Two newspaper (so far) and three television stations in Uganda have reported on a sensationalistic press conference organized by Stephen Langa, director of Kampala-based Family Life Networks, which appears to be the start of a fresh public anti-gay vigilante campaign.
The Ugandan media is continuing to take notice of the recent anti-gay conferences and meetings which have been taking place in Kampala the past few weeks. The most recent meeting was held on March 22. These series of meetings were instigated by a three-day conference organized by Langa and featured talks by three American anti-gay activists, including Exodus board member Don Schmierer, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, and Richard Cohen protegé Caleb Lee Brundidge.
Ugandan news media have been issuing regular reports of that conference and two follow-up meetings which have been held on successive Sundays since then. The latest one from Uganda Pulse reported on a press conference held today:
Parents in Uganda have expressed concern over the increasing levels of homosexuality, defilement and sexual harassments of children. The parents under the Family Life Network (FLN) says that information revealed from several reliable sources indicates that many children in schools are facing horror, frustration, mental and psychological torture for being cajoled into homosexuality.
FLN’s Executive Director, Langa Steven say [sic] that there are agents involved in recruiting children into homosexuality and lesbianism. Langa says that these suspected groups take advantages children by using deception, manipulation and coercion.
Pastor Joseph Male who addressed a press conference in Kampala with Langa also says that findings show that immorality groups are recruiting children into homosexuality. He says these homosexual promoters hide behind human rights organization and claim to be protecting sex minorities Uganda.
Pastor Male claims that these groups spend about 2,000,000 per week to recruit university students into homosexuality and lesbianism.
Another news outlet, New Vision, reported:
EIGHT more men yesterday confessed involvement in homosexuality and gay activities, which they said they had abandoned. Speaking to journalists at the Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala, the youthful men described homosexuality as abnormal and anti-Christian, and declared war against it.
The tough-talking men were accompanied by George Oundo, who earlier in the week denounced homosexuality and confessed recruiting school children into the practice.
“We have been involved in recruiting homosexuals, spreading the gospel of homosexuality, and we know the operations of homosexuals,” said 27-year-old Emma Matovu, who took to homosexuality 13 years ago. “We shall do all it takes to eliminate the practice in Uganda.”
Matovu, who said he abandoned the practice two weeks ago, asserted: “Homosexuality is dangerous and dehumanising but is growing fast in Uganda.”
According to the New Vision article, the press conference was organized by — you guessed it — Stephen Langa, the same pastor who hosted the three American anti-gay activists during the first week of March.
Past campaigns of anti-gay vigilantism have called out gays by name and description in the public media. This looks disturbingly like the start of a new campaign:
Oundo said the eight men would fight the vice because they were victims with a tormenting experience. “We shall expose those who refuse to abandon the practice and we shall not be intimidated because we are protected by Jesus,” he asserted. “We know their operations, including a restaurant in the city centre where homosexuals wait for clients from nearby hotels.”
He urged his former partners to abandon the practice, saying Uganda should become a role model in fighting the “barbarism”.
He called on Juliet Mukasa, the head of the Sexual Minorities in Uganda (SMUG), Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, a gay rights activist and headmaster Kisule (other name withheld) to abandon the practice.
…Addressing the press conference, Family Life Network chief Stephen Langa read a statement from parents and concerned citizens, urging the Government to establish a probe to assess the prevalence of homosexuality in Uganda.
The anonymous blogger GayUganda has posted a series of panicked short posts about the news conference which was shown on three national television stations. These latest developments have him understandably nervous:
Our nice, confortable closet is well and truly blown apart. In a homophobic country, our anonymity is torn up, and we are being accused of the most heinous of crimes. We are recruiting, and teaching children homosexuality.
Damage control now is a necessity. What will follow?
Is funny that the lies and sensationalism has so caught up everyone that it is impossible for us to insist that these are lies. The lesson of history. Tell a lie about a small unpopular group, and you are able to sustain the conversation with bigger and bigger lies. Think the Hutus in Rwanda. Jews in Germany…! Stretching the point? Am I?
A witch hunt. Very possible.
Some interesting outings? Possible.
How long will I be able to continue blogging? How safe is my blogging?
But we have survived adversity before now. We will survive even this. Will kind of mean that some of us will have to stand up and take the heat. Problem may be jobs and other things. Can we beat the taint of evil? Homosexuals recruiting! Oh well.
Tough days ahead.
The papers tomorrow will be interesting. Watch this space.
(Remember some prayers for those who are outed, whether or not they are gay!)
Indeed. Remember some prayers.