Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate
January 3rd, 2010
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 Kampala • Special invite to the conference announced in Parliament • Rwandan Genocide blamed on gays • Exodus applauds Schmierer’s participation at the conference • “Ex-gay” becomes star of vigilante campaign • Videos surface of follow-up conference • Exodus remains silent as vigilante campaign continues • Uganda Parliament debates homosexuality “problem” • Ugandan tabloid publicizes names, employers of LGBT citizens • Parliament approves resolution calling for anti-homosexuality bill • Accusations of homosexuality ensnare rival pastors • Draft 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 Bill • Uganda’s religious leaders debate AHB • US Reps Condemn AHB • More American ties to Uganda’s anti-gay politicians • Exodus sends letter to Ugandan president • Jeff Sharlet exposes ties between “The Family” and M.P. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor • Sweden threatens foreign aid if bill passes • Rick Warren refuses to condemn AHB • Ugandan gov’t minister remains defiant over worldwide outrage • Seven Mountains Theology and the AHB • Exodus Board member dissembles on role in anti-gay conference • Schmierer also denies knowing what he was getting into (we provide counter-evidence) • “The Family” split on AHB • Rick Warren condemns AHB • Ugandan presidential adviser Opposes AHB • Advocate Val Kalende tells her story to Ugandan newspaper • More American evangelical connections to AHB proponents • Sec of State Hillary Clinton denounces AHB • EU condemns AHB • Martin Ssempa responds to Rick Warren’s condemnation • A lunch date with “ex-gay” speaker at Kampala anti-gay conference • Ugandan rally demands passage of AHB • AHB 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 conference • American Scott Lively calls AHB “a step in the right direction.” • BTB Video: Scott Lively’s “Nuclear Bomb” • Rumors that AHB may be withdrawn • Exodus board member continues to deny responsibility • “The Family” spokesman denounces AHB • American Evangelicals defend AHB • Scott Lively endorses “revised” AHB • Ugandan president urges “go slow,” announces Cabinet Subcommittee to reconsider AHB • AHB sponsor MP David Bahati to attend “The Family’s” National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. • Bahati disinvited to National Prayer Breakfast • Martin Ssempa shows gay porn in church • Andrew Wommack Ministries endorses AHB • American anti-gay activist Cliff Kincaid defends AHB • Martin Ssempa shows gay porn at news conference • Ugandan pol would kill his own gay son • Pastor wars reignite • Martin Ssempa lies about AHB in comment on BTB • Exodus president wants to apologize, but doesn’t • Exodus board finally condemns AHB.
Part 4: The Bill Stalls While Debate Rages (Apr 1 to Sep 28, 2010): Televangelist Joyce Meyer condemns AHB • American Evangelist Lou Engle announces rally in Kampala • Ugandan cabinet subcommittee recommends passing AHB on the down-low • Lou Engle praises AHB at Kampala rally • BTB interview with Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo • Scott Lively calls AHB “lesser of two evils” • Bishop Senyonjo describes impact of Lively’s 2009 conference • Scott Lively struggles with death penalty provision • Martin Ssempa’s “Eat Da Poo-Poo!” — the remix • Family Research Council lobbies against Congressional resolution condemning AHB • Exodus president expresses regret over Uganda debacle • Las Vegas megachurch stands by “international partner” Martin Ssempa • Nevada Health officials sever ties with Las Vegas megachurch • David Bahati declares his intention to kill every gay person in Africa • Prominent anti-gay Cabinet Minister loses election.
Part 3: “Go Slow On The Bill”
January 3, 2010: Exodus Board Member Plays the “Dupe” In Uganda. The New York Timeshas finally taken notice of the anti-gay pogrom that has been brewing in Uganda for nearly a year now. They quote Exodus International board member Don Schmierer as saying he felt “duped” for participating in the conference. We remind readers that we had warned Exodus via confirmed email before the conference took place. Ex–Gay Watch’s David Robers added in comments that he and Warren Throckmorton had also sent warnings to Exodus, all of which were received but went unheeded. BTB’s Jim Burroway wonders whether Exodus will ever man up and take responsibility for their actions.
