Homophobic Nationalism: The Development of Sodomy Legislation in Uganda

In: Comparative Sociology
S. M. Rodriguez Department of Sociology, Hofstra University Hempstead USA

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Literature on sexuality and citizenship has demonstrated the myriad of ways that states use legislation to produce, regulate, and protect a sexually and racially “pure” citizen. In the context of the European imperial powers, this citizen is heterosexual, monogamous, and white. In the postcolonial Ugandan context, the development of sodomy legislation shows that this ideal citizen is heterosexual, monogamous, and yet untarnished by contemporary Western ideals (which is undoubtedly paradoxical). This work engages with colonial legislative texts, most notably the Ugandan Penal Code Act of 1950. The author then triangulates this with an analysis of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and Act and parliamentary record from 1999-2013. With this data, it is argued that the Ugandan construct of an ideal citizen is not only a reactionary result of colonialism, but that it is also demonstrative of the anti-globalization ideology that has heightened in the wake of rapid ngoization of the global lgbti rights movement.

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