Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2009

Beginning in 2009, BTB has been closely monitoring events leading up to and following the introduction of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. These pages include links to all of our posts, and including more information that we learned after some of the events took place. These pages will be updated as events continue to unfold.

Part 1: Laying the Groundwork (Feb 24 to Sept 15, 2009): Three American Evangelical activists announce anti-gay conference in KampalaSpecial invite to the conference announced in ParliamentRwandan Genocide blamed on gaysExodus applauds Schmierer’s participation at the conference“Ex-gay” becomes star of vigilante campaignVideos surface of follow-up conferenceExodus remains silent as vigilante campaign continuesUganda Parliament debates homosexuality “problem”Ugandan tabloid publicizes names, employers of LGBT citizensParliament approves resolution calling for anti-homosexuality billAccusations of homosexuality ensnare rival pastorsDraft bill calling for death penalty circulates.

Part 2: Parliament Proposes to Kill the Gays (Oct 14 to Dec 31, 2009): Full Text of Anti-Homosexuality BillUganda’s religious leaders debate AHBUS Reps Condemn AHBMore American ties to Uganda’s anti-gay politiciansExodus sends letter to Ugandan presidentJeff Sharlet exposes ties between “The Family” and M.P. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsorSweden threatens foreign aid if bill passesRick Warren refuses to condemn AHBUgandan gov’t minister remains defiant over worldwide outrageSeven Mountains Theology and the AHBExodus Board member dissembles on role in anti-gay conferenceSchmierer also denies knowing what he was getting into (we provide counter-evidence)“The Family” split on AHBRick Warren condemns AHBUgandan presidential adviser Opposes AHBAdvocate Val Kalende tells her story to Ugandan newspaperMore American evangelical connections to AHB proponentsSec of State Hillary Clinton denounces AHBEU condemns AHBMartin Ssempa responds to Rick Warren’s condemnationA lunch date with “ex-gay” speaker at Kampala anti-gay conferenceUgandan rally demands passage of AHBAHB dominates Christmas messages in Uganda.

Part 3: “Go Slow On The Bill” (Jan 3 to Mar 31, 2010): Exodus board member plays “dupe” on role in Kampala conferenceAmerican Scott Lively calls AHB “a step in the right direction.”BTB Video: Scott Lively’s “Nuclear Bomb”Rumors that AHB may be withdrawnExodus board member continues to deny responsibility“The Family” spokesman denounces AHBAmerican Evangelicals defend AHBScott Lively endorses “revised” AHBUgandan president urges “go slow,” announces Cabinet Subcommittee to reconsider AHBAHB sponsor MP David Bahati to attend “The Family’s” National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.Bahati disinvited to National Prayer BreakfastMartin Ssempa shows gay porn in churchAndrew Wommack Ministries endorses AHBAmerican anti-gay activist Cliff Kincaid defends AHBMartin Ssempa shows gay porn at news conferenceUgandan pol would kill his own gay sonPastor wars reigniteMartin Ssempa lies about AHB in comment on BTBExodus president wants to apologize, but doesn’tExodus board finally condemns AHB.

Part 4: The Bill Stalls While Debate Rages (Apr 1 to Sep 28, 2010): Televangelist Joyce Meyer condemns AHBAmerican Evangelist Lou Engle announces rally in KampalaUgandan cabinet subcommittee recommends passing AHB on the down-lowLou Engle praises AHB at Kampala rallyBTB interview with Ugandan Bishop Christopher SenyonjoScott Lively calls AHB “lesser of two evils”Bishop Senyonjo describes impact of Lively’s 2009 conferenceScott Lively struggles with death penalty provisionMartin Ssempa’s “Eat Da Poo-Poo!” — the remixFamily Research Council lobbies against Congressional resolution condemning AHBExodus president expresses regret over Uganda debacleLas Vegas megachurch stands by “international partner” Martin SsempaNevada Health officials sever ties with Las Vegas megachurchDavid Bahati declares his intention to kill every gay person in AfricaProminent anti-gay Cabinet Minister loses election.

Part 5: “Hang Them!” (Oct 1, 2010 to May 13, 2011): Rolling Stone outs LGBT Ugandans under the headline, “Hang Them!”Martin Ssempa may be behind the latest outing campaignUgandan government temporarily shuts down Rolling StoneLas Vegas megachurch considers severing ties with Martin SsempaRolling Stone resumes outing campaignUganda’s High Court orders a temporary halt to Rolling Stone’s vigilante campaignTabloids turn to conspiracy theories and gay-baitingM.P. David Bahati goes to WashingtonMartin Ssempa charged with conspiracyUgandan court permanently bans Rolling Stone vigilante campaignLGBT advocate David Kato brutally murderedScuffle breaks out at Kato’s funeralSuspect arrestedScott Lively excuses violence in UgandaPolice, Ugandan press float “gay panic” defenseWikileaks on AHBEthics and Integrity Minister Jamse Nsaba Buturo resignsSsempa, Oyet renew calls for AHBUgandan “ex-gay” recants againParliament committee holds hearings on AHBMedia erroneously reports death penalty dropped from AHBAHB vote scheduledDeath penalty confirmed in AHB; new crime addedDavid Bahati lies to NPR, says death penalty droppedParliament ends without voting on AHB.

Part 6: Not Yet Uhuru (May 13, 2011 to Feb 1, 2012): M.P. David Bahati elevated in Ugandan “Family” and ruling partyUgandan Cabinet “rejects” AHB againMPs reject Cabinet’s “rejection”New Ethics Minister defrocked by VaticanNew Health Minister has ties to American EvangelicalsWikileaks reveals First Lady’s support for AHB, and other inside political maneuveringsUK threatens foreign aid cuts to countries which persecute gay peopleParliament votes to resurrect AHBAHB opponents warn of backlash against UK threatDavid Kato’s alleged killer sentenced to 30 yearsObama Orders Government Action on International LGBT Abuses.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declares “Gay Rights Are Human Rights, and Human Rights Are Gay Rights”.