January 4, 2010: BBC Faces Furor in UK’s Parliament. Remember the question the BBC posed in an online forum, asking, “Should homosexuals face execution?” (See Dec 16, 2009). An editor responded that he had thought long and hard about posing the question. Well, at least he thought about it.
January 4, 2010: Ugandan LGBT Advocates Denounce Child Sexual Abuse. In normal situations, being against child sexual abuse and molestation is an assumed position. But things are not normal in Uganda, where child molestation is constantly used as justification for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. So LGBT activists put into writing the position they’ve always held. They condemn all forms of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and offer to work with the government to fight it.
January 4, 2010: World Vision’s Concern About Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill. The Christian relief organization World Vision’s national director in Uganda, Rudo Kwaramba, said the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would undermine its work by stigmatizing people with HIV/AIDS and in other communities that the group helps. Kwaramba warned that the stigma could deter people from learning their HIV status.
January 4, 2010: Scott Lively: Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill “A Step In the Right Direction”. Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, one of three Americans who put on the anti-gay conference in Kampala last March, appeared on Alan Colmes radio program to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He called it “a step on the right direction” because “they want to actively discourage the mainstreaming of homosexuality.” But Lively said that the bill “goes way over the line in punishment.”
January 6, 2010: BTB Videos: Scott Lively Delivering His “Nuclear Bomb” To Uganda. Two weeks after the March 5-7 anti-gay conference put on by the three American anti-gay activists, Scott Lively bragged that he had delivered a “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” Ex-Gay Watch and Box Turtle Bulletin obtained videos of that conference, and for the first time we get to see what that “nuclear bomb” looks like.
January 6, 2010: “Family” Member Speaks About Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Bob Hunter appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show last night on behalf of the secretive conservative Christian group known as The Family, to talk about The Family’s links to Ugandans pushing for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. He claimed that The Family never involved themselves in politics, and that The Family was working to try to get the Anti-Homosexuality Bill withdrawn. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, took strong exception to Hunter’s claim that The Family doesn’t involve themselves with politics.
January 7, 2010: Museveni To Drop Death Penalty, WaPo Says Bill Is Still “Ugly and Ignorant”. The Associated Press reports that Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has urged that country’s lawmakers to drop the death penalty provision from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Given the wide and draconian scope of the remaining provisions, the Washington Post points out in a harshly-worded editorial that the move “should neither be celebrated nor considered a concession.”
January 7, 2010: AP Misquotes Ugandan LGBT Advocate Saying Dropping Death Penalty Is Good Enough. The Associated Press misquoted Frank Mugisha, head of Sexual Minorities Uganda, as saying that the group will now support Uganda President Yoweri Museveni now that Museveni has called from dropping the death penalty from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In a phone conversation he had with Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, Mugisha said that the group doesn’t make political endorsements, and added, “I said, ‘if the President protects gays, then he is being democratic.’ We do not know yet what he is going to do.”
January 7, 2010: Adventist magazine draws attention to Uganda’s Kill Gays bill. Spectrum publishes online commentary concerned about the endorsement of the Kill Gays bill by the Ugandan Union president. Seventh-day Adventist Church responds with vague statement that does not disavow endorsement for the bill.
January 7, 2010: Uganda Cabinet Member Says Anti-Gay Bill May Be Withdrawn. The State Minister for Investments, Mr Aston Kajara, told The Monitor that the government was looking at ways to withdraw the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “The government’s official position is that we have enough laws to cover homosexuality acts,” Mr Kajara said. “Government did not sponsor this Bill. It is a private member’s Bill. The government is studying it and we may talk to the honourable Member of Parliament (David Bahati) to consider withdrawing it.” Meanwhile, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsabe Buturo, who is also a member of the secretive American evangelical group known as The Family, insists that the bill will be ready for Parliamentary debate within the next three weeks.
