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Exodus Maintains Month-Long Silence Amid Ugandan Gov’t Calls For LGBT Arrests

Jim Burroway

April 2nd, 2009

Update: Calls for mass arrests on radio continue. For more information, see the end of this post for the latest update.

Fr. Anthony Musaala

Fr. Anthony Musaala

The situation in Uganda continues to escalate. Late yesterday, Uganda’s New Vision followed up on Stephen Langa’s launch of a public forced “outing” drive against Ugandan LGBT individuals and against rivals who are alleged to be gay. On Monday, Langa sponsored a press conference in which another allegedly “former gay activist” Paul Kagaba accused a very popular Catholic priest and gospel singer, Fr. Anthony Musaala, of being gay.

Musaala is a well-known figure, and the Catholic church is seen as a rival to Stephen Langa’s evangelical organization. New Vision followed up with a statement from Fr. Musaala’s colleagues and from Musalla himself:

Father Francis Ssemuddu, the head of St. Matia Mulumba parish in Old Kampala, said the accusations “were untrue”. Ssemuddu said the church was clear about aberrant sexual practices and how to guide offenders get out of “the abnormal behaviour”.

Musaala, the charismatic preacher and gospel music award winner, was on Tuesday accused by a self-confessed former homosexual of eight years of promoting the illegal practice. Paul Kagaba said the priest had often held parties for the gays at his residence in Gayaza near Kampala.

…Musaala argued that as a church minister, he had given spiritual guidance to homosexuals, lesbians and prostitutes since 1999, but he was not gay himself. “But ethically, I cannot name them,” he said.

Explaining why people take to homosexuality, the dancing priest, as he is sometimes called, blamed the desire for money and “inherent feelings that drive them”. His involvement, he said, was limited to helping the gay abandon the practice some of whom “want to commit suicide”. “I want to show them the true path to salvation,” he said. “This is a journey that requires someone to walk with as a guide.”

“These people are stigmatised and I am totally against this because they need our help,” said Musaala.

Meanwhile, parliament members are outraged that Ugandan authorities permitted Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) to hold a public news conference. In an indication of the risks that are taken whenever anyone identifies themselves as being gay, members of parliament are demanding that those identified at the news conferences be arrested:

Latif Sebaggala (DP) said the Government was tolerant because donors had threatened to cut funding if homosexuals were stopped. “We are worried about our children. If the Government is silent, it means it is silent approval,” he said.

Henry Banyenzaki (NRM) blamed poor enforcement of laws which he said had escalated homosexuality, rape, defilement and child sacrifice. In reply, Daudi Migereko, the Government chief whip, argued that anybody was free to hold a press conference without permission from the Government.

However, he said, by doing so, the gays had exposed themselves and the Government would go after them.“Homosexuality is illegal. The Minister of Ethics, Dr. Nsaba Buturo, has been clear on the matter. Those involved will face the long arm of the law,” he said.

Henry Kajura, the second deputy Prime Minister, said the Government would not compromise on moral and cultural values because of donor pressure.

“The Government will soon show its teeth,” he warned. “Our society abhors homosexuality.”

Exodus board member Don Schmierer (left) and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively (right)

Exodus board member Don Schmierer (left) and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively (right)

Uganda’s latest spasm of anti-gay actions is a direct outcome of a three-day conference organized by Family Life Network’s Stephen Langa, featuring three American anti-gay activists, including Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Exodus board member Don Schmierer. Leaders of that conference applauded Uganda’s draconian anti-homosexuality laws, which provide a life sentence for those convicted. Conference leaders called for strengthening the law to proved for forcing gays and lesbians into conversion therapy. Schmierer, the supposed “expert” on ex-gay therapies and policies at the conference, remained silent on policy questions, and instead pointedly referred those questions to other speakers at the conference, including Lively.

Exodus released a very tiny three-sentence statement claiming to be against the policy proposals coming out of Uganda, while simultaneously “applauding” Schmierer’s participation in the conference which promulgated those proposals. That statement has not been released publicly, and it does not appear anywhere on Exodus’ web site. There is also no evidence that Exodus is making any attempt to convey any statements to Uganda media.

Grove City college professor Dr. Warren Throckmorton, meanwhile, was able to get an interview into the news outlet Uganda Pulse condemning the conference. This indicates strongly that if Exodus wanted to make a statement to the Ugandan people, there are means with which they could do it. Instead, Exodus continues to do nothing.

