Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists

Jim Burroway

March 2nd, 2009

Hello, Exodus? Someone in Uganda has some questions for you. And so do I.

An anonymous Ugandan gay blogger — gay bloggers are well advised to remain anonymous in Uganda — provides a fairly comprehensive backdrop against which three American anti-gay activists will be stepping. Nazi revisionist and Watchmen On the Walls co-founder Scott Lively, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation will be conducting a seminar on homosexuality in Kampala next weekend. The conference is being organized by Stephen Langa, Director of Kampala-based Family Life Network.

GayUganda examines a new release by Langa announcing the conference, and he takes issue with Langa’s so-called “facts”:

[Quoting Stephen Langa, Conference organizer] ‘Uganda is under extreme pressure to dicriminalise homosexuality’, Uhhh? A stupid un-truth. Who is putting Uganda under pressure to decriminalize homosexuality? Why should a citizen’s sexual orientation and act of love be criminal, subject to the state’s intervention, criminal law and censorship? Why is it so important to be threatened with life in prison for making love to my lover? Too many questions, ..!

Ugandan newspaper headlines in 2007. Click to enlarge

Ugandan newspaper headlines. Click to enlarge

Today in Uganda, a conviction of homosexual activity can bring a life sentence. That law is a legacy of British colonial law, which originally only provided for a maximum term of fourteen years in prison. Ugandan lawmakers strengthened the law in 1990 to raise the penalty to life imprisonment.

But beyond the threat of life imprisonment, simply trying to live and get along can bring many hardships and dangers to gay Ugandans. Max Blumenthal wrote of a very recent reign of terror conducted by Ugandan evangelical pastor Martin Ssemp in 2007:

In August 2007, Ssempa led hundreds of his followers through the streets of Kampala to demand that the government mete out harsh punishments against gays. “Arrest all homos,” read placards. And: “A man cannot marry a man.” Ssempa continued his crusade online, publishing the names of Ugandan gay rights activists on a website he created, along with photos and home addresses. “Homosexual promoters,” he called them, suggesting they intended to seduce Uganda’s children into their lifestyle. Soon afterwards, two of President Yoweri Museveni’s top officials demanded the arrest of the gay activists named by Ssempa. Terrified, the activists immediately [went] into hiding.

Ugandan newspaper calling for arrest of a suspected gay man. Click to enlarge.

Ugandan newspaper calling for arrest of a suspected gay man. Click to enlarge.

According to Doug Ireland, one newspaper sported the bold headline, “HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City,” and provided details “so precise — physical descriptions, residences, places of employment, and the kind of cars they drive — that those targeted, almost all from the capital city of Kampala or its environs, were easily identifiable to their neighbors and co-workers. The newspaper’s list includes doctors, businessmen, clerics, broadcasters, lawyers, bankers, actors, musicians, and non-profit group staffers.”

Newspaper article from the 2006 campaign. Click to enlarge

Newpaper article from the 2006 campaign. Click to enlarge

That 2007 public reign of terror was a backlash against a press conference held on August 16 by a coalition of LGBT groups in Uganda to launch the “Let Us Live in Peace” campaign. Clearly, that call for peace didn’t get very far. That press conference, in turn, was in reaction to a similar media-led crackdown in 2006, urged on by the same daily newspaper which trumpeted the 2007 campaign. That newspaper, the Red Pepper, is owned by a government minister. Another government owned newspaper led an earlier crackdown in 2005 which led to several high-profile arrests.

Ssempa regularly conducts a poolside fellowship known as “Prime Time” at the Makerere University Swimming Pool. This Saturday, that venue will host the Americans in a special event for university students.

GayUganda continues:

And, something I find really pathetic. And part of what set me off on this rant. The case that he [conference organizer Stephen Langa] mentions. “Langa says that Uganda is now under extreme pressure from the same group to de-criminalize homosexuality. This group recently scored a landmark victory in a court case against the state in December 2008.”

The case he cites is a pure civil rights issue. A Ugandan was hauled to police, house broken into, undressed to prove his sex. And he challenged the state. The issue was, you don’t do this to any Ugandan. Period. And, the excuse that you did it because the Ugandan is a homosexual is not good enough.

…Langa, showing his true colours, uses this case to illustrate his point. Anything is okay against homosexuals.