January 7, 2010: Sharlet: US Government At the Beck and Call of the Family. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show tonight to counter some of the claims made by “The Family” member Bob Hunter on Tuesday’s show (See Jan 6, 2010). Sharlet countered Bob Hunter’s claim that the Family doesn’t involve itself in politics, and also countered Hunter’s claim that Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo wasn’t a member of The Family. Rachel Maddow led the segment with video clips provided by BTB and Ex-Gay Watch.
January 8, 2010: Don Schmierer “sets the record straight”. Don Schmierer continues his defense offensive, claiming that his role in the anti-gay conference last March which kicked this entire mess into high gear was all a “misunderstanding.” BTB’s Timothy Kincaid invites Schmierer to set the record straight at BTB, where we know the true story of how we, David Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch, and Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton all tried to warn him away from the conference before the conference took place.
January 8, 2010: Ugandan MP Refuses To Withdraw Anti-Gay Bill. Throwing cold water on statements reported earlier today by State Minister for Investments Aston Kajara, MP David Bahati said that he has no intentions of withdrawing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 8, 2010: Seventh-day Aventists update their statement on the Ugandan legislation. We had noted that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Uganda is on record as supporting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Oct 28, 2009), and that the American church’s statement was extremely ambiguous (See Jan 7, 2010). The Church released another statement from Communications Director Rajmund Dabrowski said that earlier reports “values of the Church as expressed in published statements on same sex conduct.” While encouraging, it’s still a very long way from being a condemnation of the bill itself.
January 9, 2010: “Family” Member Defends Statements Made To Rachel Maddow, Provides Transcript of Conversation With Sharlet. Family associate Bob Hunter left a comment which we reposted, in which he defends his statements he made to Rachel Maddow (See Jan 6, 2010, and Jeff Sharlet’s counterclaims Jan 7, 2010).
January 9, 2010: Uganda’s NTV Television Coverage of Conflicting Statements from Cabinet Members. We discovered that Uganda’s independent NTV has a YouTube channel, and posted some video of their coverage of conflicting statements from Cabinet members about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 10, 2010: “Un-African” Homosexuality? Many of those behind Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill complain that homosexuality is a foreign import. Douglas Foster, writing for the Los Angeles Times, prove otherwise his visits to a Johannesburg, South Africa gay nightclub which served as a haven for Africa’s gay diaspora.
January 10, 2010: Jeff Sharlet Responds: “We Agree On Central Points… Ugandan Bill Is Wrong and Must Be Stopped.”Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, responded to Bob Hunter’s comment made on January 9 on the BTB web site: “…We’re in agreement on some central points: The bill, proposed and supported by men in relationship with the Family — David Bahati, James Nsaba Buturo, and Yoweri Museveni — is wrong and must be stopped; the Family has been too secretive, which has hindered its ability to take a stand; and Hunter is doing the right thing by going public in order to make that stand.”
January 10, 2010: New Zealand Herald looks at gay scapegoating by African leaders. The New Zealand Herald profiles a Uganda doctor named by the notorious tabloid Red Pepper as one of of the “city tycoons who bankroll Ugandan homos” (see Dec. 30, 2009). They also review official homophobia that is rampant throughout Africa.
January 10, 2010: Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill Still Has American Defenders, Death Penalty And All. Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton has a rundown on several American evangelicals who support Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, with some even supporting the death penalty or explaining it away by lying about its application.
January 10, 2010: Uganda’s Public Vigilante Campaign Continues To Claim Victims. After noting the New Zealand Herald’s article earlier this morning on a Ugandan doctor dealing with his public outing by Uganda’s notoriously homophobic tabloid Red Pepper, we find that the same tabloid gives further evidence of an ongoing public vigilante campaign.
