Sunday, March 29, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

When it comes to bigotry, Arizona and Uganda alike

By
From page A8 | March 05, 2014 |

The state of Arizona and the East African nation of Uganda don’t have much in common.

But there is one area in which the two are remarkably similar: They both tend to have backward, bigoted political leadership.

That has never been more evident than in what we have witnessed in the last couple of weeks, during which the Ugandan president signed into law an anti-gay bill that included life in prison for certain acts, and the Arizona legislature sent an anti-gay bill to its governor that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against homosexuals.

In each case supporters of the legislation invoked religion as the basis of their prejudicial action.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, after threats of economic boycotts and the possibility of losing the Super Bowl next year, vetoed the bill, but not before the state once again had cast itself as a bastion of intolerance. There are other recent examples of that which I’ll get to later.

Pressure from other foreign countries and the United Nations, including withdrawal of economic aid, did not keep Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni from signing a bill that would send a person to prison for life if found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – having sex with minors, “serial offenders” or a person infected with HIV having sex, even if consensual and protected.

The bill, which originally included the death penalty, outlaws same-sex relations outright, but also calls for jail time for those who aid or counsel homosexuals.

Since 2009, after some American Christian evangelists warned Ugandan leaders about the ills of homosexuality, there has been a push to toughen the anti-gay laws there, with some in parliament pledging to get a bill passed “in time for Christmas” of 2012. They didn’t make that deadline, but did pass it Dec. 23, 2013, and Museveni signed it Feb. 24.

A $90 million loan to Uganda for its health system has been suspended by the World Bank, and Norway and Denmark have said they would withhold funding because of the law, according to Reuters news service.

You may think I’m overreaching to compare Arizona’s actions to the homophobia being exhibited in the African nation, but I’m not. In some ways what legislators there did was to use the guise of Christianity as a way to codify discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.

Proponents of the legislation claimed it was not anti-gay, but a way to allow Christians to practice religious freedom by refusing to do business with those whose lifestyles conflict with the business owners’ faith.

Sixty years ago, owners of businesses in the South made basically the same argument, claiming their rights were being violated if they could not refuse service to blacks based on long-held, and sometimes Bible-referenced, beliefs.

Arizona’s intolerance is well documented. Its series of an anti-immigration laws, particularly the one that legalizes racial profiling, speak clearly to that. Those acts have caused many groups to avoid traveling to or doing business in that state.

One would have thought the state would have learned from its experience 25 years ago when its leaders, and later the electorate, refused to recognize the Martin Luther King holiday. In addition to losing major conventions and tourists, Arizona lost the 1993 Super Bowl when the NFL moved it to Pasadena.

After passage of this most recent legislation, the economic dominoes began to fall quickly, and the NFL began to look at alternatives for next year’s Super Bowl, which is set to be played in Glendale, Ariz.

In this latest show of discrimination, Arizona leaders permitted their economic interest to trump their bigotry.

But understand that the governor’s veto, while stopping enactment of an unjust law, will not erase the stain that Arizona carries because of its repeated demonstrations of intolerance.

Bob Ray Sanders is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Readers may write to him at: 400 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, or via email at [email protected].

Bob Ray Sanders

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 10 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksMarch 05, 2014 - 6:23 am

    AZ and KS among others, took to extreme their prejudice. My fellow citizens in regard to my letter, “it aroused a few, angered some and left others quiet. Nice. The “haters” among you vilified me. Many of those I count on for support bailed. The citizenry of this city stepped away. Why, too hot for your liking? Truth hurt? How dare any of you spin it in terms of how you are somehow being abused! I got a letter from a man I have always had immense respect for, a gay man that praised and thanked me for publically taking a stance (which I am notably wont to do). The facts are in, they’re undeniable and all of you really should have been shouting from the rooftops against the injustice. But you did not.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogMarch 05, 2014 - 1:07 pm

    CD looks like nobody cares what you think.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 05, 2014 - 1:16 pm

    Salty Dog, I made that apparent in my comment.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The SugarJarMarch 05, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    There are few speaking out against those who are oppressed. I am glad CD does so. There are many more, however, speaking out trying to protect their own extra privileges and rights from falling into the hands of "lesser" people than themselves. And that is pretty sad.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The SugarJarMarch 05, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    Against those who are oppressing. Too many speak against the oppressed. :(

