Activist speaks on sexual minorities in Uganda

first_imgWinning the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award has brought activist Frank Mugisha respect in the United States, but in his home country of Uganda, he and his cause still meet with a great deal of enmity. Mugisha is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and works to promote the rights of LGBTQ Ugandans. He spoke at the event “Human Rights and Homophobia: A Conversation with Frank Mugisha” in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall yesterday. The Progressive Student Association (PSA) sponsored the event in conjunction with the Kellogg Institute’s Africa Working Group. PSA co-president Alex Coccia said Mugisha’s work has estranged him from his family and forced him to flee Uganda on repeated occasions. (Editor’s Note: Coccia is a Viewpoint columnist for The Observer.) Mugisha said a pending bill in the Ugandan parliament might criminalize both homosexuality and support for openly homosexual individuals. There is also a provision in the bill that would create a death penalty for serial offenders, Mugisha said. “I would receive the death penalty under this bill,” he said. The bill was first introduced in 2009 three months after a group of American evangelicals, including activist Scott Lively, came to Uganda to campaign against homosexuality, Mugisha said. Support for the bill is estimated to be around 85 percent in the parliament and will pass if it reaches the floor. Mugisha said the bill and propaganda from Ugandan religious leaders has changed the way homosexuals are treated in Ugandan communities. “Before the bill was introduced we had gay and lesbian people who lived in the community but were not persecuted,” Mugisha said. He said people in Ugandan villages do not always have a sense of the difference between bills in parliament and established laws. He said neighbors turned in one homosexual man who had lived in a community for twenty years. Mugisha said the people only acted because they believed it was required by law. There is also a prevalent characterization of homosexuality as “not African,” which extends to the leadership of many African nations, Mugisha said. He said many Ugandans, and Africans generally, view homosexuality as a cultural construct of Europe and the United States. “Almost all African leaders say homosexuality is abnormal,” Mugisha said. “Many African leaders say homosexuality is Western, not African.” Ignorance on the subject of homosexuality is the primary reason for homophobia and the main obstacle to his efforts, Mugisha said. “My biggest struggle is against ignorance,” he said. “I wish I could talk to every Ugandan one-on-one and tell them there is no disease they are going to catch.” Mugisha said it is difficult for Ugandans to recognize homosexual rights as a human-rights issue. He said he has to explain that his homosexuality does not harm anyone else while the government claims homophobia does harm others. Mugisha said he is also frustrated by the opposition to homosexuality in Ugandan churches, which also believe homosexuality is the result of Western influence. “There are no Western values, Eastern values, Southern values or Northern values when the issue is humanity,” he said. “When you are talking about God as love it is all the same.” Mugisha said he is a Catholic and urges other homosexual Ugandans to retain their faith. “I can’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I don’t believe in God,’ that’s not me,” Mugisha said. “Being a gay person, lesbian person, transgender person or bisexual person does not prevent you from being Christian.” SMUG’s greatest success is the visibility the organization has brought to the issue internationally and within Uganda, he said. SMUG has been successful with two legal cases in Uganda, Mugisha said. One was against the government for abuse of homosexuals by police, and the other was against a paper which called for the hanging of perceived homosexuals. “We’ve created a visibility in my country. The government can’t say there are no homosexuals in Uganda anymore,” Mugisha said.last_img read more

