Molotov Mitchell spins the record

Note: the ads for Bing, Dell, Resolve, etc., seem to have disappeared from the Mitchell video below…

Another day, another need to post the actual text of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Molotov Mitchell makes little film clips that WorldNetDaily puts up on various topics. Yesterday, he put up a second video on the Ugandan bill which claims to tell viewers what the bill says. He takes on an unfortunate straw man and then creates one of his own.

I have rarely used the short hand, “Kill the Gays Bill” because David Bahati’s bill does not impose the death sentence on all homosexual behavior. However, one could call it, “Kill-Some-Gays-and-Jail-the-Rest-for-Life Bill.” The longer description ceases to be shorthand but it is more accurate. In this video, Mitchell takes on the narrower description and then critiques it. To attack what he considers to be a false picture of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, he creates a false and incomplete picture. Here’s the vid:

First of all, why are Resolve and Dell advertising on this video?

Anyway, Mitchell says the death penalty is given for three offenses: pedophilia or sexual abuse of the handicapped, knowingly spreading HIV to others, and using positions of authority to coerce others to have sex. He says, “that is it.”

Well, for the record, that is not it.

Yet again, let’s review the bill which you can read here. And by the way, here is another big fan of the bill who does not post it or make it available to his viewers.

Here are some portions of the AHB relevant to Mitchell’s claims. First from the introduction: 

The object of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive consolidated legislation to protect the traditional family by prohibiting (i) any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; and (ii) the promotion or recognition of such sexual relations in public institutions and other places through or with the support of any Government entity in Uganda or any non governmental organization inside or outside the country.

And, in the definitions section:

“serial offender” means a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences;

“touching” includes touching—

(a) with any part of the body;

(b) with anything else;

(c) through anything; and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ. anus or mouth.

And from section 2:

2. The offence of homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offence of homosexuality if-

(a) he penetrates the anus or mouth of another person of the same sex with his penis or any other sexual contraption;

(b) he or she uses any object or sexual contraption to penetrate or stimulate sexual organ of a person of the same sex;

(e) he or she touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.

(2) A person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.

Note, no mention of children in section 2. And note that touching with the intent to commit homosexuality gets a life sentence. Recall how touching was defined. Now, what if you touch someone and you are HIV positive? Examine the death penalty section:

3. Aggravated homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the

(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;

(b) offender is a person living with HIV;

(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;

(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;

(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;

(f) offender is a serial offender, or

(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,

(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

Section 3, line b and f is where the private consensual behavior could result in death. Arguably, line d could be construed as forbidding consensual relationships between a boss and a co-worker. Perhaps the author intended some kind of sexual harassment but the way the bill is written, this is not clear. When Mitchell says the bill says the death penalty is reserved for people who use a position of authority to coerce compliance, he is reading into the language.

Mitchell takes another leap when he says the bill requires intentional spread of HIV. As written, it does not require knowledge of status, nor does it require intention to spread HIV. In this section, HIV testing is required. If no HIV, then section 2 might apply, if the person is HIV positive, then section 3 is relevant. Perhaps none of this is what David Bahati intended but the language of the bill does not include anything about intention to spread HIV to unsuspecting persons. The plain language requires only touching with the homosexual intent, and HIV positive status.

For reasons only he knows, Mitchell omits the line which provides the death penalty to serial offenders. People can be put to death for committing “related offenses” to those covered in this bill more than once. What are those?

Finally, he glosses over the life sentence component by saying there might be other aspects of the bill about which one could argue. Would it be ok to oppose it if we just said we oppose Uganda’s “Kill-Some-Gays-and-Jail-the-Rest-for-Life Bill?”

If those who support the bill would simply acknowledge what was in it and then say, here is what we mean or here is what we think it should say, that would be a different conversation. Then, a debate could take place on the actual proposals. However, as illustrated by this video, those who support the bill often spin what it says and then won’t provide the bill for their readers to see what it says.

For the record, who will be first to link to it?