Update: The public calls for mass arrests continue in the media:

At 6 p.m., popular radio station KFM played clips from interviews with Dr. James Nsaba Buturo and Member of Parliament, Latif Sabagala. Sabagala said that homosexuality is unacceptable because it interferes with the moral values of Ugandans. He sent out a message to government agencies telling them to hunt down homosexuals and arrest them since they have exposed themselves. Dr. James Nsaba Butuaro said that they would discuss the issue in Parliament and get some action. The 9 o’clock news played another clip of Sabagala, saying that there are no laws protecting gays in Uganda.

…I spoke to Frank Mugisha, the chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). “The LGBTI-community is still scared,” he said. “After our press release yesterday, the public is confused. They do not know what to believe. Those who are thinking through everything they have heard from the ex-gay activists have begun to realize that this is just an agenda to crush the gay rights movement, and it is full of lies.”

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

Comments

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L. Junius Brutus
April 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Nice going, Exodus. I wonder how many people need to be murdered before these anti-gay activists are happy.

My guess? All of us.

Emproph
April 2nd, 2009 | LINK

The first of that three-sentence statement:

Alan Chambers: “Unfortunately, Uganda as a country has demonstrated severe hostility towards homosexuals supporting criminalization of homosexual behavior and proposing compulsory therapy – positions that Exodus International unequivocally denounces…”

Unequivocal: plain, unambiguous, unmistakable, explicit, indisputable, undeniable, obvious, definite, clear

Equivocal: vague, ambiguous, confusing, misleading, ambivalent, oblique, unclear, shifty, evasive

And now to use them in a sentence:

The statements of Alan Chambers on behalf of Exodus International are unequivocally equivocal.

My recommendation; he needs to see a psychological doctor for a pair of psychological glasses for his psychological cataracts.

SharonB
April 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Has our State Dept issued anything on all this? Is HRC (not Hillary) active on this issue? How come the only place I am hearing about what is going on in Uganda is from BTB, TWO, and XGW?

Regan DuCasse
April 2nd, 2009 | LINK

For some reason, I just thought of a movie I saw years ago. It was called “Mr. Johnson”. I think it starred a very young Pierce Brosnan.
This issue made me think of it. I think the period is the fifties and it’s colonial Rhodesia(now Zimbabwe). It’s about a black man, who utterly and completely wants to embrace white/British/colonial manners and culture at the complete denunciation of his own.

The British think of him a capable sort of amusement, he’s trying so hard at emulation. But mostly succeeds at exaggeration, which isn’t all that flattering to the Brits. Of course, he’ll NEVER be fully accepted because that’s not who or what he is.

And his own culture can’t abide his rejection, and submissiveness to the very culture that is impoverishing, isolating, and endangering them.

I don’t know what happened at the end.
But I do know what becomes of people like that. They exhaust themselves trying to get a brass ring, that is exceptional in it’s attraction as well as elusiveness.
We are individuals first. We are unique first. And not all of us are born prisoners of what we are, but are made so by a dominance of people who just refuse to acknowledge and respect that uniqueness.

The closest we’ll resemble each other virtually universally is in the need most of us will have for love, belonging, value and being exceptional by giving a great deal of all of those things and receiving in kind.

Where we fall down, is in deciding arbitrarily and denying even more so that such is true, and only a few are capable of it.

In Mr. Johnson, a black man would never be of value in the eyes of the colonials to the extent of being their equal and it cost him.

‘what does it profit a man…?’

Gay men and women have ALWAYS offered the world a great deal when and where their full potential and sometimes a fraction of it, is manifest by equal justice and fairness…or just imagination and tenacity.

There is nothing special or necessary about becoming another wheel in the heterosexual machinery. Much is lost, in fact…and not enough gained, I think, to justify ANY of this activity by Exodus.
I’ve noticed that there are very few exceptional ex gays that anyone cares about. But there are thousands of exceptional gay people, regardless of what is worked against them.
Perhaps a lot of energy put to other and better use is lost on becoming heterosexual and staying that way for all intents and purposes.

The intent and purpose of heterosexuality is common enough, one wonders why tapping homosexuals for such a non feat is even important. It always begs my question: aren’t there now and always have been ENOUGH heterosexuals in the world?
Isn’t talent, intelligence and compassion what the world REALLY needs?
One can be gay or not and still have all that.

Lively and Co can choose their battlefields. They have the luxury of passing through and leaving before the consequences of their intervention finds them. They weren’t there to help anyone gay, but to assure themselves that the well was thoroughly poisoned.

Uganda needs the talent and intelligence and compassion of gay people for the other issues that plague that country. Preoccupying gay Ugandans with preserving their very lives and human rights helps no one.

I would have had more respect for Lively if he’d showed up like Oprah did and opened a school to elevate the education and social futures of girls.