Part 7: The Bill Returns (Feb 3, 2012 to present): Anti-Homosexuality Bill reintroduced into Ninth ParliamentPolice raid LGBT-rights conference in Entebbe Lawsuit filed against Scott Lively for instigating anti-LGBT persecution in UgandaUgandan Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox bishops call for Anti-Homosexuality Bill\’s revivalUganda police raid second gay rights meetingM.P. David Bahati announces AHB will be taken up in next session of ParliamentPro-gay play stagedPlay’s producer, David Cecil arrested, faces 2 years’ imprisonmentDavid Cecil released on bailMartin Ssempa, 5 others convicted over 2009 “pastor wars”Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga promises to pass AHB by ChristmasClause-by-clause review of AHBBryan Fischer, Scott Lively cheer AHBHow a Private Member’s Bill becomes law

Part 2: Parliament Proposes to Kill the Gays


October 14, 2009: Uganda Parliament Takes Up Anti-Gay Bill Adding Death Sentence and Bans on Free Speech”. It is now official. Member of Parliament David Bahati introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into Parliament. According to a report in the government-owned New Vision, the proposed bill looked very similar to the draft bill we published on September 15.

The proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, as published in the official Uganda Gazette on September 25, 2009.

October 15, 2009: Here It Is: The Text of Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. We obtained a copy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and posted it online in its entirety. The proposed Act, if passed, would:

  • Clause 1: Expand the definitions for homosexual acts, making conviction easier. Current law requires evidence of penetration. The new law would expand the definition of homosexual activity to”touch(ing) another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality.” Touching itself is defined as “touching—(a) with any part of the body; (b) with anything else; (c) through anything; and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ. anus or mouth.”
  • Clause 2: Affirm Uganda’s lifetime imprisonment for those convicted of homosexuality.
  • Clause 3: Define a new crime of “aggravated homosexuality” for those who engage in sex with someone under the age of 18, who are HIV-positive, who is a “repeat offender” (so broadly defined as to include anyone who has had a relationship with more than one person, or who had sex with the same person more than once), or who had sex with a disabled person (consensual or not). The penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” is death by hanging. It also requires anyone arrested on suspicion of homosexuality to undergo HIV testing to determine the individual’s qualification for prosecution of “aggravated homosexuality.”
  • Clause 4: Criminalize “attempted homosexuality” with imprisonment for seven years.
  • Clause 5: Provide for compensation to the “victim” of homosexuality, which would provide incentives for even a consensual partner in a relationship to later claim “victim” status in order to save his or her own life and freedom by pressing charges against the other partner.
  • Clause 6: Guarantee anonymity to people making accusations.
  • Clause 7: Criminalize “aiding and abetting homosexuality” with seven years imprisonment. This provision could be used against anyone extending counseling, medical care, or otherwise providing aide gay people.Criminalize “promoting” homosexuality with fines and imprisonment for between five and seven years. This overly-broad provision would criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda . It would also criminalize any attempt to repeal or modify the law in the future, as those moves could also be seen as “promoting” homosexuality.
  • Clause 8: Criminalize the conspiracy to commit homosexuality “by any means of false pretence or other fraudulent means with seven years imprisonment.
  • Clause 9: Criminalize “procuring homosexuality by threats” (No penalty specified).
  • Clause 10: Criminalize “detention with intent to commit homosexuality” with seven years imprisonment.
  • Clause 11: Penalize people who run “brothels” with five to seven years imprisonment for renting to LGBT people. However, it defines a brothel as “a house, room, set of rooms or place of any kind for the purposes of homosexuality” instead of the more normal definition of a place where commercial sex work takes place. Anyone’s bedroom would be a “brothel” under this definition, placing landlords and hotel owners in jeopardy for renting to LGBT people.
  • Clause 12: Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.
  • Clause 13: Criminalize “promoting” homosexuality with fines and imprisonment for between five and seven years. This overly-broad provision would criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda . It would also criminalize any attempt to repeal or modify the law in the future, as those moves could also be seen as “promoting” homosexuality.
  • Clause 14: Require friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual’s homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment for up to three years.
  • Clause 15: Reserve trials for Aggravated homosexuality” for Uganda’s High Court. All other can be tried by magistrates.
  • Clause 16: Make the law applicable to all Ugandans living or visiting abroad via an extra-territorial clause.
  • Clause 17: Subject persons living abroad to extradition.
  • Clause 18: Void all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.

October 15, 2009: Human Rights Watch, Sexual Minorities Uganda Condemn Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Human Rights Watch joined sixteen other local and international human rights organizations in condemning the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Sexual Minorities Uganda has also circulated a statement condemning the bill, warning that “These positions will further set a dangerous precedent and send a signal that any Ugandan’s privacy is unguaranteed — that all of our civil society could be put under attack.”

Exodus International president Alan Chambers

Exodus International president Alan Chambers

October 16, 2009: Does Exodus Support Criminalizing Homosexuality? Exodus International does not have a stated position on the criminalization of homosexuality, despite this question coming up repeatedly in other contexts. A search through the Exodus web site for clues on their position reveals only two hints. The first is a post by Exodus vice-president Randy Thomas who quotes an unnamed writer who fears that the U.S. Supreme Court would strike down anti-sodomy laws in fourteen states (which it did in 2003.) The other clue is a quote from Exodus president Alan Chambers following the Supreme Court ruling. “We are risking the moral upbringing of all the generations to come,” he warned.

October 17, 2009: Uganda’s Daily Monitor: All Ugandans Should Fear Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Michael Madill, writing for Uganda’s independent Daily Monitor, asked: “Do you know the fear which arrives with the knock on the door in the middle of the night? If you were an outspoken opponent of any government from 1962 until today you felt it even if it never happened to you. …If you are a gay man or woman living in Uganda today, then you carry the same burden of persecution for your identity.”

October 18, 2009: Take Action: Tell Uganda To Respect Human Rights And Dismiss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission issued an Action Alert, asking everyone to write to the Ugandan authorities about the pending bill.

October 22, 2009: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Put Off Until 2010. Ugandan media reported that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is expected to be taken up again for a second reading in January 2010.

October 23, 2009: Uganda Civil Rights Coalition Denounces Anti-Homosexuality Bill. A coalition of twenty-two Ugandan professional and civil rights advocacy groups denounced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They described the bill as not just an “anti-homosexuality” bill, but also as “the ‘Anti Civil Society Bill,’ the ‘Anti Public Health Bill,’ or the ‘Anti-Constitution Bill,'” or more specifically, “the Anti Human Rights Bill.” And they liken the bill’s measures with some of the more repressive practices of the Idi Amin era.

