Focus On the Family Denounces Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

December 26th, 2009

Focus On the Family is famous for adamantly opposing virtually every LGBT-friendly initiative — from domestic partner and survivors benefits, hate crimes legislation or employment non-discrimination measures. They also steadfastly supported Colorado’s Amendment 2 of 1996 (which would have disenfranchised LGBT people from the legislative process) and they opposed the repeal of anti-sodomy laws in the U.S.

But there’s one piece of anti-gay legislation that Focus On the Family doesn’t support:

“The purpose of laws is to make societies safer, and there is legitimate concern that the legislation being debated in Uganda will incite violence against homosexuals,” Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said last week of the Ugandan bill.”

The Colorado Springs Gazette softpedals the role of American right-wing evangelicals in supporting Uganda’s homophobic culture:

Ralph Blair, president of Evangelicals Concerned in New York, believes the bill was influenced more by African culture and politics than Christian rhetoric against homosexuality. African nations, including Uganda, have had anti-gay laws on the books for decades, he said.

Moreover, it\’s unfair to single out American evangelical leaders and organizations for not condemning the bill when many world leaders, including President Barack Obama, and human rights groups have also been silent on it.

This is blatantly false and extremely poor reporting on the Gazette’s part. President Barack Obama did speak out against the bill long before Focus belatedly jumped on the bandwagon. The President’s statement was not reported by Uganda’s news media, but it outraged Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa.  The White House statement accompanied similar condemnations from Canada, Britain, Sweden, the European Union, and Australia. I guess the Gazette needs to somehow keep its hometown industry feeling happy and protected from, you know, actual reporting.

But back to Daly, Gazette reporter Mark Barna has more of Daly’s statement on the Gazette’s religion blog:

“As a Christian organization, Focus on the Family Action (the political arm of the family group) encourages pro-family policies. As such, we respect the desire of the Ugandan people to shield their nation from the promotion of homosexuality as a lifestyle morally equivalent to one-man, one-woman marriage. But it is not morally acceptable to enact the death penalty for homosexuals, as some versions of the bill are reported to require.”

“My reaction is to denounce this. It sets a horrible precedent and has a potential for developing hatred.”

It’s good that Focus has now spoken out against Uganda’s anti-gay bill, although I wonder what their position would be if the death penalty were dropped. At least Saddleback pastor Rick Warren is now on record as opposing all criminalization of homosexuality.

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

Steve

December 26th, 2009

It will take a lot more for me to allow Focus on the Family to pat themselves on the back for being humanitarians when it comes to gay issues. Yes, it’s nice that they don’t want to see gays killed in Uganda. On the other hand, the rest of their actions when it comes to gay issues continue to promote hatred against the gay community. How hypocritical of Focus on the Family to be concerned about promoting hatred of gays in Africa when they disparage gays in this country on a daily basis. Their sanctimonious, holier than thou attitude is what lead to the bumper stickers around here: “Go focus on your own damn family”.

Lynn David

December 26th, 2009

My guess is that if the bill ends up as one which mandates prison terms or therapy, Focus on the Family will be all for it. Since Exodus repudiated forced therapy and, indeed, any criminalizations of homosexuality, then since Focus on the Family handed over the “Truth Won Out” conferences to Exodus, it leads one to wonder if they’ve lost some of their traction on their ideas concerning homosexuality.

Alise

December 27th, 2009

I would be hard pressed to say that Focus on the Family is opposed to this legislation, so much as the CEO is opposed specifically to the death penalty simply for being gay. I’ve been searching all over both the main site and the Citizen’s Link site (the political arm of FotF), and neither have any mention that I can find. It would appear to me that Daly was making a calculated move. Go ahead and oppose it, but keep it off of the site, since no one who reads there would be likely to even know that this proposed legislation exists. If he lacks the courage of his convictions to deliver this message to the people who financially support their “ministry” it would seem to me that his support is iffy at best.

Steven B

December 27th, 2009

The campaign for Colorado’s Amendment 2 was actually in 1992, not ’96. A similar anti-gay initiative, Ballot Measure 9 in Oregon failed to pass. But as a result of each campaign “both states experienced an explosion in anti-lesbian/gay violence, including the bias-motivated homicides of a gay man and a lesbian in Oregon.” The resulting terror experienced by the LGBT community in Oregon was vividly documented in the film “Ballot Measure 9.”

Dan

December 28th, 2009

Well, we know that they supported state sodomy laws that provided for prison sentences of as much as 20 years. They appear to oppose the death penalty for gays, even though the very Bible verse that they so often quote to condemn homosexuality expressly requires the death sentence.

So, as Christian moderates, they support something between 20 years incarceration and death.

If there is a more debased religion than Christianity, I am not aware of it.

Timothy Kincaid

December 28th, 2009

Dan,

Focus on the Family are not Christian moderates. And your last sentence is not consistent with the tone and purpose of our site.