So these are the dangerous waters that the American activists are stepping into. GayUganda is understandably upset about this latest foreign import into Uganda, especially considering that Uganda already has a very healthy domestic industry:

Ok, my friends from over the seas. Now, I can actually say there is proof that you do export homophobia. First it was the British with the law. Now, it is the Americans in a more insidious state. Bet you it will not be the last time. So, Africa, here comes our own involvement in the ‘Culture Wars’

Returning his attention to the Americans in his more recent post, GayUganda adds:

I kind of pity the Americans who are coming to preach. Imagine, in their country, being gay is not criminal. But they are coming to impress on poor Ugandans why some Ugandans should be imprisoned for life. Just because they are gay. If there was any justice, these guys should be asked some interesting questions.

GayUganda never gets around to actually posing any questions for the three Americans. He instead challenges us to demand answers. So yes, I do have some interesting questions myself, but only for one of the three Americans.

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Exodus Board member Don Schmierer

Scott Lively, who describes the Nazi Party as having been “entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history,” is capable of saying pretty much anything. So I have no questions for him. And since Caleb Lee Brundidge, in addition to being a member of Richard Cohen’s discredited ex-gay ministry, is also active in a Phoenix ministry that goes around to various mortuaries trying to raise the dead, I don’t have much to ask him either. (Yeah, I know, that’s probably worth a whole post by itself.) I don’t think trying to engage either of them would be worth my breath.

But Don Schmierer, as an Exodus International board member, will use his credentials to speak out against gays in a country where LGBT people have very recently been literally hunted in the streets and in the media. And he will be speaking alongside and lending legitimacy to some of the more infamous American and Ugandan anti-gay firebrands.

So as I reflected on this, there are literally dozens of questions which popped into my mind — beginning with, “What on earth are you thinking?”

But in the end, it all comes down to this: given what gay Ugandans have been through the past few years, isn’t it about time Exodus let them live in peace?

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0 | TRACKBACK URL

Timothy (TRiG)
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

I’ve just watched http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM a couple of times and was feeling good about the world. And then I read this.

Thanks.

TRiG.

L. Junius Brutus
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

We don’t hate gays! We just won’t leave them alone, even when living their lives has been made a crime.

AJD
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

I think more attention needs to be brought to these guys’ activities. They’re basically accessories to violence being committed against innocent people in another country.

AfroGay
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Please check out Brundidge’s cult:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDebb9dLKY&eurl=http://youthministries.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/club-mysterio/

If this is not bizarre, someone needs to say what is. These guys are dangerous.

David C.
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Hopefully, this is another example of the putrid sludge of anti-gay sentiment becoming more concentrated as it dries up. Lively, Schmierer, Brundidge, and Langaare are near the pinnacle of their influence and control, and in the end, will bring themselves down by their own foul lies, propaganda, and hate-mongering. It is sad to see the people of Uganda have to learn the very hard lesson that persecution of peaceful people, simply because they are different, only brings wider destruction and hardship to the whole of their society.

Ugandans must realize that they have been duped into accepting criminal sanctions against homosexuals. No rational reason exists for a civil society to persecute homosexuals. There is no threat by homosexuals to Ugandan society, just as homosexuality is not a threat to any other society. There is no “homosexual agenda”, homosexuals are not out to destroy families and only want the right to have families of their own. Ugandans must stop believing the lies and find out for themselves by looking outside of their country to see that where homosexuals are protected by the same rights as everyone else, those societies have gotten better, not worse.

That the US could be credibly charged with “exporting” the products of anti-gay industry is yet another clear indictment of the so-called “pro-family” and “X-Gay” groups operating in the US and elsewhere in the world, many of which hide behind pleasant sounding monikers like “Exodus International”, “International Healing Foundation”, and “Family Life Network”. These groups imperil lives, diabolically undermine civil protections, and often irreparably disrupt the stability of millions of gay individuals and their families in the US and elsewhere in the world, all to no benefit of any society whatsoever.

Lively, Schmierer, Brundidge (Cohen too), and Langa, should all be seen as the most monstrous kind of corporate fathers of a hate industry. Ugandans would be well advised to steer clear of any product these charlatans want to sell them, along with rejecting and condemning the operation or influence of any hate industry masquerading as “pro-family” in their country.

John
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

I have a question for Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas.

When is Exodus going to stop supporting and start denouncing the violent anti-gay group Watchmen on the Walls and the violent anti-gay mobs that their close friends in Uganda are whipping up?

Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas have been promoting and advocating discrimination against gays for a long time. That advocacy does create a climate conducive to anti-gay violence. But this current alliance they have formed with such openly violent and criminal groups is very disturbing. I guess they are without conscience or shame.

Regan DuCasse
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

And this activity is coming from Americans who complain that their activity is or will be censored here in the US. Virtually the entire pro Prop. 8 ad campaign conjectured that gay people are forcing schools and churches to teach or have marriage services for gay people.

