This week Uganda was in the news big time because of proposed legislation which would make homosexuality an offense to be be punished with life imprisonment or even execution. Although newsworthy of itself, much of the debate focused on American influence on this piece of legislation.
For more than a decade Uganda has been the focal point when it comes to addressing the AIDS problems in Africa. When HIV/AIDS was first discovered in the 1980's, several religious and social conservative leaders responded in a most hateful way. Jerry Falwell described AIDS as not just God's punishment for homosexuals, it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals. And Jesse Helms defended his position to oppose federal funding for AIDS research on the grounds that: "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy".