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Monday, 24 February 2014

Uganda's Law passes - The Hole in our Recognition of Genocide

The president of Uganda has signed the brutal and truly evil homophobic bill which strengthens the anti-gay genocide in his country. It is deeply wounding to see that there are so many people and so many places that want nothing more than for GBLT people to be completely eradicated from the planet; we have a long way to go until our very right to exist is universally accepted.

We need to keep fighting and campaigning, of course, though I doubt any of the rhetoric will be backed with any kind of action – if Sochi tells us anything, it’s how little the cishet world really cares about GBLT bodies – but we keep fighting because it’s all we can do.

Of course, I’ve said “genocide” which usually has someone bustling in to tell me how very wrong I am to use that word. Do not – this is genocide beyond any doubt.

In fact, let’s look at the convention’s definition of genocide:





So yes, countries that executed people for being gay are committing genocide.

Countries that flog, torture, starve, electrocute, force emetics on us, or otherwise brutalise us (and that definitely includes “conversion” therapy) most certainly fit under B

So are countries that imprison people for being gay – not even long sentences since you can’t STOP being gay so you are an inherent “repeat offender”. They are definitely filling C on that list and, frankly, are fulfilling A in all but loopholes. In fact, life imprisonment for existing is hitting on B as well

Countries that break up our families and take our children (including but certainly not limited to that vile new law Russia is proposing) are definitely going for E. And we’ve got to mention the forced sterilisation that more than nods at D.

These are just the blatant ones – and my gods there’s a lot of blatant examples for these alone. But the reality on the ground has a whole lot more genocide - creating a climate where mere mention of us is a sinful or obscene – or even a crime? That’s B – that’s driving us to suicide by any means necessary. If that were applied to political or religious groups there wouldn’t be the slightest doubt of genocide. Making our existence an obscenity is trying to erase us from society.

Raising GBLT kids to believe they are sinful, obscene and sick? That’s driving them to suicide, that’s trying to deny their personhood – it’s another part of the GBLT genocide that is pursued in every country around the world.


The legal definition of genocide isn’t ambiguous. It’s not really controversial either – and it cannot be sensibly argued that the crusade against GBLT people is not “almost genocide” – it is genocide, outright genocide. But we never ever use that word – not about Uganda’s  evil law, not about the evil laws that already exist in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and so many other nations, not about the genocide practices and rhetoric happening on our doorsteps every day.

Why, half the time it’s damn hard to get people to admit that gay people were the victims of genocide during the Holocaust.


Because the cishet world does not see gay genocide.

Look at that law again, the only reason why this does not fit the legal definition of genocide is simply because the cishet world doesn’t think killing GBLT people is genocide. That’s it. We are not included Locking up a group of people for existing, locking them up for life for not magically vanishing, is genocide.

And you can’t even put this down to anachronism any more – it is 2014 and there has been no push to recognise GBLT genocide – but then, maybe I’m asking far too much of straight, cis folks given how long it took to recognise the pink triangle in the concentration camps.

We need to plug this hole. The UN can make pretty speeches but the UN doesn’t follow that up with anything resembling reasonable action – witnessed by this gross void in its most fundamental of laws. This is the very bare minimum of international human rights protection – protection against genocide.


But genocide continues against GBLT people not only unchecked, not only completely sanctioned, but without the cishet world even recognising it is genocide. Our deaths don’t count. And until the powers that be can do the bare minimum of recognising that trying to eradicate us is genocide, then what the hell is the point of them?