January 10, 2010: Scott Lively Endorses “Revised” Ugandan Bill. Do Exodus and Cohen? Scott Lively posted a statement on his web site that he endorses the “revised” Ugandan bill, apparently sight-unseen since a marked-up bill has not been made available. Lively says that he likes the “revised” bill because, according to him, the death penalty was dropped and “choice” of counseling will be offered in lieu of spending the rest of one’s life in a Ugandan prison. But what about the rest of the bill’s many provisions? And do Exodus and Cohen endorse such a move?
January 11, 2010: Mixed Messages Can Lead to Violence. Dr. Jack Drescher, Emeritus Editor of the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health, explains how mixed messages of “loving the sinner” but “hating the sin” can lead to the kinds of violence we are witnessing in Uganda.
January 11, 2010: Head of Uganda’s Catholic Church Rejects Anti-Gay Bill. Repeating a statement issued just before Christmas (see Dec 24, 2009), Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga reiterated the Church’s opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 11, 2010: Grassroots Adventists seek denunciation of draconian anti-gay bill from Uganda Adventist leader who endorsed it. There has been increasing attention paid among American Adventists to statements made by the president of the denomination’s Uganda Union Mission, John Kakembo (see Nov 2, 2009). The blog for the quarterly magazine Adventist Today is urging readers to encourage church leaders to speak out against the bill.
January 12, 2010: Lutherans tells State Department that Uganda bill is “abhorrent injustice”. The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to express the church’s grave concern over the Proposed Anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda.
January 12, 2010: Ugandan President To Pressure Anti-Gay Bill Sponsor. Uganda’s The Independent andÂ DailyÂ Monitor both report that President Yoweri Museveni announced at a party meeting that he will meet with MP David Bahati “to reach a position that will leave both the local and international community satisfied.”
January 12, 2010: Audio and News Reports of Uganda President’s Comments on Anti-Gay Bill. We were able to obtain an early TV report on Museveni’s statement before the Executive Council of his ruling party, and an anonymous BTB reader in Uganda provided us with audio of his remarks.
January 12, 2010: Ugandan State-Owned Media Highlights Museveni’s Speech Against Anti-Gay Bill. Anonymous reports indicate that Museveni’s remarks got wide play on state-owned television. We also noted that the state-owned New Visionnewspaper gave extensive coverage to his statement that he will meet with MP David Bahati to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 12, 2910: US Senator Threatens Uganda With Trade Sanctions. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), chair of the Senate finance Committee’s subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness, released a statement threatening Uganda with trade sanctions if that nation proceeds with passing the wide-ranging and draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 13, 2010: Transcript of Ugandan President’s Remarks To Ruling Party Meeting. Provided by an anonymous BTB reader in Uganda.
January 13, 2010: Ugandan State-Owned TV’s Cautious Coverage of Museveni’s Remarks. Another BTB reader in Uganda provided us with a video image of state-owned UBC coverage of President Museveni’s remarks before his ruling party concerning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. MP David Bahati was reportedly on another television station, still determined to push the bill through Parliament.
January 13, 2010: US Human Rights Commission To Hold Hearings on Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill. US Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WS) announced that she will chair a meeting of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission next week to hear testimony on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is now before Uganda’s Parliament. The Commission is a congressional body charged with promoting public awareness and developing strategies for Congress in the area of human rights.
January 13, 2010: Voice Of America on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Voice of America’s Straight Talk Africaprogram devoted its hour to discussing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, with guests Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power; Ugandan MP David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill; and others. Jeff Sharlet revealed that Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo plans to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., which is put on by the secretive Evangelical Group known as “the Family.” Former Ugandan ambassador Olara A. Otunnu, who served under Milton Obote’s government before it was overthrown in a civil war by Museveni, announced his opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, calling it a violation of basic human rights. He is angling to be the Uganda People’s Congress nominee for the 2011 Presidential election.
January 14, 2010: Ugandan News Blog: “What Makes Someone Gay and Can People Change Orientation?” When I saw that title appear on the Uganda Talks blog of that nation’s The Independentnewspaper this morning, I was prepared for the worst. But then I saw the byline: Warren Throckmorton. He alone among American evangelicals was out front on this issue clear back in March of last year (see Mar 5, 2009).