October 28, 2009: A Call for Christian Action in Uganda — A Time to Show the Love. Anti-gay Christians often protest that they act not out of hate, but of love. BTB’s Timothy Kincaid challenges Christians to demonstrate the love they claim to have by calling out the evil bill. “This situation provides us with a ‘put up or shut up’ moment,” he said.

October 28, 2009: Uganda Religious Leaders Call for Anti-Gay Bill… But Maybe Not Death. Leaders from the Church of Uganda, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council unanimously supported the Bill, but called for a change in the penalties. The Anglican Church of Uganda says that maybe the penalty should be changed to life imprisonment.

November 2, 2009: Uganda Parliament Committee, Religious Leaders Weigh Death Penalty for LGBT People. More details on the meeting between religious leaders and a Parliament Committee first reported on Oct 28.

Clockwise from top left: U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Tammy Baldwin, Gary Ackerman, and Howard Berman.

Clockwise from top left: U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Tammy Baldwin, Gary Ackerman, and Howard Berman.

November 2, 2009: US Reps Condemn Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill. U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Howard Berman (D-CA) wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Citing the significant U.S. aid to Uganda provided in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), they ask Sec. Clinton to “use every means possible to convey to Ugandan leaders that this bill is appalling, reckless, and should be withdrawn immediately.”

November 2, 2009: Throckmorton Appeals to Ugandan Christians. Dr. Warren Throckmorton, an American Evangelical and proponent of “Sexual Identification Therapy” published a guest blog in The Independent, a Ugandan news blog. In it, he appeals to fellow Christians to follow the lead of Christ and avoid harsh civil punishment for spiritual sins.

November 6, 2009: Uganda Women’s Group: “Kill the Gays”. The Uganda Women Parliamentary Association is angry that anyone would think that they might show sympathy or mercy to gay people.

November 6, 2009: Australian Senate Refuses to Oppose Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. The title says it all.

November 7, 2009: The “Biblical” Worldwide Anglican Communion. “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” (Matthew 27:24) BTB’s Jim Burroway wondered if the worldwide Anglican communion’s silence on the Uganda bill might have a Biblical basis after all.

Fred Hartley, College of Prayer International

Fred Hartley, College of Prayer International

November 9, 2009: More American Evangelical Ties To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Politicians. Until now, we’ve focused most of our attention on the role that Schmierer, Lively and Brundidge performed in the March 5-7 Kampala conference to bring us to this point. Now we discover other areas in which American Evangelicals have had extensive influence with Ugandan leaders behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This story involves Fred Hartley, and the College of Prayer International’s newly-established Uganda campus.

November 9, 2009: Uganda’s “Kill Gays” bill is “Providing Leadership to the World”. Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo revels in the controversy, saying “It is with joy we see that everyone is interested in what Uganda is doing, and it is an opportunity for Uganda to provide leadership where it matters most.”

November 10, 2009: Uganda’s Most Wanted. A notice briefly appeared on the Daily Monitor’s web site: “Two homosexuals, [names redacted] are wanted by the police, anyone who sees them and has information leading to their arrest should report to the nearest police station for the safety of our country. A big reward waits.” The notice was removed by the end of the day.

Davis Mac-Iyalla

Davis Mac-Iyalla

November 11, 2009: Nigerian calls on Anglican Communion to oppose Ugandan “Kill Gays” bill. Nigerian LGBT Advocate Davis Mac-Iyalla, who in 2008 was forced to flee his country due to anti-gay attacks. Members of the Anglican Church of Nigeria were suspected of being behind those attacks. Mac-Iyalla called on the Anglican Communion to condemn the proposed legislation in Uganda. “Whatever the divisions within the communion about homosexuality as a moral issue, Anglicans should unite in condemnation of violent persecution and discrimination of LGBT people whoever and wherever they are, particularly when it is carried out in the name of Jesus Christ.”

November 14, 2009: Anglican’s Communion’s Tangled Connections To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Pogrom. It turns out that the number two man in the worldwide Anglican Communion, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, is the brother of a megachurch pastor in Kampala, Robert Kayanja. And it just so happens that Kayanja was accused of homosexuality by rival pastors. (see May 14, 2009.) Does Kayanja’s brush with deadly-serious accusations explain the Archbishop of York’s silence? And what implications does this hold for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s refusal to address these life-and-death developments in one of the Church’s most active countries?

November 16, 2009: Exodus Sends Letter To Ugandan President. More than eight months after this whole saga began when Exodus boardmember Don Schmierer traveled to that fateful conference, Exodus International issues a letter addressed to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni. “While we do not believe that homosexual behavior is what God intended for individuals, we believe that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to this issue.” Signing the letter were Exodus president Alan Chambers, Exodus vice-president Randy Thomas, Christopher Yuan of the Moody Bible Institute, and Warren Throckmorton of Grove City College.

November 20, 2009: Canada’s Anglicans Oppose Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Canada’s Council of General Synod called upon the Church of Uganda to oppose the bill. It also called “upon our own Government of Canada, through the minister of external affairs, to convey to the Government of Uganda a deep sense of alarm about this fundamental violation of human rights and, through diplomatic channels, to press for its withdrawal…”

Stephen Lewis, The UN Secretary-General's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Stephen Lewis, The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa.

November 24, 2009: HIV/AIDS Envoy: Uganda’s Chairing Of Commonwealth Meeting “A Mockery of Commonwealth Principles”. At a meeting in preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis rebuked Uganda for its draconian proposal targeting the country’s LGBT community. “The credibility of the Commonwealth is hanging by a spider’s thread. …If the once-upon-a-time civilized values of the post-colonial Commonwealth are to be restored, then the monstrous war on homosexuality is the place to start the restoration. Uganda makes a perfect beginning.” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was finishing up his term as chair of the Commonwealth meeting.

November 25, 2009: Follow The Money: The American Connection to Uganda’s Death Sentence For Gays. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where he laid out for the first time the pipeline of money and support from the secretive American Evangelical group known as The Family to many of those behind Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Eric Goosby, PEPFAR chief coordinator.

Eric Goosby, PEPFAR chief coordinator.

