While Museveni mulls “harmonized” homophobia, no news from Nigeria is bad news, Kenya considers death by stoning, and smiling faces hide ugly truths . . .We’re reading about politics over public health

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NewWWRNRM Caucus Sets Up Committee to Harmonize Anti-Homosexuality Law – The two weeks since a Uganda high court overturned the country’s Anti-Homosexuality law have seen a celebration of gay pride in Entebbe, as well as continued celebrations of bigotry,demagoguery and political opportunism by Ugandan parliamentarians promising to both appeal the court’s ruling, and to reintroduce the law. Now comes this news that a Ugandan Parliament caucus committee will “review contentious issues” — ignored by high court ruling — mentioned in the petition that led to the law’s nullification. While the petition mentions violations of privacy, dignity, and freedom from degrading punishment throughout the text of the law, Museveni is said in this Reuter’s story to be considering omitting additional criminalization of consensual sex (beyond the country’s standing colonial-era anti-sodomy law) and adding penalties for “recruiting” people into gay sex.

Stigma and Discrimination Are Killing Gay Men — News from the International AIDS Conference – This story from AIDS 2014 details  Nigerian health and human rights activist Ifeanyi Orazulike’s account of the impact of Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, on healthcare access in that country, including an estimated 73 percent drop in individuals seeking services (“For fear of going to prison, people preferred to stay at home on their sick bed”). But while pressure and sanctions from international leaders and donors arguably led to the Ugandan court’s dismissal of that country’s anti-gay law, and bolstered Ugandan human rights advocates who took the law to court, Nigeria’s law, signed into law a month before Uganda’s, continues to harm health and human rights in that country with relatively little mention. The exceptions are this story about 10 United States Senators asking President Obama to review Nigeria’s eligibility for trade preference under the African Growth and Opportunity Act in light of the country’s human rights abuses against its gay citizens, and this story about a Nigerian human rights activist confrontation with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan about the violence against gay citizens that has followed the law’s passage. Jonathan’s response, according to the story: “If you think the law is unconstitutional, you have the right to go to court and fight . . .” Which begs the question of what might happen if leaders and donors turned greater attention to Nigeria’s law.

Kenya: New Bill Wants Gays Stoned in Public – The bill also introduces to Kenya the crime of “Aggravated Homosexuality” — for sex with a minor, or when the “offender” is a person living with HIV — apparently modeled on Uganda’s law.

Why Smile? 32 anti-gay African leaders, 32 smiling Obama photos
– The 76 Crimes collection of photo opportunities for African leaders in Washington, DC last week,  with the text spelling out the missed opportunities to hold those leaders accountable that the photos represent, is eloquent and chilling.

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