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMarch 05, 2014 - 7:42 am

    Sounds like over the top empty rhetoric and hyperbole to me by a bunch of leftist loons. Did you even other to read the legislation that Brewer vetoed before you compared Arizona to Uganda?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Danny BuntinMarch 05, 2014 - 2:45 pm

    @Rich: You say "rhetoric and hyperbole", then follow it up with "bunch of leftist loons". Classic!!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacMarch 05, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Governor Brewer is great. Wish we had her!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • General Fadi BasemMarch 05, 2014 - 8:21 pm

    Reading this article leads me to believe that Bob Ray and the NFL are in favor of homosexuals having sex with minors. Both also appear to be all in favor of allowing persons infected with HIV continuing to have sex. I guess they are also in favor of homosexuals who are HIV infected having sex with minors. I would not count myself as being in favor of those things. Maybe the DR can have a poll, and see which readers are in favor of those things.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • General Fadi BasemMarch 05, 2014 - 9:09 pm

    Reading this article leads me to believe that Bob Ray and the NFL are in favor of h-- having s-- with minors. Both also appear to be all in favor of allowing persons infected with HIV continuing to have s--. I guess they are also in favor of h-- who are HIV infected having s-- with minors. I would not count myself as being in favor of those things. Maybe the DR can have a poll, and see which readers are in favor of those things. And why would comments which include words in the original article be delayed or entirely censored out?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Vanden High library project nears completion

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Vanden girls end stellar season

By Brian Arnold | From Page: C1 | Gallery

Cheers for Jupiter – and roller derby

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Vacaville police make arrest after pursuit

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Red Cross volunteers help assemble first aid kits

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
PG&E helps replace stolen equipment

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

Justin-Siena names new principal

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3

 
Free paper shredding option returns to Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Vacaville bridal, quinceanera show a hit

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

Event benefits child who attends Cambridge School

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Best barometer of investment success: Wealth

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B8

Hike in minimum wage cuts deep into businesses

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B8

 
Don’t be an unhealthy breakfaster skipper

By Norma Lisenko | From Page: B8

Tips on hydrozoning your garden

By Tina Saravia | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Gang chief, international fugitive among dozens paroled

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Experts: Sex bias case will embolden women despite verdict

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Crash victim’s father calls for more focus on pilot welfare

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Man rescued after falling 200 feet off California sea cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Popular Yosemite National Park lookout opens early in season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Eiffel Tower goes dark in symbolic move for Earth Hour

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Bird flu found in a top Minnesota turkey producing county

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Some British Airways frequent flier accounts miles breached

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

7 shot and injured at Florida spring break house party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Boko Haram kills 39, legislator, disrupting Nigeria election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Official: Al-Shabab siege at Somali hotel ends, 24 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Hundreds rally against Indiana law, say it’s discriminatory

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Islamic fighters led by al-Qaida in Syria seize major city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

Thanks for making prom dreams come true

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Free speech a right worth protecting

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Liberty, property rights 2 sides of same coin

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8

 
Sound Off: March 29, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Improve Allan Witt Park; how about rest of Fairfield?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: March 29, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Pope finds popularity and dissent at 2-year mark

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Truth does not change

By The Rev. Art Zacher | From Page: C3

Horoscopes: March 29, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

 
Daughter choses stepdad over father to walk her down the aisle

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B8

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Second Julie Andrews memoir expected in 2017

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Chrissie Hynde memoir coming in September

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B12

.

Sports

 
Warriors beat Bucks 108-95, clinch top seed in West

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Wisconsin heads to Final Four after 85-78 win over Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Burns scores winner in SO to lift Sharks past Flyers, 3-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Power leads Penske sweep in qualifying for IndyCar opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Revolution win first of season, beating Earthquakes 2-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jenest pitches SCC baseball team to shutout of Contra Costa

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

AP sources: Texas fires coach Barnes after 17 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kazmir, Quintana both strong; A’s beat White Sox 10-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Zunino homers twice, but Giants rally to edge Mariners 9-8

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gordon, Earnhardt among the winners and fans of Martinsville

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prince Bishop wins Dubai World Cup, California Chrome 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams easily wins opening match at Miami Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jimmy Walker leads hometown Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

A glance at women in leadership roles in business worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

US drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Test trial to use computer servers to heat homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

.

Obituaries

Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Betty Mason

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Tiffany Lyn (Helzer) Kemp

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard F. Coleman

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
James Lee Lewis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics