State Department: Anti-Homosexuality Bill “major violation of human rights” but Bahati was not asked to leave country

Just a bit ago, I talked to Andy Laney of the U.S. Department of State who contradicted a report in the Uganda Observer that David Bahati was asked to leave the country.

Mr. Laney said, “We did not ask David Bahati to leave the country,” adding that the State Department did not have that authority.

However, Mr. Laney confirmed that State Department officials met with Mr. Bahati while he was in the United States and told him

…that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is a major violation of human rights and that we strongly oppose it.

Mr. Laney’s statement about Bahati’s departure from the country is in sharp contrast to what I reported earlier today based on the Observer article:

Reports from the US state that Bahati, who was taped for Thursday’s Rachel Maddow TV Show, was told to get out of the USA by the authorities Thursday.

Bahati who had planned on staying in the USA and to leave over the weekend, was asked to leave right away by department of State officials.

The US authorities informed Bahati that he was no longer welcome and nor was he legally entitled to remain in the USA.  He was put on a plane for Paris and is probably on his way back home.

The Observer article adds that protests were planned in DC.

A large group of activists were planning to protest today – Friday. But now that Bahati has left , the protests have been called off and the activists assert they are happy he is gone.

This may be more the real reason he left – to avoid protests.

Mr. Laney did not know whether Mr. Bahati had indeed left the U.S.

UPDATE: Bahati confirms that he was not asked to leave the country. The article incorrectly attributes Mr. Laney’s quote above to the Lez Get Real website.

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  • Richard Willmer

    Sounds more likely to me than being ‘forced’ to leave.

  • Stephen

    Or he collected all his cheques and had no further reason to stay.

  • Richard Willmer

    Indeed possible – it would be good to see if we can find out if did ‘collect cheques’.

  • Erp

    Sounds more reasonable to me also. The State department is likely to treat with kid gloves someone who is a MP of a foreign government even if they don’t hold a diplomatic passport[1] for fear of tit for tat the next time a US representative or senator visits that country; they are also not in an easy position to detain someone once they’ve entered the country. I suspect if any pressure was brought to bear it would be through the Uganda embassy (or the Uganda embassy might have initiated some pressure given the bad picture of Uganda that Bahati has presented to the American public).

    [1] Uganda has been accused of being a bit too generous with diplomatic passports. Officially Bahati has to be a government minister not just an MP to be eligible so it is not likely he has one.

  • BobbiCW

    The DC protest was about repealing DADT and had been scheduled for ages. It had nothing to do with Mr Bahati. To avoid it he only had to refrain from going to the Capitol. And, no, it wasn’t called off.

    Sounds to me like the Observer ought to do a bit more observing before they start writing.

  • Lynn David

    Bahati stayed with Jack Klenk who is Director, Office of Non-Public Education at U.S. Department of Education? And they are members of the Truro Church of Fairfax which broke with ECUSA after Gene Robinson was made a bishop and has been in a fight over the church property.

    Could still be there. Might be making an appearance at Turo? Just some speculation.

  • Maazi NCO

    Hmm, interesting, very interesting blog article.

  • Maazi NCO

    Hmm, interesting, very interesting blog article—Interesting that the State Department even took a break from trying to contain the WikiLeaks scandal to talk to Honourable MP David Bahati.

  • Lynn David

    Only in your own propagandistic mind, Maazi.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren: Do you have any information about Truro Church or of Bahati’s hosts here during his visit?

  • Maazi NCO

    Only in your own propagandistic mind, Maazi.

    Thanks for your useful comment.

  • Maazi NCO

    Might I add that I stand to be corrected on the reality that Westerners preach tolerance for their ideas/ideology, but are themselves intolerant of the alternative ideas of non-Western peoples. Containing the propagation of sex crimes by Western-influenced hedonists via a strong legislation is an idea bigger than David Bahati, Martin Ssempa or any member of the Evangelical Christian crowd in Uganda. David Bahati et al are merely the best known advocates of stronger punishment in Western circles. The fact that you cannot see it is a function of your inability to understand African culture, customs and traditional beliefs. In any case, let me remind you that the Bahati Bill shall become law after thorough revision. This will be done in open daylight—- not secrecy as some Western gay propagandists have suggested—- because what we are doing is within the rights of the sovereign parliament of Uganda.

  • Richard Willmer

    Any ‘evidence’ yet, Maazi dear?

  • Richard Willmer

    Note to others on this thread:-

    ‘Maazi NCO’ (not his real name – he prefers to churn out his rhetoric whilst hiding behind a pseudonym) has, in earlier post on this blog, made those now well-known (and thoroughly discredited, one might reasonably argue) claims of systematic ‘recruitment’.

    Like D. Bahitler (another pseudonym, of course – can anyone guess to whom I might be referring?!), he is either unable or unwilling to show us any ‘evidence’ to support such claims.

    I am hopeful that he will soon retract his claims, which constitute a completely unjust slur on the vast majority of the 500,000+ LGBT fellow Ugandans, and simply admit that – for whatever reason – he doesn’t like gay people, and that this is the reason for the position he presents.

  • Michael Bussee

    He seems pretty clear about his intent:

    God’s law is always clear that the wages of sin is death, whether that is implemented through legislation like mine or by a mechanism of a human being, whatever happens is the end result. We need to turn to God. — Bahati

  • Maazi NCO

    500,000+ LGBT fellow Ugandans.

    Oh no !!—- Not another myth from the euro-american gay propagandists.

  • Richard Willmer

    Sorry, Maazi

    600,000+ then.

  • Maazi NCO

    Sorry, Maazi

    600,000+ then.

    Why not 40 million or even 100 million or perhaps, 1.5 billion gay sex practitioners in Uganda, since you are in the business of myth-making.

  • Richard Willmer

    Maazi dearest

    Enough banter. (The figure of 500,000 – 600,000 is based on the widely-accepted view among sociologists and anthropologists that around 4% of the adult population of the planet is either gay or ‘gayish’.)

    Now a ‘constructive proposal’ for you: why not, instead of the Bahati Bill (with or without ‘added water’), introduce a different piece of legislation with two primary objectives:-

    1. to prohibit the distribution is schools of any material that in any way ‘sexualises’ children (this would obviously have to exclude suitable material, the content of which the government could monitor, that meets clear educational and public health objectives);

    2. to prohibit the recruitment, by trickery or force, of children or vulnerable adults into any kind of sex work ?

    This would address your concerns about so-called ‘recruitment’ (and it is, of course, ‘recruitment’ – for which, may I remind you, you have as yet provided not a shred of ‘evidence’ – that forms the essential basis of your claim that the Bahati Bill is necessary).

  • Michael Bussee

    Richard: Aren’t those things (and all child abuse) already illegal in Uganda? If not, why not?

  • Richard Willmer


    Sexual abuse of children is indeed illegal. Penal Code 129 covers all possible ‘permutations’ of abuser and abused.

    There may be ‘gaps’ in the law in UG when it comes to ‘sexualisation’ and ‘recruitment into sex work’. If there is, these aspects should be addressed; if not, then no legislation at all would be required.

    I’m sure ‘Maazi’ can ‘enlighten’ us on these matters; he is nothing if not knowledgeable, his discriminatory stance notwithstanding.

    (The UG Government report on the Bahati Bill – the one that ‘dumped’ all but one of the clauses [Clause 13, I believe] – earlier this year did seem to hint at ‘gaps’, which might be best addressed through the amendment of current laws on matters such as prostitution.)

  • Richard Willmer


    This is only Wikipedia, but it is a rather good summary on the issue of homosexuality in general.

  • Richard Willmer

    Daily Monitor’s coverage of Bahati’s departure:

    Still nothing in the New Vision.