January 14, 2010: Ugandan Opposition Party Reiterates Stance Against Anti-Gay Bill. Leaders of Uganda’s main opposition party, the Uganda People’s Congress, reiterate their opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This reinforces a statement made by the party’s General Secretary just before Christmas (see Dec 24, 2009). It also builds on aspiring UPC presidential candidate Olara Otunno’s comments made to Voice of America (see Jan 13, 2010).
January 14, 2010: Video: Ugandan MP Remains Defiant on Anti-Gay Bill. MP David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, appeared on Uganda’s independent NTV. He remained confident that pending discussions with President Yoweri Museveni’s cabinet (see Jan 12, 2010 and Jan 13, 2010) will produce “a fine piece of legislation.”
January 14, 2010: Video: Ugandan State-Owned TV Coverage of Public Reaction to Anti-Gay Bill. We’ve been noticing the prominent yet cautious and non-committal coverage by Uganda’s state-owned media (see Jan 12, 2010 and Jan 13, 2010) of President Yoweri Museveni’s comment that his cabinet will “discuss” the Anti-Homosexuality Bill with sponsor MP David Bahati. Uganda’s state-owned UBC television aired public reactions to the prospect that the bill might be withdrawn. If this is to be taken as a tea-leaf, it’s not an encouraging one.
January 14, 2010: US Trade Rep Strongly Urges Sanctions Over Anti-Gay Bill. U.S. Trade Representative Kirk Wyden has written a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday recommending that she review Uganda’s trade status with the US if the Anti-Homosexuality Bill becomes law.
January 15, 2010: Beware of a “Compromise” In Uganda. Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament insisted that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will go forward in Parliament, and the Foreign Minister denies that the bill has become a foreign policy issue — directly contradicting President Yoweri Museveni’s “go slow” remarks (see Jan 12, 2010 and Jan 13, 2010). Given that Uganda is effectively run as a one-party state by a President entering his twenty-fifth year in power, is he getting things lined up for a “compromise”? And considering the breathtaking scope of the bill, could there even be a serious compromise?
January 15, 2010: Ugandan Anti-Gay Rally Announced for February 17. Martin Ssempa, who enjoys close ties to American evangelicals as well as the Ugandan ruling family, announced a “million man march” for February 17 to support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This follows earlier calls for a rally on January 19 (See Dec 27, 2009 and Dec 30, 2009). This appears to be a re-scheduling of those earlier announced rallies.
January 15, 2010: On American Christians In Uganda: Silence As Consent. National Public Radio broadcast a story about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, exploring the silence and delayed “mortification” of American Evangelicals to what’s happening in Uganda. Says Jim Naughton, a former canon in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., I think if they were mortified, they would have been mortified immediately. Instead they were mortified — oh, two, three months into the campaign against this thing, when it was getting real traction.”
January 15, 2010: UN Official Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights condemned the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, saying “this type of discrimination is unacceptable.”
January 16, 2010: Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill Author Coming to National Prayer Breakfast. MP David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, announced that he will be coming to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Prayer Breakfast put on by the American secretive Evangelical group known as “the Family.” Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo will also reportedly attend the event (see Jan 13, 2010).
January 18, 2010: Uganda’s Kill Gays Bill author not coming to US National Prayer Breakfast. So says the Family’s member Bob Hunter and others within the organization to Warren Throckmorton.
January 19: 2010: Is Uganda’s “Kill-the-Gays” Bill Author Coming to Washington or Not?Â Ugandan MP David Bahati says he is, Bob Hunter says he’s not. But is Hunter authorized to speak on behalf of the Family? Not according to his statement on Rachel Maddow’s show (see Jan 6, 2010). Why doesn’t the Family’s leader, David Coe, speak up? Why won’t anyone go on the record on behalf of the Family?