November 27, 2009: PEPFAR Coordinator: Don’t Link Uganda Funding To Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Eric Goosby, chief coordinator for the President’s emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said, “I think I would do more harm than good by connecting our resources to respond to the epidemic to making them dependent on a behavior that they’re not willing to engage in on their own. My role is to be supportive and helpful to the patients who need these services. It is not to tell a country how to put forward their legislation.”

November 28, 2009: United Church of Canada Urges PM To Bring Up Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill at Comonwealth Meeting. “In the next few days there is an opportune moment at the summit of Commonwealth leaders for Canada to show leadership in advocating for the protection of the human rights of all people, especially those who are most marginalized, such as gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Uganda. At this summit we urge you to raise these issues and speak firmly against this regressive proposed legislation by the Parliament of Uganda.”

November 28, 2009: Canada PM To Denounce Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Canadian Transport Minister John Baird announced that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will confront Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni “face to face” over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill during the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago. Said Baird, “The current legislation before Parliament in Uganda is vile, it’s abhorrent. It’s offensive. It offends Canadian values. It offends decency.”

November 28, 2009: Catholic News Source: Scott Lively Blames Foreign Gays for Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Guess who’s responsible for Uganda trying to kill off it’s gay citizens. Lively says it’s foreign gays, not the government.

November 28, 2009: UK PM Gordon Brown Denounces Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. The UK’s Telegraph reported that Prime Minister Gordon Brown met one-on-one with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and denounced the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. No details of the conversation were provided.

November 28, 2009: Sweden responds to Uganda’s proposed “Kill Gays” bill. Sweden’s Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson announced that Sweden will cut its $50 million in aid to Uganda if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill goes forward. Said Carlsson, “The law itself is wretched, but it’s also offensive to see how the Ugandans choose to look at how we see things, and the kind of reception we get when we bring up these issues.”

Rick Warren appears on Meet the Press.

Rick Warren appears on Meet the Press.

November 30, 2009: Rick Warren Refuses To Oppose Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren told Newsweek that he would not take a position on Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, despite his deep interest and connections in that country. “It is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations,” he told Newsweek. He took the same position on NBC’s Meet the Press: “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.”

December 1, 2009: Clinton Condemns Criminalization of Homosexuality. Without mentioning Uganda specifically, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned attempts to criminalize homosexuality. “We have to stand against any efforts to marginalize and criminalize and penalize members of the LGBT community worldwide.”

December 1, 2009: Going Rove In Uganda. We’ve focused most of our coverage on the religious element driving Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but there are other factors at play. Elections are coming up in 2011, and as American political strategist Karl Rove has demonstrated, wedge politics can win elections. And nothing is wedgier than gays. Ugandan political observers help us understand the political dynamics in play.

December 3, 2009: International Healing Foundation Issues Statement On Uganda. Rachel Maddow has been investing a lot of coverage of Uganda on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. Today, she reads a portion of a brief and vague statement from Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation, condemning “any harsh and extreme punishment of persons who identify as homosexual or who engage in homosexual behavior.”

James Nsaba Buturo speaking at the government Media Centre (Geoffrey Sseruyange/Daily Monitor)

James Nsaba Buturo speaking at the government Media Centre.

December 3, 2009: Uganda Responds To International Furor Over “Kill Gays” Bill. Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo held a press conference at the Uganda Media Centre to defend the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “We should remind them (the donors) that there is integrity to be defended and threats are not the way to go. If one chooses to withdraw their aid, they are free because Ugandans do not want to engage in anal sex. We do not care.”

December 4, 2009: Anti-Gay Bill Likely To Pass As Oil Surpasses Donors For Influence In Uganda. Uganda’s newly discovered oil fields near the country’s western borders with the Congo may embolden Uganda’s leaders to thumb their noses at warnings from donors.

December 4, 2009: Archbishop of Canterbury In “Private Talks”; Ugandan Pastor Calls “Kill Gays” Bill “Genocide”. The worldwide Anglican Communion’s silence continues, but The Timesof London reports that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is in “private talks” with leaders of the Ugandan Anglican Church. But one brave Ugandan Anglican pastor, Canon Gideon Byamugisha isn’t waiting. “”I believe that this bill [if passed into law] will be state-legislated genocide against a specific community of Ugandans, however few they may be,” he said.

December 4, 2009: Seven Mountains Theology At the Heart of Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton and Talk To Action’s Bruce Wilson simultaneously discover the Dominionist “Seven Mountains” theology that appears to motivate several key players in the Uganda saga.

IHS Statement (Click to download PDF)

IHS Statement (Click to download PDF)

December 4, 2009: Statement from International Healing Foundation Regarding Uganda. We obtained the full statement from Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. The full statement doesn’t answer any of the questions we raised when Rachel Maddow read a brief excerpt. (See Dec 3, 2009.)

December 4, 2009: State Department Guidance On Uganda. It’s not an official statement, but at least it’s on the record: “If adopted a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda.”

December 4, 2009: American Episcopal Leader “deeply concerned” about Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said, “We note that much of the current climate of fear, rejection, and antagonism toward gay and lesbian persons in African nations has been stirred by members and former members of our own Church. We note further that attempts to export the culture wars of North America to another context represent the very worst of colonial behavior. We deeply lament this reality, and repent of any way in which we have participated in this sin.”

December 5, 2009: Rachel Maddow: Should US Politicians Try To Stop The “Kill Gays” Bill?Rachel Maddow reviewed the role that several U.S. politicians played — specifically Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) — in their own meddling in Uganda’s political affairs, mostly in changing Uganda’s previously successful fight against AIDS by insisting on abstinence only education. Maddow asks, “Is it reasonable to expect that American politicians who have been, frankly, pretty interventionist in Uganda in the past, should be trying to stop the ‘kill the gays’ bill there?”

"What, me worry?" Exodus board member Don Schmierer.

“What, me worry?” Exodus board member Don Schmierer.

December 5, 2009: Don Schmierer On Uganda: “What, Me Worry?”Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, whose participation in the March 5-7 conference in Kampala kicked off this whole mess, finally issued a statement on the Exodus blog. Four paragraphs were devoted to his “surprise” at being mentioned by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and excusing his participation in a conference alongside Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and the International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge. It’s not until he gets to his fifth paragraph until he says what should have been said in his first paragraph. “What is true, however, and worth all the news media coverage possible, is the tragic nature of and heartbreaking potential this bill holds.” But even then, he creates a “gay bishop” to excuse his participation in the conference.