Yet, there is no irony WHATSOEVER in Lively and Co, entering a country that is far away, and is barely removed from making human sacrifices of gay people.
Lively and Co foment the lie that THEIR freedom is in jeopardy as long as homosexuals are considered for equal treatment and respect?

The freedom of gay people in Uganda is fair game then?

Well, so much for the commandment to love God, and then love your neighbor as yourself.
So I suppose their logic is, if these gay Ugandans are 8,000 miles away, they aren’t really ‘neighbors’?

Mrs. Polly
March 2nd, 2009 | LINK

There’s a saying that goes something like: “Seek the company of those who search for the truth. Avoid the company of those who have found it.”

True believers such as Lively are deaf to irony. But it is an unfortunate fact that the U.S. is exporting their poison to countries like Uganda, where our anonymous friend then suffers from it.

The great hue and cry around Rick Warren has dissipated, but it shouldn’t. His colleague, Martin Ssempa, is one of the principal persecutors of Ugandan homosexuals. How much is Saddleback involved in U.S. HIV programs there? Are condoms back in the prevention mix?

The Obama administration is keeping faith-based initiatives going. What organizations are getting the money?

I found your site through Gayuganda. It’s excellent! I’ll be checking back. Thanks.

John
March 3rd, 2009 | LINK

This isn’t a surprise. No matter how “nice” groups like Exodus, AFA, FoF, etc., may sound in the Western media it is plainly obvious that they would like to be able to do the same here as their anti-gay colleagues are doing in places like Uganda.

I find it absolutely disgraceful for the US to maintain silence in the face of this and as for the Catholic Church, well their leaders have much to answer for. The silence of the Vatican isn’t just disgraceful, it’s downright sinful. Uganda isn’t the only place where they chosen to say narry a peep, I have in mind Nigeria too where the Holy See has been AWOL from it’s Christian responsibilities no matter what they think of homosexual relations.

Timothy Kincaid
March 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Alan Chambers is aware of Brundidge’s “raise the dead” ministry. His was the first comment.

As Exodus’ Board Member enters into co-partnership with Langa, Brundidge, and Lively, it is not with any lack of awareness of who is involved.

henry
March 4th, 2009 | LINK

we have to hold the law of the land; Homosexuality is illegal in this country. Regardless what the west thinks Uganda shall not tolorate homos and lesbians.

SharonB
March 4th, 2009 | LINK

Henry:
There are no words for such unadultrated hate and evil as yours (Uganda). Beyond this:

Don’t call yourself Christian.

grantdale
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

Henry,

That law of that land came from the West. It is an old law, imposed by the British. It is a relict of colonialism, along with the ‘Christian values’ that are driving this campaign of lies and hatred.

And let us be perfectly clear about what Uganda is doing. This is not about refusing to ‘tolerate’.

Uganda is ACTIVELY PERSECUTING gay men and women.

Fellow Ugandans are being hunted down and attacked, or even murdered. You should be utterly ashamed of that fact.

Remember this one thing, Henry, if nothing else: there may come a time in your life when you too must rely on the kindness, decency and humanity of strangers.

At such a time, I hope they show you the generosity that you lack.

kawoowo
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

personally as a Ugandan, am so happy the these guys are coming to Uganda to join us in seeing homosexually dying in AFRICA, please Exodus international and all your counterparts the LORD’S army in Uganda is eargerly waiting for you, come soon. HOMOSEXUALITY ZEE Xn IT MUST DIE IN UGANDA EVEN WHEN IT DIDNOT START HERE. ALOOOOOOOOOOO

kawoowo
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

I THINK WE ARE NOT GOING TO CONTINUE IN THE CYCLE OF PROVIDING ANSWERS TO THOSE THAT HAVE DELIBERATELY DECIDED TO REMAIN UNCHANGED. WE HAVE ALWAYS TOLD THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT HOMOSEXUALITY BREAKS THREE LAWS; NATURAL LAW(even the animals can’t do that, we are much better than that), THE LAW OF THE LAND (UGANDA) AND ABOVE ALL THE LAW OF GOD. I CANNOT IMAGINE SUCH AN ACT. HOWEVER THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL HOMOSEXUALS WE’VE SEEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE AND NOW THE HAVE REGAINED THEIR MINDS, SO THERE IS HOPE MEMBERS, DONT GIVE UP

kawoowo
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

AM ALSO HAPPY BY THE FACT THAT THE VISIT OF THESE GOOD GUYS IS COINCIDING WITH THE PRESENCE OF THE DR HIMSELF, AS A PRIME TIMER AM READY TO SUPPORT THOSE GUYS WHEN THEY COME FOR PRIME TIME SINCE NOW I KNOW THAT THEY ARE COMING. PLEASE COME SO SOON, MAY GOD GIVE YOU FAIR JOURNEY MASSES. WE CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS GREAT AWAKENING