Dennis “Jay” Becker

first_imgDennis “Jay” Becker, age 63 of Batesville, died Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at MHP Medical Center in Shelbyville.  Born March 24, 1955 in Batesville, he is the son of Gloria (Nee: Skidmore) and Donald Becker.  He married Shirley Veerkamp October 24, 1987 at St. Mary’s Church in Greensburg.  He spent 35 years as Director of Radiology for Decatur County Hospital and the last five years as an ultrasound sonographer at Major Hospital in Shelbyville.He was best described as a kind hearted mentor.  Jay took a genuine interest in the lives of his family and friends, always offering encouragement and focus for life’s difficult decisions.  Those same qualities carried over to his work as well, where he was engaged with the personal well being of his patients. An accomplished cook, Jay enjoyed hosting gatherings and was in his element on the grill or at the smoker.  His family teased that the T.V. was always turned to the Food Network channel.  Other interests including playing Pinochle with friends, relaxing in the sun and following horse racing’s yearly Triple Crown run.He is survived by his wife Shirley; daughter Katie Becker of Batesville; sons Ben (Toni) Becker of Greensburg, Zach Becker of Batesville, Landon Becker of Silver Springs, Maryland, Chris Becker of Greensburg, Brad Becker of Waldron, Indiana; sisters Cindy (Dick) Feller of Batesville, Diane Holderman of Englewood, Ohio, Virginia Becker of Batesville; brother Dan (Angie) Becker of Westfield, Indiana and grandson Daxton Becker who is soon to be joined by a sister in the next few days.Visitation is Friday, June 15th, from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home.  Funeral services are 10 a.m. Saturday, June 16th at St. Louis Church with Rev. Stan Pondo officiating.  Burial will follow in the church cemetery.  The family requests memorials to Batesville Rescue 10 Life Squad or the Alzheimer’s Association.last_img read more

NBA wrap: Paul George scores 45 as Thunder come back to beat Rockets

first_img Former Bulls forward Jabari Parker speaks on Jim Boylen’s decision to remove him from rotation Paul George’s 45 points paced the visiting Thunder. He also tallied 11 rebounds on the night. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook recorded his ninth consecutive triple-double.James Harden scored 42 points but missed some big shots down the stretch for the Rockets. Related News Celtics booed off home court after blowing 28-point lead in loss to Clippers 😱😱😱Dennis Smith Jr. to DeAndre Jordan OFF THE GLASS! #NewYorkForever💻📱: https://t.co/L3VurkatG8 pic.twitter.com/L3d1RnZ9fe— NBA (@NBA) February 10, 2019Ricky Rubio showcased his vision with this feed to Rudy Gobert in Utah’s 125-105 triumph over San Antonio.what’s prettier than Ricky’s passing we’ll wait pic.twitter.com/zUaV1laK8G— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 9, 2019What’s Next?Lakers (28-27) at 76ers (35-20) 3:30 p.m. ET — Philadelphia dominated Los Angeles in the last matchup between these two teams. Now the 76ers have a new and much more potent starting lineup. The Lakers will have their hands full taking on this gifted 76ers team in the Wells Fargo Center.center_img Oklahoma City has now won three straight while Houston’s three-game winning streak was snapped.Studs of the NightKemba Walker’s 37-point performance lifted the Hornets past the Hawks 129-120.Bradley Beal recorded 31 points and added four steals in Washington’s 134-125 victory over Chicago.Duds of the NightAl Horford scored six points on 3-of-11 shooting in the Celtics’ 123-112 loss to the Clippers.Avery Bradley scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting as the Grizzlies took down the Pelicans 99-90.HighlightsThe pass off the backboard from Dennis Smith Jr. to DeAndre Jordan was a bright spot in the Knicks’ 104-99 loss to the Raptors. Houston blew a 26-point lead against Oklahoma City on Saturday.The Thunder claimed a 117-112 victory in the end, and both sides had 40-point scorers.last_img read more

HORSES AND DONKEYS ACCOUNT FOR 80% OF DONEGAL ANIMAL WELFARE CASES

first_imgHorses and donkeys are taking up 80% of the time of animal welfare inspectors in Co Donegal.Local animal Inspector Kevin McGinley of the Irish Society for the Prevent of Cruelty to Animals told Donegaldaily that equine matters was now the main focus of their workload.“I would certainly say that eight out of ten of our calls or visits are equine-based be that horses or donkeys. “Some of them may be minor in that horses or donkeys may need to have their hooves sheared or whatever.“But we also have more serious cases of animals which have been neglected badly and we need to take more serious action,” he said.Inspector McGinley said that anyone with concerns over animals should contact the DSPCA.  HORSES AND DONKEYS ACCOUNT FOR 80% OF DONEGAL ANIMAL WELFARE CASES was last modified: March 8th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DSPCAInspector Kevin McGInleylast_img read more