December 5, 2009: Cockroaches. Uganda’s independent Sunday Monitor reports on Rev. Michael Esakan Okwi, a senior member of the Anglican Church of Uganda, who said that not even “cockroaches,” who are in the “lower animal kingdom,” engaged in homosexual relations.

December 6, 2009: What’s Good For Uganda Is Good For Canada? David Chotka, of the College of Prayer International’s Canada chapter, has been very impressed with COP’s Ugandan counterparts have accomplished. “I have three-twelve members of the Canadian Parliament who have heard about what God is doing in Uganda and would like to attend the Parliamentary COP [College of Prayer — ed.] in Uganda next year. They are interested in bringing the College of Prayer to the Canadian Parliament.”

December 8, 2009: US Christian Leaders Oppose Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. A coalition of religious leaders organized by Faith in the Public Life issued a statement. “We appeal to all Christian leaders in our own country to speak out against this unjust legislation. In our efforts to imitate the Good Samaritan, we stand in solidarity with those Ugandans beaten and left abandoned by the side of the road because of hatred, bigotry and fear.”

Richard Cohen appears on The Rachel Maddow Show

Richard Cohen appears on The Rachel Maddow Show

December 8, 2009: Cohen On Maddow: “Disavows All Relationship” To Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Cohen appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show. Every time he goes on television, he embarrasses himself and everyone else connected with the ex-gay movement. This time is no different. But at least he came out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

December 9, 2009: Bloomberg: Uganda To Drop Death Penalty, Add Forced “Conversions”. Bloomberg’s Johannesburg bureau reports that Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo said that the death penalty will be dropped. He also said that the bill would be modified promote counseling to help “attract errant people to acceptable sexual orientation.” This sounded remarkably like the forced conversion proposal that Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively was proposing last March. No other news agency confirmed this report, and Buturo hasn’t made this suggestion since then.

December 9, 2009: What Did Don Schmierer Know? According to Exodus International boardmember Don Schmierer’s five-paragraph statement (see Dec 5, 2009), he had no idea what was happening during the Kampala conference in March, or what the aftermath was. Apparently, he remained clueless as events spiralled out of control for more than nine months. BTB’s Timothy Kincaid reconstructs a timeline to demonstrate that Schmierer couldn’t be as clueless as he pretends to be.

December 9, 2009: Ugandan Church Leaders Back “Kill Gays” Bill. Two hundred religious leaders met in Kampala to voice their support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda passed a resolution saying, “Government should cut ties with donor communities and other groups which support ungodly values such as homosexuality and abortion.” The group’s secretary general, Joshua Kitakule, told The Daily Monitor, “The Bill is OK. But it has been misunderstood. We need to educate people on this proposed law.” This would become the main talking point among the bill’s supporters in the days to come.

December 9, 2009: Time Magazine Covers the Ugandan “Kill Gays” Bill. The story is finally getting the attention of the mainstream press in the U.S. (aside from Rachel Maddow, that is).

Jeff Sharlet, appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show

Jeff Sharlet appears on the Rachel Maddow Show

December 10, 2009: Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill Sparks Schism Inside The Family; U.S. Sens. Remain Silent. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show for an update on The Family’s reactions to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. While the March 5-7 anti-gay conference in Kampala may have given renewed life to the bill, MP David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor and a “rising star” in The Family, first shared his ideas for the legislation during an October 2008 Ugandan Prayer Breakfast which was organized by Bahati. Some members of The Family counseled against the bill, but chose not to disrupt access and relationships to Uganda’s political leadership. Now that the Family’s ties to the controversial legislation has become public, some Family members want to head off a public relations disaster. Bahati and Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo plan to come to the American National Prayer Breakfast, also organized by The Family, in February 2009. Sharlet reports that some members of The Family are pushing to dis-invite the two if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passes.

December 10, 2009: Uganda’s Official Media Centre Publishes Article Suggesting Anti-Homosexuality Bill Not Needed. The official governmental Ugandan Media Centre, which acts as a “centralized location where all official government correspondence and information can be easily accessed,” published an interesting op-ed by Columnist Obed K. Katureebe criticizing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “One wonder whether parliament is utilising its time optimally by focusing on homosexuality when the majority of our people are suffering from hunger, lack of access to water and disease and collapsing infrastructure.” What does this columns appearance on an official high-profile governmental web site mean? Is it a trial balloon? An attempt to deflect criticism? Or is it intended to lay the groundwork for dropping the bill?

Saddleback pastor Rick Warren denouncing the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Saddleback pastor Rick Warren denouncing the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill

December 10, 2009: Rick Warren “Vigorously Condemns” Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Saddleback pastor Rick Warren, after refusing to denounce the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Nov 30, 2009), released a “video encyclical” to Ugandan pastors calling on them to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, calling it “unjust, extreme and un-Christian toward homosexuals.” In an accompanying “key facts” issued by his publicist, Warren goes further: “I oppose the criminalization of homosexuality. The freedom to make moral choices is endowed by God. Since God gives us that freedom, we must protect it for all, even when we disagree with their choices.” While there are clearly problems with many of the other “key facts,” we’ll save that for another post. Right now, this statement is the clearest, most direct statement made to date by an American conservative in opposition to the bill.

December 10, 2009: Vatican Statement about Uganda’s Proposed Legislation. In contrast to Warren’s bold statement condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the Vatican’s statement at the United Nations was more circumspect. “The Holy See also opposes all forms of violence and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons, including discriminatory penal legislation which undermines the inherent dignity of the human person.” This is not a call for decriminalization of homosexuality (which the Vatican opposed in 2008), just against “discriminatory penal legislation.”

Uganda MP David Bahati, prime sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Uganda MP David Bahati, prime sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

December 10, 2009: Ugandan MP Defends “Kill Gays” Bill. On Dec. 9, MP David Bahati, the prime sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, said that “The Bill is OK. But it has been misunderstood.” He repeated that again today to the BBC, saying, “There has been a distortion in the media that we are providing death for gays. That is not true.” He tried to claim that his bill was actually an anti- child molestation bill, not an anti-gay bill. This is a boldfaced lie, and we examine the actual text of the bill to prove it.

December 11, 2009: Uganda Media Centre Removes Op-Ed Questioning “Kill Gays” Bill. We were hopeful when the Uganda Media Centre posted an op-ed questioning the need for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. We were disseminated to notice that the column had been taken down. Later, the column re-appeared again under a different URL, and with a link to it from the Media Centre’s front page.

December 11, 2009: Scott Lively Issues Statement On Uganda. Scott Lively issued another statement on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He’s against the death penalty and is still pushing for forced conversions. But other than that, he’s fine with the bill as written. “If the offending sections were sufficiently modified, the proposed law would represent an encouraging step in the right direction. As one of the first laws of this century to recognize that the destructiveness of the “gay” agenda warrants opposition by government, it would deserve support from Christian believers and other advocates of marriage-based culture around the world.”

John Nagenda

John Nagenda

December 11, 2009: Op-Ed In Ugandan Gov’t Newspaper: “Parliament Should Not Pass This Bill”. In another encouraging sign, the government-owned New Vision published a column by John Nagenda, a senior advisor to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, saying that, “hunting down people for same-sex love, I believe to be a sin, against Love, one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind. …Parliament should not pass this Bill.” This follows a similar encouraging column in the official governmental Ugandan Media Centre web site. When New Vision picks up on the same theme, something is likely afoot.

December 12, 2009: Manhattan Declaration Authors Criticize Aspects of Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. The three principle authors of the Manhattan Declaration, a conservative Christian manifesto in support of bans on abortion and marriage equality, published a letter to the “beloved brothers and sisters of Uganda” to criticize two principle features of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The two areas they criticize are the death penalty and lifetime imprisonment. As this letter only addresses two aspects of the proposed legislation, the authors’ positions on the criminalization of homosexuality or any other aspect of the bill remain vague.

"I'm brave." Although Val Kalende (L) is open about her sexuality; her partner is not. (via The Sunday Monitor)

“I’m brave.” Although Val Kalende (L) is open about her sexuality; her partner is not. (via The Sunday Monitor)

December 12, 2009: Ugandan Lesbian Goes Public: “Tell Me, What Will Happen To Us?” The inability of LGBT people to reveal themselves to their own family is perhaps the greatest obstacle to improvement in Ugandans’ attitudes toward gay people. Uganda’s main opposition newspaper, The Monitor, published an amazing profile of LGBT advocate Val Kalende and her partner, which seeks to begin to change all that.

December 12, 2009: Donor Nations Formally Protest Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Delegations from the European Union, Canadian and American embassies have formally protested the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, according to Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

December 12, 2009: White House Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “The President strongly opposes efforts, such as the draft law pending in Uganda, that would criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history.”

December 12, 2009: Uganda “Kill Gays” Bill Sponsor Refuses To Budge. As far as Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati is concerned, the death penalty provision will remain. And he continues with the theme first revealed on Dec 9. “Most people have misunderstood the bill,” he told Britain’s The Guardian, before being — shall we say — less than honest (again! see Dec 10, 2009) about who would qualify for the death penalty.

December 13, 2009: Archbishop of Canterbury Mumbles Something About Uganda. Archbishop of Canterbury, responding to worldwide pressure to say something — anything — about the situation in Uganda, utters a few brief sentences to a friendly reporter — a few sentences in a fawning 1,500-word story. If you blinked, you might have missed it. He doesn’t like the bill’s death penalty or the requirement to report gay people to police. But then, he notes that Uganda’s archbishop Henry Orombi “has not taken a position on this bill.” So umm, you know, we’ll see.

L-R: Sens. Russ Feingold, Chuck Grassley, Tom Coburn

L-R: Sens. Russ Feingold, Chuck Grassley, Tom Coburn

December 14, 2009: Sens. Feingold, Coburn, Grassley Denounce Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Sen. Russ Fiengold: “Over the last month, I have conveyed these concerns to the State Department and directly to President Museveni, and I urge Uganda’s leaders to reject this bill.” Very good. Sen. Chuck Grassley: “I’m a born again Christian, I can tell you that I don’t agree with this un-Christian and unjust proposal, and I hope the Ugandan officials dismiss it.” Not bad. Sen. Tom Coburn: “Sadly, some who oppose Uganda’s common sense ABC strategy are using an absurd proposal to execute gays to undermine this coalition and winning strategy. Officials in Uganda should come to their senses and take whatever steps are necessary to withdraw this proposal that will do nothing but harm a winning strategy that is saving lives.” Huh?

December 14, 2009: UN Official: Uganda May Lose AIDS Research Center If “Kill Gays” Bill Passes. The African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP) is slated to be relocated from Geneva, Switzerland, to Entebbe. But if the bill passes, UNAIDS and WHO will revisit that decision.

December 14, 2009: American Evangelical Connections: The Disciple Nations Alliance and Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Stephen Langa, who organized the March 5-7 anti-gay conference in Kampala, is a member of Phoenix-based Disciple Nations Alliance and serves as the head of their Uganda chapter. DNA worked with Langa in 2006 to change a bill before Uganda’s Parliament that would have opened up equality opportunities to LGBT citizens. What role is DNA playing now with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?

Uganda's top scout: MP David Bahati is honored during an East African scouting conference in Kampala. (Click to enlarge)

Uganda’s top scout: MP David Bahati is honored during an East African scouting conference in Kampala. (Click to enlarge)

December 15, 2009: David Bahati Is A Boy Scout — And Other Examples of Ugandans Talking About Gay People. A BTB reader in Uganda sent us a couple of clippings from the print version of the independent Daily Monitor which gives us some insight into how Uganda’s talk about gay people.

December 15, 2009: Hillary Clinton Denounces Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a speech at Georgetown University, denounced Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “Once rights are established, governments should be expected to resist the temptation to restrict freedom of expression when criticism arises, and be vigilant in preventing law from becoming an instrument of oppression, as bills like the one under consideration in Uganda to criminalize homosexuality would do.”

