August 16th, 2012
In March of 2009, three American anti-gay activists parachuted into Uganda, a country which was (and still is) a powder keg of anti-gay hysteria just waiting to blow up. They gave their talks, stirred up a hornets nest of trouble, and swiftly flew out of the country leaving the local LGBT community to deal with the growing and unrelenting backlash that ultimately led to the introduction into that nation’s Parliament a proposal to kill anyone who is “repeatedly” gay and imprison anyone and everyone who would come to their defense. While the Ugandan LGBT people suffered through beatings, arrests, and even murder, the three Americans were safely ensconced in their comfortable homes, not quite a dozen timezones distant from the now dangerous streets of Kampala, but nevertheless an entire universe away from the havoc they wrought.
This past week, we’ve had disturbing word of yet another group of westerners wreaking havoc on Uganda while safely ensconced in their comfortable homes. The Internet “hacktivist” group Anonymous hijacked the web sites of Uganda’s office of the Prime Minister and posted an obscene message along with a statement saying:
LGBT People of Uganda, Anonymous and Elite Society do not speak for you. You have inspired us with your pride, courage and self-respect. YOU are OUR heroes LGBT people of Uganda.
Anonymous is right, if not a bit paternalistic, in announcing that they don’t speak for the LGBT community in Uganda. But they nervetheless presumed to place themselves — outsiders with little at stake — as the protector and defendor of Uganda’s LGBT community. And they chose to show their respect for Uganda’s LGBT community by vandalizing at least one of the nation’s official web sites without bothering to ask the LGBT leaders whether they even wanted Anonymsous’s “assistance.” And after this group of foreigners took it upon themselves to hack these web sites and leave messages of support for Uganda’s LGBT people, they leave it to those very same people to deal with whatever fallout that may come from local police, politicians, political leaders and media. Val Kalende, no shrinking violet herself (she bravely became the face of Uganda’s lesbians in an important local newspaper profile in 2009 following the introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill), articulated her concerns to Melanie Nathan:
My concern is the manner in which Anonymous claim to speak on behalf of Uganda LGBT activists with no consultation whatsoever. Has SMUG or any other organization asked them hack government websites? Do they understand how their actions could be perceived by Ugandans? I question the motive of Anonymous. They need to be advised. Those well-meaning interventions can cause severe backlash for activists on the ground. Hacking government websites to “help” victims of state-sponsored homophobia? Who does that? I think this extremist violent intervention MUST STOP. I would advise you speak to activists on the ground for their views on this.
For the past several years, I’ve watched from afar as the Ugandan LGBT community came together and responded bravely and effectively to the backlash caused by those three anti-gay Americans in 2009. While there was considerable international outrage and attention paid to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, there are many other stories of successes on the ground in Uganda that we don’t hear about, successes which are directly attributable to the brave men and women who live and work there. And more than a few LGBT leaders there are getting a little tired of all of the negative publicity and are frustrated that signs of progress brought on by their very hard work are too often overlooked. In fact, that was one of the reasons they celebrated Pride to begin with. Val Kalende reinforces that point again today in a piece for the Huffington Post.
Anonymous’s actions show an appalling disregard for the efforts of Ugandan LGBT leaders and a gob-smacking huberis that they, from the comfort of their bedrooms and coffee shops, know better than the Ugandan LGBT people on the ground. Meanwhile, those very same Ugandans are on Facebook bracing themselves for what may come.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.