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3 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Hate Is a Universal Language

3 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Hate Is a Universal Language

3 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Hate Is a Universal Language

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between homophobia in far-flung countries and that which occurs right here in our own backyard.


Welcome back to our weekly roundup of the most infuriating bits of anti-LGBT rhetoric to grace our news feeds in the past seven days. And as usual, homophobic haters around the world gave us plenty to choose from — our only problem was picking just three outrageous stories to share here. Read on to see what made the cut, but expect a healthy dose of snark in the following pages — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.

3. Gay Michigan Teen Awakens to 'Die Fag' Painted Outside His Bedroom Window

In this week's example proving that we've still got a long way to go in securing equal treatment for our own young people right here at home, a 16-year-old high school sophomore in Michigan suspects that some of his classmates tagged his home with a homophobic slur and an arrow pointing to his bedroom window. 

The family did their best to remove the text, and the local news outlet blurred out the words in the photo, but it sure seems to look like the graffiti read "Die Fag."

"It does hurt," Levi Peabody, a student at Clio High School in Vienna Township, Mich., told local NBC affiliate WEYI. "As much as I don't want to admit it, it does hurt that someone would dislike me that much to do something to my window."

Family members say Levi has been the subject of antigay harassment at school, but now that it's crossed over into vandalism, they're speaking out. 

"I'm mad," Melanie Peabody, Levi's mother, told WEYI. "My son's not safe … I want the kid that did this to get caught."

We're right with you, Melanie. Luckily, school officials and the Genesee County Sheriff's department are working with the family to identify suspects through handwriting samples. 

Find more outrage on the following pages...

2. It Continues to Get Worse in Uganda, as LGBT Couple Tried for First Time in Court 

We've previously reported about the deteriorating climate for LGBT people (and women) in Uganda, and sadly, despite international outrage, that homophobic environment doesn't appear to be improving.

On Wednesday, for the first time in the East African nation's reported history, two LGBT Ugandans were brought to trial for engaging in "sex against the order of nature." That charge appears to be intentionally vague, allowing for basically any kind of "nonnormative" sexual activity to be subject to criticism, arrest, and, according to Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, life imprisonment. 

Kim Musika, a 24-year-old businessman, and Jackson Musaka, a 19-year-old transgender woman, are facing charges under Uganda's amended penal code, Section 145, which prohibits consensual sexual relationships between members of the same sex, reports blogger and activist Colin Stewart. According to numerous reports, the trial will be the first time that anyone has been brought to trial for allegedly violating Section 145, which was drafted during colonial rule and enacted in 1950.

Notably, the pair are not being charged under Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, which President Yoweri Museveni signed into law February 24 and which prescribes lifetime prison terms for "aggravated homosexuality" as well as lengthy jail sentences for any individual and severe penalties for organization found guilty of "aiding or abetting homosexuality."

Nevertheless, the two Ugandans could face lifetime prison sentences if they're found guilty of violating the colonial-era law that was reportedly rarely enforced before the escalation of violent antigay sentiment sparked by the Anti-Homosexuality Act's passage earlier this year.   

The accused, who have been held in Luzira Prison since their January arrest, are being represented by the advocacy group Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum — Uganda. The group's executive director, Adrian Jjuuko, told Stewart at his blog, Erasing76 Crimes, that the legal team tried unsuccessfully to secure bail for the incarcerated Ugandans. 

Jjuuko confirmed that Musika and Musaka are facing charges of "'carnal knowledge against the order of nature’ and ‘permitting a male person to have carnal knowledge of oneself against the order of nature,’" and explained that Musika was being beaten by a mob in late January when Human Rights Awareness officials intervened. 

Despite the increasingly hostile environment, several prominent activists have elected to stay in the country, though many have been forced to continue their work underground, lest they be targeted by politically emboldened police or townspeople. Although international outrage has been loud and swift — including the removal of some foreign aid upon which the Ugandan government heavily relies — a majority of Ugandan citizens report supporting the law. More than 1,000 Ugandans gathered at a rally near Kampala last month to celebrate and "give thanks" for the law's passage. President Yoweri Museveni, who is up for reelection in 2016, led that march through the streets of Kampala, while demonstrators carried signs with messages like "Museveni, thank you for saving the future of Uganda," "Homosexuality + AIDS = 100%," and "Obama, we want trade not homosexuality."

Find the most outrageous story on the next page...

1. Sultan of Brunei Offers Roses to L.A. Gays, Deadly Stones to Those Back Home

They say that money talks, but when you're the ultra-rich dictator of a conservative Islamic country in East Asia, your policy speaks louder. 

That's the lesson the Sultan of Brunei has been learning over the past week, as outrage continues to spread over his country's decision to implement Islamic Sharia law, which would allow for LGBT people to be stoned to death. (The law will also allow for public floggings, fines, and jail time for "indecent behavior", failure to attend Friday prayers, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Women who commit adultery can also be stoned to death, but presumably not men … unless they cheer on their wife with another man.)

That might seem like your standard backward nation pushing draconian laws on its unwilling citizens, but Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also happens to own the Dorchester Collection, which runs 10 luxury hotels around the world — two of which are based right here in Los Angeles. Ellen DeGeneres has already tweeted that she will not set foot in the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Hotel Bel-Air, both Dorchester properties, until this is resolved — meaning until the homophobic autocrat sells the properties. Gay and feminist groups have already pulled out of events at the hotel, while Sharon Osbourne and British actor-writer Stephen Fry have said they will not patronize the sultan's businesses.

On Monday demonstrators protested in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel, and attendees included the likes of Jay Leno — though our activist hearts were much more set aflutter by seeing Dolores Huerta and Robin Tyler among the group of fierce feminists speaking out to tell the sultan what he hasn't been willing to hear. 

Hotel management has thus far been suspiciously silent in response to calls to condemn the clearly discriminatory law, and the Dorchester CEO actually had the gall to tell CNN that he was feeling "bullied" by those calling for a boycott. 

Please, allow us to break out the world's smallest violin for your rich-white-man troubles when wealthy citizens decide to stop spending their money at a venue that helps line the pockets of someone who would rather see them dead. It's not like that's the purpose of a boycott or anything. 

Watch a local report on Monday's demonstration below. 


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Sunnivie Brydum

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>