December 16, 2009: “The Family” Opposes Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Jeff Sharlet, whose appearance on NPR’s Fresh Air first revealed connections between Uganda’s political leaders and the secretive American evangelical movement known as The Family (see Nov 25, 2009), wrote a guest post on Warren Throckmorton’s web site to update us on the Family’s growing opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

December 16: 2009: Uganda’s Slow U-Turn? Leading Minister Supported “Kill Gays” Bill; Now Vows Silence. More encouraging signs that Uganda’s leaders may reconsider the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Today’s Monitor newspaper reported for the first time in Uganda that President Barack Obama condemned the bill. This is important because Obama is revered throughout East Africa. The Monitoralso reported that Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, previously an outspoken supporter of the bill, will “remain silent about the proposed law until it has been passed or defeated.” The Monitor also said, “By yesterday, however, the official stance was that the government had not yet reached a position on the proposed law.”

MP Benson Obua-Ogwa

“Hey Gay Pervert”: MP Benson Obua-Ogwal

December 16, 2009: “Hey Gay Pervert”: A Gay Ugandan’s Conversation With A Legislator. The anonymous blogger GayUganda reveals an email exchange he conducted with MB Benson Obua-Ogwal, who has been identified as a co-sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Obua-Ogwa is also a core member of the American-based College of Prayer International, and serves as one of eight MP’s on the group’s “servant leadership team.”

December 16, 2009: BBC: “Should Homosexuals Face Execution?” That’s what the BBC asked in an online “Have Your Say” forum. And to make matters worse, BBC’s editors defended the decision.

December 17, 2009: EU Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The European Parliament passed a resolution strongly condemning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, calling on Uganda “not to approve the bill and to review their laws to decriminalize homosexuality.” The resolution also calls on the European Commission and Council to reconsider EU aid to Uganda if the anti-gay bill passes.

December 17, 2009. LGBT Group: Archbishop of Canterbury Quietly Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had his press secretary tell someone at the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement that he views the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as “entirely unacceptable from a pastoral, moral and legal point of view.” Nice third-hand information to know.

December 17, 2009: Ugandan Parliament to Debate “Kill Gays” Bill Dec. 18. The news we’ve been dreading to hear. Uganda’s Parliament will take up the Anti-Homosexuality Bill for more debate.

In unrelated news, the government-owned New Vision reports that Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo spoke at a fundraiser for the construction of a Catholic Church. This time, he spoke about the need people could live together despite tribal and religious differences. “If we are to have everlasting peace, the need for tolerating each other cannot be over-emphasised,” he said. “People living together in peace is the foundation for developing this country.” He reportedly said this with a straight face.

Martin Ssempa

Martin Ssempa

December 17, 2009: Ugandan Pastor Responds To Rick Warren’s Statement; Endorses “Forced Therapy” Option. Pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa lashed out at Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren’s call for Ugandan pastors to denounce the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Dec 10, 2009). He also said that two amendments to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will be offered. One would lower the maximum penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” to twenty years, and the other would revive the forced therapy option first proposed during the March 5-7 anti-gay conference in Kampala.

December 18, 2009: Newsweek: Is Uganda’s Anti-Gay Ferver Spreading? Newsweek’s Katie Paul examines the “domino theory” that many have placed on Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill — the theory that suggests that Uganda’s passing of the anti-gay bill would represent a first domino to fall across Africa — and finds it lacking. BTB’s Jim Burroway agreed, and also reminds readers of the larger context in which these events are taking place.

December 18, 2009: Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Second Reading In February. We can now confirm that the required Second Reading for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will take place in February according to two independent sources.

December 18, 2009: Bahati Refuses To Answer Questions About Ties To “The Family”. When the BBC asked Ugandan MP David Bahati, prime sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, whether he is a member of The Family, one would imagine it would be a simple yes or no question. Turns out it’s not.

December 18, 2009: Scott Lively Denies Responsibility for Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Scott lively appeared in NPR to deny that he had any influence in current response in Uganda, saying “It’s racist to suggest that Africans have no will of their own to produce public policy to suit their own values.” This despite NPR’s East African correspondent corroborating what we’ve reported (see Mar 27, 2009) that “Scott Lively’s words [have been] reiterated by Ugandan Evangelicals and others who are proponents of the bill. And they believe it to be Gospel. They believe it to be scientific fact, what they’re listening to.”

December 18, 2009: Major Medical Journal Warns “Ugandan Bill Could Hinder Progress on HIV/AIDS”. The British medical journal The Lancet published an article warning about the detrimental effect Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill would have on that nation’s fight against HIV/AIDS.

December 18, 2009: US Ambassador Urges Uganda To Drop Anti-Gay Billby BTB’s Jim Burroway and State Department concerned about Uganda’s Kill Gays bill by Timothy Kincaid. Without know the other was picking op on the same story, we both published our respective posts simultaneously — right down to the minute. Timothy spotted a Reuters article while I reported on a similar one from AFP, in which Johnnie Carson, the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, told reporters that he has met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni twice since October to urge him to “to do everything he can to stop this particular legislation.”

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni

December 19, 2009: Will Musevini Sign the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?There’s something I missed in the prior day’s AFP report: a hint that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni does not support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In this analysis, I recount the reasons for optimism that Museveni might veto the bill, along with a few compelling reasons why he might not.

December 19, 2009: State Dept: Ugandan President Promises To Block Anti-Gay Bill. Confirming the hint dropped in the the prior day’s AFP article, DCAgendareports that Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has made at least two commitments to U.S. State Department diplomats to block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. While Museveni has not made his commitment public, this continues to build on earlier encouraging signs.

December 20, 2009: A Gay Wedding Ceremony In Uganda. The anonymous blogger GayUganda writes a heartwarming account of a traditional Introduction ceremony taking place between two grooms.

Lou Engle at TheCall in Nashville, 2007

Lou Engle at TheCall in Nashville, 2007

December 21, 2009: Lou Engle’s TheCall Going To Uganda in 2010?It looks like plans are being made for Lou Engle’s TheCall to put on a rally in Uganda on May 29, 2010. Given Engle’s radical, fear-mongering and violence-laden rhetoric, this is very worrying.

December 21, 2009: Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill: Will It Stay Or Will It Go?Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa gives conflicting signals.

December 21, 2009: Ugandan Pastors Demand Apology from Rick Warren. In another letter posted on Warren Throckmorton’s web site, a group of Ugandan pastors including Martin Ssempa denounce Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren’s statement against criminalizing homosexuality and demand an apology.