But alas…

John
April 2nd, 2009 | LINK

This Exodus sponsored anti-homosexuality campaign is beginning to look a whole lot more like a political power grab. With Exodus’ help, they have laid the ground work, condemning homosexuality and inflamming the masses against gay people.

Now they are moving to the next step. They are going to start naming people to be attacked. Many of these people will probably be gay, but already Langa’s rivals are having their names tossed to the thuggish mobs as well. People will get hurt. Some may be killed. Many more will be silenced as Langa and his allies build up their political strength. These may be the first steps on the way to the next Ugandan dictatorship.

Poor Exodus…there isn’t enough soap on this planet to the wash the blood from Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas’ hands.

tom
April 9th, 2009 | LINK

i think this is a matter of musala and not the whole catholic church , and for many years we wanted this so called priest to knw that we know what he does and thank god every thing is out now he has to know that for many years we knew his work in homosexuals .

george oundo is the right peorson to this becouse he knowswhat he is talking of

homosexuality will never be african and we are going to finish it in uganda starting with big peple people who promotes it

tom
April 9th, 2009 | LINK

frnk mugisha should not think that way those are his thought not for ugandas

we know what we want and we want free uganda from homosexuality,

and now is the time they will even not have time to talk in this country

no one supports them

and frank georgina is not after money this is really change and you can make it too

The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Seeing Hate For What It Is
April 12th, 2009 | LINK

[...] while Exodus board member Don Schmierer sat and smiled. Jim Burroway and Timothy Kincaid have been asking Exodus to repudiate board member Don Schmierer’s participation in the conference, which included calls for wholesale witchhunting and imprisoning of gay people in Uganda.  To [...]

Strange, True & Religious : Uganda’s strange anti-gay feeding frenzy has pastors accusing rivals of gayness
May 14th, 2009 | LINK

[...] to Langa, who organized a news conference featuring Oundo. It was at that news conference where Oundo named a popular Catholic priest, Fr. Anthony Musaala, as a homosexual. Musaala, whose Charismatic Renewal Movement has a huge youth [...]

Rick Warren-linked Ugandan Pastor Interrogated over “Sodomy” Allegations Against Rival Pastor « Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion
June 1st, 2009 | LINK

[...] “saved ex-gay” named George Oundo appeared at a press conference organised by Langa: Oundo named a popular Catholic priest, Fr. Anthony Musaala, as a homosexual. Musaala, whose Charismatic Renewal Movement has a huge youth [...]

Daddy, Papa and Me » Uganda becoming heaven for Family Research Council?
November 4th, 2009 | LINK

[...] law would even be considered. But what is really sad from an American point of view, is that American anti-gay activists have been instrumental in helping foment a lot of the anti-gay hatred in Uganda and this [...]

KAY
February 16th, 2010 | LINK

Tom, I am highly interested in your comments. I do not think that legislation and enforcementment against homosexuality can completely eradicate it. However, I believe, it can be brought under control, as all dangerous practices should be.

My family and I were suspicious of Anthony Musaala’s ways but were not certain, so we gave him the benefit of the doubt, even after allegations came out in the press.

As we are not based in Uganda, we had no recent knowledge or proof. Now we have got proof from an eye witness and wish to follow this up. For the sake of respect for God, for the sake of people affected by this, for the the sake of victims, past present and possible future ones.

Homosexuality is painful physically, psychologically and spiritually. Unfortunately it is contagious too. Anthony Musaala was most probably abused by Catholic brothers in boarding school as a child. We have to stop him from spreading this thing to coming generations. Not only him but others like him, by God’s help.

Scott P.
February 16th, 2010 | LINK

KAY,

Too bad we can’t legislate against massive stupidity.

Alex
February 16th, 2010 | LINK

KAY,

Homosexuality is neither dangerous nor contagious. Religious fanaticism, on the other hand…

Richard Rush
February 17th, 2010 | LINK

Kay,

Have you ever noticed that the nations who are most accepting of their gay citizens are among the nations ranking highest in every measure of human well-being and prosperity? And have you noticed that the nations who treat gays with vile contempt are among the nations ranking lowest in those measures? Even within the United States a similar correlation can be seen among the states.

If the people of Uganda want to improve their lives, they might want to focus on education to reduce ignorance, illiteracy, and superstition, rather than scapegoating gays as the solution to their problems. The scapegoating of unpopular minority groups has always been an effective way for people and/or their governments to deflect responsibility for their own failures.

Priya Lynn
February 17th, 2010 | LINK

Perfectly summed up, Richard.

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