Scott P.
March 5th, 2009 | LINK

kawoowo, since you seem to admire old-fashion Biblically western institutions so much, perhaps you’d have no objection to us bringing back slavery and coming to Uganda to take you, shackle you, naked, in the dark hold of a ship, and bringing you to these shores to have you working our farms and plantations again. All the while we’ll take over Uganda and divide it’s wealth among ourselves.

After all, the Bible was used to justify it for centuries, seems like it’s only fair, doesn’t it?

Die Schwulenverfolgung in Uganda « Steven Milverton
March 8th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Exodus Board Member Joins Nazi Revisionist At Uganda Conference [...]

kawoowo balikyewunya
March 13th, 2009 | LINK

dear scott p, it is not just an admiration of the western ideology, or else i would be embracing homosexuality. matter of fact i think the homosexual agenda is another form of slavery that the some minds in the western world want to bring to us.
this is just a matter of the heart but not admiration.
for your information the wealth of nation can never be divided in the long run, ask th whit farmers in Zimbabwe they will tell you the truth.
all having been said, i personally believe that homosexuality is like anyother evil that once the addict surenders as a buggage he/she is tired of can be helped out.
it is not a lifestyle worthy of living, in fact in Uganda the actors in this lifestyle are considered to be having some mental problems and cowards for their failure to go for the real thing. be blessed as you consider your subscription to that side of life

Scott P.
March 13th, 2009 | LINK

kawoowo balikyewunya,

You are ignorant, the people you are listening to are ignorant.

You do not know me, so how dare you make such personal judgments about me?

Evil is condemning people who are not harming you to a life-time in prison.

I’m sure the white farmers of Zimbabwe have nothing to do with the matter at hand. Your nation is at the precipice again. You are at the edge of mass murder. To pretend otherwise is true cowardice.

Mr. Lively is a liar. Those who believe him are fools.

I have been with the same person for 29 years. I am not interested in underage boys. I am nothing like what those evil men tell you all homosexuals are.

address the matter at hand, not me. You will destroy the lives of innocents and you call us evil? That is the true evil. Your morality is sickening.

werdna
March 13th, 2009 | LINK

It seems telling, and more than slightly damning, that kawoowo uses the phrase “the LORD’s army” given the
implications of that phrase in a Ugandan context.

grantdale
March 13th, 2009 | LINK

kawoowo balikyewunya,

Homosexuality is a life worth living. A good life.

Is is also one that is worth much to the community. People contribute their most when they are free to be themselves within society. We are not perverts: we are a respectable engineer and a respectable teacher, exactly the type of people Uganda is in desperate need of.

You are an ignorant bigot, with an obviously racist attitude. Homosexuality was not introduced to Uganda by white people, in fact… Western society stupidly blamed black people for such ‘immorality’. (Read the story of Ham in that Bible you have under your hand.)

I thank God all the Ugandans I know are nothing like you — but that would also probably explain why they choose not to live in Uganda: with you.

Educated Ugandans have fled the country for decades. They love their country, but they will not stay and obey ANY corrupted, ignorant, racist, violent and greedy regime.

If you imagine persecuting homosexuals will put one slice of bread on your table you are a fool. You will starve in ignorant anger.

Pray for your own soul.

Aisha
April 17th, 2009 | LINK

Grantdale,Werdna and Scott P.There are always three categories of people in struggle; the fighters for the stated cause, self-seekers and traitors. The three of you which catogory are you?
And Kawoowo mukwano dont waste time arguing with those people because they are mixed up, stressed and they dont know were they stand, i have seen five of them commiting suicide.
Even animals dont go carnal knoweledge.
We are really living in a wounded generation.

Strange, True & Religious : Conference in Uganda by 3 professional anti-gays from U.S. sets off strange feeding frenzy with pastors accusing rivals of gayness, miracle faking and human sacrifices
May 14th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Mar 2: Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists [...]

Digitopus » Blog Archive » Uganda Bill To Kill Gays
December 8th, 2009 | LINK

[...] the Box Turtle Bulletin article, "Anonymous Ugandan Blogger Wants Answers From American Anti-Gay Activists": An anonymous Ugandan gay blogger — gay bloggers are well advised to remain anonymous in Uganda [...]

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.