December 21, 2009: Some of Uganda’s Religious Leaders Walking Back Slowly. We had earlier reported on a meeting of 200 religious leaders in Entebbe who demanded that the Ugandan government sever ties with nations and groups which threatened to cut aid to Uganda should the Anti-Homosexuality Bill become law (see Dec. 9, 2009). Now the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda issued a press release backtracking on that demand. “The idea that development partners should refrain from interfering in the process of legislation regarding the bill or that Government should cut ties with countries supporting homosexuality was not in any way a conclusion but part of the debate on the floor during the Assembly. … As of now, IRCU does not have a common position on the said bill.”

Caleb Lee Brundidge speaking in Uganda

Caleb Lee Brundidge speaking in Uganda

December 22, 2009: My lunch date with Caleb Lee Brundidge. Freelance writer Ted Cox is a straight man who posed as a gay man in order to enter several ex-gay ministries. Among the ex-gay groups he attended was a retreat put on by Journey Into Manhood. And that’s where he met Caleb Lee Brundidge, one of the three American’s presenting at the March 5-7 conference in Kampala.

December 22. 2009: Australia Finally Condemns Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. Australia’s mission in neighboring Kenya has formally protested Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

December 22, 2009: Anti-gay Republican Congressmen Oppose Uganda’s Kill Gays Bill. Republican congressmen Chris Smith, Frank Wolf, Joe Pitts, Trent Franks and Anh “Joseph” Cao oppose the Kill Gays bill while endorsing the Manhattan Declaration.

December 22, 2009: Ugandan mobs call for passing Kill Gays bill. Led by religious leaders, Ugandan protesters marched to demand that the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill be passed.

December 23, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO #1: Ugandan News Broadcast of Anti-Gay Rally. Cell-phone video of a Ugandan news broadcast showing Tuesday’s anti-gay demonstration in Kampala by pastors Solomon Male and Michael Kyazza.

December 23, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO #2: Ugandan Minister Considers Forced Counselling to “Rehabilitate” Gays. NTV News broadcast by the independent NBS television on Dec 22 which mischaracterizes the actual text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Parliament.

Martin Ssempa

Martin Ssempa

December 23, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO #3: Barack Obama “Preaches A Gospel of Sodomy!”. Martin Ssempa condemns the White House for its statement against measure which would provide the death penalty for LGBT people, calling it “a gospel of sodomy.” Ssempa led a group of pastors in a meeting with Deputy Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, who endorsed fast-tracking the Anti-Homosexuality Bill through Parliament.

December 23, 2009: Buturo targets Gay Uganda blogger. Nsaba Buturo names three “civil society organisations” as having been given $20m to promote homosexuality, including one individual gay blogger.

December 24, 2009: Archbishop of York Denounces Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, who was born in Uganda and has a brother who is a prominent Pentecostal there (see Nov 14, 2009), appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today to denounce the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Act.

December 24, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Uganda’s Main Opposition Party Comes Out Against Anti-Homosexuality Act.  BTB learned through exclusive video provided by a BTB reader that the Secretary General of Uganda’s main opposition party announced that the party would oppose the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Secretary General Chris Opaka said, “The state has no business with what people do in their bedrooms. What two consenting adults do, the state has no business… absolutely! It is discriminatory.”

December 24, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Uganda’s Catholic Archbishop Opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Uganda, Cyprian Lwanga, denounced the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill in his annual Christmas message from Rubaga Cathedral. We also have the full text of the Archbishop’s remarks. About 42% of Ugandans are Roman Catholic, making Catholicism the country’s largest Christian denomination.

December 26, 2009: Catholic Doublespeak In Uganda – Did The Bishop Tacitly Support Anti-Gay Bill During Christmas Mass? The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Uganda, Cyprian Lwanga, appeared to support some aspects of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in his homily during Christmas mass. This leads to questions of which provisions the archbishop would actually support in the bill. Meanwhile, Anglican sermons weren’t nearly so ambiguous.

December 26, 2009: Focus On the Family Denounces Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Jim Daly, president of Focus On the Family said, “My reaction is to denounce this. It sets a horrible precedent and has a potential for developing hatred.”

December 27, 2009: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ssempa and Bahati Discuss Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Once again, we catch pastor Martin Ssempa and member of Parliament David Bahati lying about the provisions in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Ssempa also announced a nationwide rally for January 19th, 2010 to support the measure.

December 28, 2009: Putting the Kill Gays bill in perspective. An op-ed writer in East Africa noticed that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose the death sentence on many gay people, but “the killers who rob medical funds and send thousands to early graves” will receive no such sentence.

December 28, 2009: Anti-Gay Bill Dominates Ugandan Christmas Messages. BTB obtained exclusive video of Christmas messages aired on several Ugandan television newscasts. It appears the theme for Christmas this year consisted mainly of exhortations to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

December 29, 2009: NARTH: Forced Therapy Is “Unethical and Unworkable”. Getting anyone from the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) to say that forced conversion therapy is unethical can be extraordinarily difficult. But Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton managed to get past-president A. Dean Byrd to do just that. But good luck finding any statements to that effect on NARTH’s web site where Ugandans — or anyone else — can find them. And by the way, the same goes for Exodus International, whose president Alan Chambers also wrote against forced conversion — in an obscure Facebook location.

December 30, 2009 edition of the Red Pepper (Click to enlarge)

December 30, 2009 edition of the Red Pepper (Click to enlarge)

December 30, 2009: Ugandan Tabloid Invites More Anti-Gay Vigilantism. Uganda’s notorious tabloid The Red Pepper published another full-page spread, this time purporting to expose the “city tycoons who bankroll Ugandan homos.” The tabloid hints at outings in an upcoming issue.

December 30, 2009: Ugandan Religious Leaders Announce National Anti-Gay Rally. Two more religious leaders have announced plans for a nationwide rally in support of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, slated for January 19, 2010. This announcement repeats pastor Martin Ssempa’s call for an anti-gay rally revealed during an interview on state-run television just before Christmas (see Dec. 27, 2009).

December 31, 2009: Ugandan Pastor Issues Video Response to Rick Warren. Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa released a video response to Rick Warren’s vigorous condemnation of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (See Dec 10, 2009). We fact-check Ssempa’s video, which includes blatant lies about the proposed bill, as well as blatant lies about the current state of Ugandan law with regard to child sexual abuse, which he claims the bill is supposed to correct.

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