhame.
David Kato was a gay Ugandan activist murdered in his home. His name was one of many printed in the above-mentioned Rolling Stone article. To learn more, click here.
Frank Mugisha is the chairman of Sexual minorities Uganda (SMUG). Click here to watch a debate between Mugisha and Pastor Godfrey Oklori.
President Barak Obama of the United States threatened last year to refuse financial assistance to the government of Uganda if they passed this bill. For a brief clip on Obama’s opinion, click here.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been involved in speaking out against hetero-sexism in Uganda. She has been quoted as saying, “Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights” in addition to “Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality.” Click here to hear more.