Locating Neocolonialism, ‘Tradition’, and Human Rights in Uganda’s ‘Gay Death Penalty’-Cheney, Kristen E.

In 2009, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill introduced in Uganda’s Parliament reignited homophobic sentiment across Africa. Despite a welldocumented history of sexual diversity in Africa, claims that homosexuality is “un-African” are being used to justify violence and exclusion. This article, based primarily on a discursive analysis of public media sources, delves into various cultural logics that reveal the tensions and contradictions in Ugandans’ widespread opposition to homosexuality. U.S. evangelical influence, postcolonial amnesia in regard to “tradition,” fertility concerns, and human rights exceptionalism drive this moral panic over issues of sexual diversity. Such sentiments must be addressed by confronting neocolonial religious influence and cultivating renewed respect for human rights and Africa’s history of sexual diversity.


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