Dick of the Year: David Bahati MP
I’d like to nominate Ugandan MP David Bahati for Dick of the Year. His initial dickishness should have seen him qualify for 2009’s award, but he deserves it in 2011 due to the consequences of his actions two years ago.
On 14 October 2009, with alleged financial and legal support from The Family, a powerful Christian evangelical political organisation in the US, Bahati submitted a private members’ bill called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (“Kill the Gays bill”) in the Ugandan Parliament. The Bill, if passed, would see repeat homosexual offenders put to death; people executed for having sex with people of their own gender.
Under the Bill you would also face prison for simply failing to report knowledge of a person who is gay.
Put simply, Bahati’s Bill will enshrine and mandate state homophobia.
Bahati has justified the Bill by with outlandish claims that millions of dollars are being used in Uganda to recruit children into somehow being gay. He insists that people are coming from abroad to invest in Uganda to recruit children into homosexuality.
The truth is that Bahati and his fellow supporters of the Kill the Gays Bill are redirecting onto LGBT people the anger and frustration of Uganda’s economic and social problems, and successfully whipping up violent homophobic hysteria.
This hysteria led quickly to terrible and murderous consequences.
In April 2009, a Ugandan newspaper printed the names of suspected homosexuals, and another printed tips on how to identify gays. In late 2010, another published a story featuring a list of the nation’s 100 “top” gays and lesbians with their photos and addresses. Next to the list was a yellow strip with the words “hang them”. One of the photos was that of leading Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato.
Two months later at the beginning of 2011, and qualifying Bahati for Dick of the Year, David Kato was found beaten to death, battered about the head with a hammer. As if not shocking enough, such is the institutionalised homophobia resulting from Bahati’s actions that the Ugandan police refused to acknowledge the hate crime and handled the case as a simple robbery.
As for the Kill the Gays Bill now, the Ugandan parliament adjourned in May 2011 without voting on the bill. Bahati stated that he intended to re-introduce the bill in the new parliament. Far from throwing out the bill as any decent parliament should, Bahati made sure that in October 2011 the Kill the Gays Bill debate was re-opened.
So, in memory of the courageous campaigner David Kato and the countless other LGBT people persecuted or murdered, David Bahati MP is my Dick of the Year.’