Dale

December 28th, 2009

“Focus on the Family are not Christian moderates.”

Considering the draconian punishment for homosexuality in the bible, the organization is indeed moderate on that issue. I do believe that was his point.

Burr

December 28th, 2009

I think he was using “moderate” in a half-sarcastic way, pointing out that they sit somewhere between two awful choices as a meaningless gesture.

Michael Bussee

December 28th, 2009

I am encouraged by this. I hope that other conservative Christian groups and leaders will also issue statments against this bill — as Exodus, Rick Warren and FOTF — have done. Uganda may listen to these voices even if we, for good reason, have serious doubts.

Michael Bussee

December 28th, 2009

To Lynn David, I am sure you meant “LWO” was handed over to Exodus, not Wayne Besen’s TWO… :)

oatc

December 29th, 2009

The facts are that FOTF has been systematically stoking fear and hatred of any and all LGBT people for many years, worldwide, including of children, and that a frantic statement against the predictable eventual result of that does not cover their tracks. These people have suddenly found themselves face to face with the monster they have created and realised they could be imprisoned for genocide. They still should be.

TERRY ANGEL MASON

February 22nd, 2010

UGANDA MY HEART WEEPS FOR YOU!
Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you! For you kill, murder, and imprison the innocent (those who express love differently) in the name of The Righteous One, but it is clear that you do not know Him!

Like America, you label them pedophiles and child molesters, yet continue to close your eyes to the true heterosexual offenders, allowing them to continually rape your children and infect them with AIDS, foolishly believing that this will cure them from the pandemic.

It is said that you freed yourself from the tyranny and oppression of a king (Mwanga) who was demented, greedy, self-serving and who defiled the people and if this is true, this is good! But you forgot that even though he was said to be corrupt and accused of raping the people both physically and emotionally for years, still we must judge each human being by their own conduct, character, and deeds, and not punish the innocent for another’s sins.

Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you because even though the rain falls frequently upon your land in the south and beautiful lakes run through your northern region, they have not cleansed you from your transgressions for you are still blinded by hatred, fear, and intolerance, and cannot see that the sun rises upon the just and the unjust, so that all men may be wooed to the Creator by love and mercy and not by hatred and discrimination!

For hundreds of years other nations robbed you of your wealth, stole your children and carried them away to foreign lands and enslaved them. Even today, in many regions of your country you suffer from extreme poverty because of usury and exploitation from men who lusted after your riches, saw you could not defend yourself, and carried them away to distant lands.

You must be very careful lest the handwriting of God also appear in judgment for your offenses and likewise be written upon your walls and inscribed in your Constitution now laced with fear and intolerance, having been saturated by the influence of misguided, self-seeking American Evangelists, these words spoken by the prophet Daniel: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” The interpretation:

“God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEK: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to another!”

Thousands of you marched in your city streets to rid yourself of a sin that you say will most certainly bring the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah upon your land; but like the Scribes and the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, legalism and an incorrect interpretation of the Holy Scriptures have blinded you.

Because of your hatred for what you do not understand, The Prince of Darkness deceives you yet again; prostituting you like the demented king you managed to free yourself from decades ago; have you still not heard the words of Jesus who said, “He was a murderer from the beginning?”

Uganda, Uganda, my heart weeps for you! Don’t you know that you cannot kill the innocent, batter and abuse your children, and lock them away in dungeons of cruelty for life simply because you refuse to accept who they really are without the very King of the Universe (whom you claim you worship), championing their cause, and lifting his righteous hand of justice and judgment against you?

He has heard the voice of the children devastated by earthquakes and disaster in Haiti and He has freed the oppressed in America from hundreds of years of discrimination. He has even delivered the Jews from the oppression of a mighty pharaoh (once thought invincible) in Egypt. Surely, He will not turn a deaf ear to innocent same-gender-loving people in your country, nor allow you to murder them without cause and your land and your people not be judged for doing so!

Uganda, Uganda, I alone do not weep, “FOR A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE!” (Matthew 2:18)

By Terry Angel Mason, Global Author
Excerpt from Mason’s New Book: Love Won’t Let Me Be Silent — Pride Edition

Mason is an extraordinary poet and writer who is known for his breakthrough revolutionary book, Love Won’t Let Me Be Silent, that is becoming a testament for many gays and lesbians struggling with their sexuality and the need to come out to their family and friends. What started out as a self-published nonfiction book has now become a literary phenomenon consistently earning him numerous literary nominations; while at the same time, gaining a place of reverence in the hearts and minds of millions of readers — both men and women worldwide.

Author’s Website: http://WWW.TERRYANGELMASON.COM

VIDEO LINKS:

Uganda: Gays, HIV+ people will be killed, possibly jailed for life, and sympathizers also jailed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0hIO-Jt8Hk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGxticKP4pk (The Bill also targets heterosexual people unjustly)

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