January 19, 2010: Prayer Breakfast Spokesperson: Bahati’s Not Coming. Ambassador Richard Swett, identified as a spokesperson for the National Prayer Breakfast, confirmed that MP David Bahati will not be coming to the National Prayer Breakfast.
January 20, 2010: Uganda’s Cabinet Debates Anti-Gay Bill. Uganda’s Cabinet met to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Early indications aren’t promising. It looks like the bill will be amended but not withdrawn. Given the wide-ranging implications for the bill, it’s hard to imaging an acceptable “compromise.”
January 20, 2010: Uganda’s Cabinet Rejects Withdrawal of Anti-Gay Bill. Uganda’s NTV reports that the Cabinet has rejected the idea of withdrawing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
January 20, 2010: Twelve Senators Voice Opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Eleven Democrats and one Independent Senators have written to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling on him to block the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. We have posted the complete letter online.
January 21, 2010: Ninety US Congress Reps Denounce Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) issued a press release announcing that more than ninety colleagues in the House of Representatives, including Barny Frank (D-MA) and Jared Polis (D-CO), have sent separate letters to President Barack Obama and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni calling the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill “the most extreme and hateful attempt by an African country to criminalize their LGBT community.” We have posted both letters online.
January 22, 2010: Congressional Human Rights Commission Hears Testimony On Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) chaired a meeting of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission to discuss the proposed Anti-Homosexuality. Julius Kaggwa, a leader of the Kampala-based Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law, was among those who testified, along with Karl Wycoff, deputy assistant secretary of state for East African Affairs, Christine Lubinski, executive director of the HIV Medicine Association, and Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
January 22, 2010: NTV: Uganda’s Cabinet Reaches Non-Compromise “Compromise”. According to this report from Uganda’s independent NTV, the Cabinet has agreed to remove the death penalty from the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but apparently virtually nothing else.
January 25, 2010: Martin Ssempa’s Pornographic Demons. Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa appeared on a talk show on Uganda’s state-owned UBC television, where he displayed a strange obsession with what he imagines to be the sex lives of gay men. Meanwhile, the independent Monitornewspaper reported on a press conference Ssempa held that broke up early when his audience walked out in disgust with his presentation.
January 28, 2010: Bahati Won’t Attend the National Prayer Breakfast, But Others From Uganda Will. It appears that while MP David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, won’t be coming to Washington, D.C. to attend the national prayer breakfast, others from Uganda will. But what we don’t know is who.
January 28, 2010: Why did CNSNews.com Falsify Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill? Conservative websites like CNSNews.com are starting to report on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The problem is that they are distorting what the bill would actually do, and criticizing those who oppose it. Which is a round-about way of observing that the bill has quite a few supporters in this country. But why won’t they come right out and say it?
February 3, 2010: Andrew Wommack and His Ministries Want To Kill You. Well, now someone has come right out and said it: Andrew Wommack Ministries, which maintain offices in Kampala, fully supports the bill.
February 3, 2010: Soulforce Founder Mel White’s Open Letter to American Pastors on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. The former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell issued an open letter calling on American evangelicals who broadcast in Uganda to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
February 3, 2010: American Prayer Hour vs. National Prayer Breakfast. “Moses”, a gay Ugandan who is seeking asylum in the United States, was a featured speaker at a news conference announcing the American Prayer Hour, a multi-city event billed as an alternative to the National Prayer Breakfast organized by the secretive Evangelical group known as the Family. Moses spoke while wearing a paper bag because he feared being identified if he is forced to return to Uganda.
February 5, 2010: Don’t Be Fooled By Changes To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Law. BBC is reporting again what so many other media outlets have said over the past several months, that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill will likely be changed before Parliament takes it up again for its second reading. We’ve been hearing these suggestions since October but the only hints of change have been to drop the death penalty. Given the broad scope of the bill, that’s barely tinkering around the edges.
February 9, 2010: Did the Anglican Church of Uganda Endorse Criminalization With Death Penalty?Archbishop Orombi of the Church of Uganda calls for legislation separate from the Kill Gays bill to enact a number of provisions that would increase harassment of gay people are the banning of any human rights endeavors.
