Sunday, December 28, 2014
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 bobray@star-telegram.com.

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

New circulation director for Daily Republic has California roots

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun’s transformation launched 25 years ago

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Picking the year’s biggest story: A playoff

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

Kwanzaa educates, celebrates African-American heritage

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
AARP tax program seeks volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Holiday shopping continues after Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Rush Ranch plans birds of prey workshop

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Winter feeding of backyard birds

By Launa Herrmann | From Page: C4

 
Weather for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Market predictions for 2015

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Projects to watch in 2015

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Shoppers brawl inside Northern California mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police in San Diego suburb give cash at traffic stops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Death penalty states unmoved by botched execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
San Diego sees costs balloon for outdoor public toilets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Arizona police officer, suspect killed in shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Lava creeps 15 yards closer to Hawaii marketplace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
School error takes money from staff bank accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Protester in St. Louis area charged with arson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 small planes collide in Maryland; no injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

School bans ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts at tournament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Families take future war dogs into homes as foster pups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Woman uses quilt to help those in military

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Del. WWII vet honored with medals 70 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Snow, ice sweep Europe, stranding drivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pilot recalls last flight to Cyprus airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Wanted extremist leader surrenders in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Sound Off: Dec. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
Redrawn districts made for some tight races

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

Putin’s epic annual news conference, condensed

By Ishaan Tharoor | From Page: A8

 
Leaders fan flames of racial hatred

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Why do we celebrate Christmas, part two

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Comforting immigrants is nun’s mission

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Pope’s role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bethel Community Church buys Temple Baptist site

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Coping with mental illness or loss during holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: C4

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My son’s cat is being neglected and I don’t know what to do

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Blagojevich brother: I was fed ‘pawn’ to get then-governor

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Company loses bid for rights to Marvel superheroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jonah Lehrer working on book about digital life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Warriors shake off skid, beat Timberwolves 110-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
No. 1 Kentucky holds off No. 4 Louisville 58-50

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Vanden’s Koss named 2014 DR Male Athlete of the Year

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Broncos see a much better Raiders team this time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cardinals have hopes of division crown, 12 wins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sam: Coming out was right thing to do

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vikings stadium builders work on career highlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Authorities question Cubs’ Castro after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns suspend receiver Josh Gordon, Manziel late

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sports deaths: elegant Tony Gwynn, Jean Beliveau

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bowling report for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

First Step seeks players, help for 2015 season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Devil Dawgs retiring after run of success

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Virginia Tech beats Cincy 33-17 in Military Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
S Carolina tops Miami 24-21 in Independence Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Arizona State beats Duke 36-31 in Sun Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 in OT in Pinstripe Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Kessler leads No. 24 USC to 45-42 win over Huskers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

US company to open tuna cannery in American Samoa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

6 US cities: Good jobs but hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Judy Zamora Rogers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Concordia Albang Lichauco

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Oriole Ernestine Cohen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Rae Jean Malveaux

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Secrets of Success 2014

120 Years: Fentons still a treat after all this time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: SOS2 | Gallery

80 Years: Gillespie’s adapts to meet customer needs, thrives

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS5 | Gallery

60 Years: Ryan’s Automotive hits milestone of service

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS6 | Gallery

55 Years: Mary’s Pizza Shack keeps dishing the pies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

50 Years: Cal Yee Farms marks half-century – and counting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

40 Years: Floors To Go weathers recession, bounces back strong

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS8 | Gallery

40 Years: Vaca Valley Auto Parts a Fairfield mainstay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS9 | Gallery

35 Years: Scandia Family Fun Center roots run deep

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Vogelpohl prides herself as problem solver

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Medic Ambulance rolling strong

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

30 Years: North Bay Pediatrics serves children, parents

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

35 Years: More than 1,700 home sales – and counting – for Watson

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

30 Years: Sportabout all about tennis – and shoes of all sorts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

25 Years: It’s always showtime for Fairfield’s Finger

By Tony Wade | From Page: SOS12 | Gallery

25 Years: Feins helps build memories through Air Land & Sea Travel

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

25 Years: The Hair Place celebrates quarter-century of cuts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

20 Years: Quality breeds success for Universal Painting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS14 | Gallery

10 Years: Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe adds new wrinkle at decade mark

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery

10 Years: By the People helps with basic, complex legal issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery