(Christian Week - March 12, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ By now you’ve heard plenty about Uganda’s new toughened laws on homosexuality, the news that spread to the West with the fanfare of a dark sporting event. Even short of jail—terms range from seven years to life—it’s a new day of survival in a horrible state-sanctioned chill. Several weeks in, like so many things in developing nations, it’s hard to know all that’s happening. Was that murder really a robbery gone bad? And that street beating? Why did she really lose her job? Many things simply don’t make the news here in Uganda.
(The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, July 26, 2013) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ Love has always been one of those loaded words, one that means everything and nothing at the same time because we can love the latest Bond movie or country music or summer rain, but this has nothing to do with summer love at, say, a July wedding, or the love that shows on the faces of a couple who have sailed through thick and thin. This is what it was the other day, an anniversary of 55 years. The man smiled and looked me in the eye and told me that he knew from the first time he saw her. “She stepped off the train and I heard a voice: ‘This is the woman you’ll marry.’”
The official charge is ignoring orders of a public official. But the real problem is words. Just words. You know, words can be enough. Too much, even, when they say this and that; when they’re relevant and lacerating; when they’re passed to others and speak more than anyone even realizes; when they speak truth that isn’t just truth to be understood, but that deeper truth that causes a lump in your throat because you know someone has experienced it with some amount of pain.
(Christian Week - December 10, 2010) KAMPALA, UGANDA ✦ Two friends. One's confessing a secret. He's crying. Blubbering. Hyperventilating. "You'll be surprised," he says. "Don't worry," says his friend. "I know about things. Whatever you've done, you can tell me." "You'll be surprised," says the first. "No, I won't. Don't worry. Who is she? What's happened?" "You're making assumptions." "It's okay. Whatever you've done to her. Come on. Just tell me." "I'm gay." Silence. Disbelief. Embarrassment.