February 10, 2010: Anglican Church of Uganda endorses a milder evil – do local Anglican Churches?Clarification on the statement of Archbishop Orombi and an invitation to readers to participate in having local churches state the support for or opposition to the political efforts of the ecclesiastical partners.
February 11, 2010: Right-Wing Accuracy In Media: Abandoning freedom of speech and the press are a “natural reaction” to pro-gay “propagandizing”. Not only does Cliff Kincaid fully support Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in its current for, he denounces anyone who tries to show what the bill really does and goes after Republicans who have denounced it.
February 15, 2010: Ugandan Police Block Demonstration to Support Anti-Gay Bill, Pro-Gay Conference Held In Secret. Ugandan police vow to block pastor Martin Ssempa’s planned “million man march” slated for February 17 (see Jan 15, 2010). Meanwhile, an American pastor from Tulsa traveled to Kampala to hold a day-long conference to condemn the bill. That conference was held in secret and attracted approximately 200 people. Police announced that the pastor would be arrested if they found him.
February 16, 2010: Despite Protest Ban, Hundreds of Ugandans Call For Killing Gays. Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa got around the protest ban by quickly organizing a protest in Jinja, about fifty miles east of Kampala.
February 16, 2010: Southern African Anglicans Denounce Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Anglican bishops of several southern African countries released a statement calling the Anti-Homosexuality Bill “a gross violation of human rights,” and deplores “the violent language used against the gay community across Sub-Saharan Africa.”
February 17, 2010: Ugandan Police Block Kampala Anti-Gay Demo. Uganda’s independent newspaper Daily Monitorreports again that Ugandan police are blocking Ssempa’s planned “million man march.” The anonymous blogger GayUganda reconstructs a timeline and concludes that the Jinja demonstration was organized after police announced the ban for Kampala.
February 17, 2010: When All Else Fails, Reach For the Porn. Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa thought he hit on a brilliant idea to explain why the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was needed: just show gay porn at a news conference in his church.
February 17, 2010: How Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Gay Bill Might Kill Just About Anyone, Gay or Straight. In a new eye-opening video, Rob Tisinai demonstrates just how open to rampant abuse this abysmally-constructed Anti-Homosexuality Bill really is.
February 18, 2010: World Net Daily and Molotov Mitchell Want To Kill You. World Net Daily posted a video defending of Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, including a full-throated justification for the death penalty.
February 18, 2010: Polygamy a Slippery Slope to Killing Gays. Opponents of same-sex marriage often claim that allowing marriage equality would be the first skid down the slippery slope to polygamy. But while Uganda considers the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the government is defending polygamy against a constitutional challenge aimed at outlawing the practice.
February 19, 2010: Ugandan Lawmaker Would Kill His Own Gay Son. During a human rights forum held in Kampala, MP Otto Odonga declared that he would execute his own son if he were found guilty of homosexuality.
February 24, 2010: Ugandan LGBT Advocate Talks About Anti-Gay Bill. Frank Mugisha, chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUg), appears in a YouTube video to talk about conditions in Uganda, the role of the three American anti-gay activists whose conference last March encouraged the creation of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and a death in police custody of one gay man in Mbale.
February 25, 2010: Ugandan Pastor Wars Reignite, Benny Hinn Accused of Sodomy. Uganda’s notorious tabloid The Red Pepper is at it again, this time accusing American televangelist Benny Hinn of sodomy. We explore the background of this latest campaign. Clearly, heterosexuals would become as much a target of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill as much as gay people.
February 26, 2010: Will Gay Porn Becomes Chritianity’s New Recruiting Tool?A columnist for Uganda’s independent Daily Monitor authored a brilliant essay skewering pastor Martin Ssempa’s decision to show gay porn in his church (See Feb 17, 2010).
