We all know that more countries are becoming ‘gay friendly’. That doesn’t mean that everyone has to love homosexuality, or embrace it themselves. It just means that people are becoming more and more accepting of people who have different lifestyles. That can only be described as a positive step for society.
There are however, places in the world where homosexuality is not only frowned upon, but is also a criminal offence. One of those countries is Uganda, where a retired British man is facing trial after images of him having sex with another man were printed in a newspaper.
Bernard Randall, originally from Kent, denied a trafficking obscene publications charge last month. He was arrested after thieves stole a laptop from his house. Stills from a video which showed him having sex with another man then appeared in a tabloid.
The 65 year old man will go on trial on Monday, in a country where homosexual acts are illegal. He is charged alongside a Ugandan man, who faces a more serious charge of carrying out “acts of gross indecency”, a charge which could see him sentenced to seven years in prison.
Mr Randall originally faced charges of being involved in an “unnatural act”, but now faces a lesser charge relating to the video.
An Attempted Blackmail
Bernard said that he was targeted by thieves who knew he was gay. They then tried to blackmail him, and when he didn’t pay up, they took the video to the press.
There are so many problems with this story. The fact that homosexuality is a crime, is in itself, a crime. Morally at least.
But the fact that thieves broke into his house, and took the video off his own personal property, yet Mr Randall is still being done for trafficking the images is nonsensical.
It seems to be just a case of making life difficult for the gay community. The actual facts of the case don’t add up to a proper offence, yet you wonder whether justice will really be done?
A Different Culture
We are not going to sit here and preach at other countries when it comes to their own culture and beliefs. Why would we? If you espouse the virtues respect and tolerance, which we do here, then you also have to accept people may have views that you find abhorrent.
Yet that won’t stop us joining the ranks of pro-gay campaigners such as Stephen Fry and Peter Tatchell who have tweeted their support for Bernard Randall.
In the end, the Africans themselves need to look at the way they see gay culture. This may take time, but in the end, we hope they realise that people are just people, no matter what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.
Or on the privacy of their own laptop.