Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Straight Only.

This morning I heard a bit of a CBC report on the YouTube based campaign to get Joseph Kony, leader of the Ugandan terrorist group Lord's Resistance Army, captured.  One of the people being interviewed mentioned that Lonely Planet, the well known travel book publisher, had named Uganda one of its top ten countries to travel to in 2012.  This made me raise my eyebrows given a major problem Uganda has.  A look at LP's website turned up an article on these picks, which does mention the problem.  It quotes the UK Foreign Office warning:

There is very little social tolerance of homosexuality, which is illegal. There have been moves, initiated by a Ugandan MP, to introduce reactionary legislation that would further criminalise homosexuality and introduce the death penalty for some activity… you should be aware that homosexuality is generally seen as taboo and exists on the margins of society.
Uganda's treatment of gay people has generated a lot of negative press for the country.  Equally disturbing is that much of the recent prominence of the issue in Uganda is due to the work of US evangelists, who have been pushing the issue of late.  One of them, Scott Lively, is being sued by an African group,  Sexual Minorities Uganda, that advocates for gay rights.

Althougfh they do mention that Uganda is not a gay friendly destination, Lonely Planet still chose it as one of their top ten travel destinations for 2012.  You'd think this major human rights problem would keep it out of the top ten, but that's not the case.  You'd also think they'd be worried about this creating a perception problem amongst its target audience, which one assumes is more likely to be the kind of crowd that thinks anti-gay sentiments are a bad thing than buyers of some of the more traditonal travel guides.  Apparently that's not the case.  They apparently also don't seem to worry that a significant percentage of their readers might be gay, and might reconsider their patronage as the result of this recommedation.

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