Exodus Steps Up Opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

March 29th, 2010

More than a year after we warned the President of Exodus International against their board member’s conducting an anti-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda alongside an SPLC-certified hate group founder, and long its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament, Exodus is stepping up its vocal opposition to the draconian proposal. This morning, Exodus issued a press release, which is available on the organization’s main web site with a link from the front page, condemning the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda’s (NASWU) endorsement of the bill. That press release reads, in part:

The organization did recommend changes to the legislation, such as an exemption for counselors helping those struggling with same-sex attraction to report “homosexual offenses” to the government. However, overall, the NASWU recommended the bill continue through the legislative process so that “an appropriate law will emerge from this process that even other countries will want to emulate.”

In response, Exodus International President Alan Chambers said, “Although the NASWU seems genuinely concerned in helping those struggling with same-sex attraction, the organization fails to see that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009–as any legislation that criminalizes homosexuality–does more to hurt than help homosexuals. Exodus continues to urge Uganda’s Parliament to reject this hurtful legislation; we also ask the country’s evangelical churches to take the lead in offering hope and healing to all people, regardless of their particular struggles.”

Exodus’ first public response to the anti-gay conference last year was to “applaud” board member Don Schmierer’s participation in the conference. But a full month after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament, Exodus President Alan Chambers and Vice President Randy Thomas were signatories to an open letter to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni which urged the president to “consider the influence this law will have upon those who may seek help in dealing with this difficult issue as well as church and ministry leaders committed to demonstrating the compassion of Christ to all.”

While we welcomed that statement as a first step, it would prove to be an only step for several months to come. Another six months passed with no further action or statement from Exodus, leaving us to believe that the letter was little more than a fig leaf. Then, Exodus International Board of Directors issued a statement last week condemning the bill, and that statement was followed by just another week with this statement which reinforces Exodus’ opposition to the bill, along with the clearest statement to date against criminalizing homosexuality. This statement also went out on Exodus International’s mailing list.

Timothy Kincaid

March 29th, 2010

I applaud this step.


March 29th, 2010

Alan Chambers wrote: “Although the NASWU seems genuinely concerned in helping those struggling with same-sex attraction, the organization fails to see that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009–as any legislation that criminalizes homosexuality–does more to hurt than help homosexuals.”

I fail to see how this bill would “help” homosexuals in any way whatsoever. My advice to Alan next time around (if there is a next time around) is to use the phrase “this bill does NOTHING to help homosexuals.”

Alan Chambers

March 29th, 2010


My statement didn’t refer to the anti-homosexuality bill as something that would help–clearly, I think it can only hurt all. What I said was that the NASWU seemed genuinely interested in helping those who are “struggling”.



March 29th, 2010


You said that the bill “hurts more than it helps.” It doesn’t help at all.


March 29th, 2010

John is right, Alan. Your statement implies that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill helps homosexuals at least to a certain extent. How, exactly?


March 29th, 2010

“as any legislation that criminalizes homosexuality” …nice.

B John

March 29th, 2010

This blog and others have done a nice job of making the public aware of the fact that Chambers and Exodus vocally and proudly supported the hate seminars in Africa. I guess they thought it was just cute.

Now that they awakened the lion (and everyone know’s who was there poking it), they are doing their best to distance themselves and appear all sweet and innocent.

Someday maybe Alan and his board members will learn that words have consequences. They elected to play a dangerous game, and they are now in danger of being bitten. Sorry, but I have no sympathy. This renunciation is too little, too late.

One gay person imprisoned and or killed there, and that blood in on the hands of Exodus, and I’ll do all I can to ensure everyone in this country knows it.

B John

March 29th, 2010

I, honest to God, don’t know how these people can face themselves in the mirror.

Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (NIV)


March 29th, 2010

There is nothing at all in that nasty piece of ignorance tarted up as a NASWU statement that indicates they are “genuinely concerned in helping” anyone.

To the contrary. They repeat every vile falsehood, every dangerous inaccuracy, every distortion, every false hope. They refer to gay men and lesbians in the most degrading and menacing of ways.

The NASWU statement is, in effect, a summary version of the viewpoints of Exodus International. Or NARTH.

It it therefore any wonder that Alan Chambers thinks they seem genuine, concerned and helpful; differing only in what to do about the ‘problem’ of homosexuals.


March 29th, 2010

I might add, the International Federation of Social Workers (to which the NASWU is affiliated) has reacted very quickly to the NASWU statement and in no uncertain terms.

Take note Exodus International: that’s how genuine professionals behave. Accurately. Immediately. With clarity.

Not over 12 months later, and not in language that leaves doubts about your sincerity or motivations.


March 30th, 2010

The NASWU statement does not condemn the death penalty in the legislation. When I am genuinely concerned about helping someone, that usually does not mean I want to kill them, and would resist efforts by others to do so.

Exodus fail.

Michael Bussee

March 30th, 2010


(1) STILL no official policies against criminalization and forced “treatment” on the Exodus homepage — policies that ALL Board Members and affiliates agree to abide by — whether or not they are “officially” representing Exodus.

(2) STILL no official policies to guide Exodus in the future — in terms of promises that Exodus will never again venture into countries that favor criminalization and forced “treatment”.

(3) STILL no official apology from Exodus! Time to keep your word. Issue a press release to make this real:

“I would have loved nothing better than to share our disdain for this bill and apologize for going anywhere near such a horrible conference.” — Alan Chambers, 3/10/10.

Don’t wait another year to do it. Do it TODAY. “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” – Kimberly Johnson

Michael Bussee

March 30th, 2010

I think this “step” is empty without the official apology — taking complete responsibility for ignoring the warnings and for taking so long.

Laura Kanter

March 30th, 2010

Is this kind of like planting land mines all over someone else’s country and then later saying you didn’t mean to? Good luck with those? Can you see how Chambers frames his request to Uganda’s govt. officials to reject this legislation? They shouldn’t kill or criminalize LGBT’s just because we are struggling sinners full of evil and rejected by our creator. They should come up with “more appropriate” and humane ways to address the offense of homosexuality. That way everyone around the world can follow their Christ-like example.

Exodus Int. is coming to Irvine June 23 – 26 for their annual conference. Exodus Int. is having their yearly conference in my city – Irvine – this year. If you would like to be on our you are not welcome in my city committee, feel free to contact me.

Michael Bussee

March 30th, 2010

I will be there, Laura. Bag on. :)

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