February 28, 2010: Ugandan Religious Leaders, Human Rights Advocates to Petition Against Anti-Gay Bill. A group of Ugandan human rights advocates and AIDS service providers led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha, announcing a meeting with Parliament speaker Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka to present a petition signed by nearly half a million people around the world. The meeting would be held the following day (March 1).
March 1, 2010: UK Scouts Condemn Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. On first blush, that’s doesn’t look like a headline that would strike fear in the hearts of those who support Uganda’s proposed “kill the gays” bill, but there is an important angle to it. Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor, also happens to be chairman of Uganda’s Scouts Board. IK Scouts call on the world governing body to take action against the Ugandan scouting organization.
March 1, 2010: Martin Ssempa Has A Blog. Not much to add to that.
March 2, 2010: Group Presents Petition Against Anti-Gay Bill to Ugandan Parliament, Warns of More Pastor Wars. We were able to provide a video of television coverage of a group led by Ugandan pastor Gideon Byamugisha presenting a petition signed by nearly half a million people to Parliament Speaker Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka (See Feb 28, 2010). Canon Byamugisha warned that the bill would encourage more witch hunts against innocent people. And speaking of witch hunts, we provide more information on the Red Pepper’s attempt to name American Televangelist Benny Hinn as a “bonkmate” (See Feb 25, 2010).
March 2, 2010: American Political Science Association Moves Conference From Uganda. The theme for the APSA’s 2010 African Summer Workshop is Global Perspectives on Politics and Gender. But given the current political climate in Uganda, the APSA felt that it could not hold a productive forum in Kampala as scheduled.
March 3, 2010: Reuters: Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill Hinders Investments. Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill is likely to hamper the country’s ability to obtain aid grants from the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), according to senior adviser Cassandra Butts. “How a government deals with its human rights situation is definitely an indicator that we think is important.”
March 4, 2010: State Department Investigating LGBT Treatment In Uganda and Throughout Africa. In response to a letter written by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the US State Department confirmed that it has repeatedly “reached out at the highest levels” to Uganda’s political leadership, including President Yoweri Museveni, to urge killing the kill-the-gays bill. The State Department also revealed that they were “also evaluating attitudes and laws that marginalize and criminalize and penalize the LGBT community in Africa more broadly.”
March 4, 2010: Uganda’s Unfair Trade, Coming To Your Grocer’s Coffee Aisle. An American coffee distributor has begun importing organic coffee from Uganda in a bid to improve the lives of impoverished coffee growers. Now that the coffee is starting to appear in Sam’s Clubs as a discount organic gourmet coffee, a Ugandan columnist writing for the Daily Monitor observes that this poses a dilemma for the well-informed American.
March 8, 2010: Martin Ssempa Lies Again, This Time on BTB. Just as the title suggests, Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa lefts a comment on our web site which included several boldfaced lies about the contents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. We pointed him directly to the document himself to expose his falsehoods, and challenged him to post the text of the bill on his own web site. The coward never did.
March 10, 2010: Exodus President Wants To Apologize for Ugandan Conference. So What’s Holding Him Back? ABC’s Nightline was preparing to air a documentary featuring the role of the three American anti-gay activists in stirring up tensions which led to the bill. Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, who spoke at that March 2009 conference, refused to be interviewed for Nightline, and ABC turned down Exodus International president Alan Chambers’s request for an interview. Chambers lamented, “I would have loved nothing better than to share our disdain for this bill and apologize for going anywhere near such a horrible conference.” I asked why didn’t he go ahead and do it anyway? What’s holding him back?
March 11, 2010: US State Department Officials Meet with Ugandan LGBT Advocates. Geeta Pasi, US Bureau of African Affairs’ East Africa director and Bruce Wharton, the bureau’s director of public affairs, met with a Kampala-based US embassy staff member and local advocates to discuss some of the options, including imposing economic sanctions and convincing US Evangelicals who are popular in Uganda to speak out against the bill.
March 12, 2010: State Department Issues Annual Human Rights Report, Highlights Uganda. The State Department’s annual report on Human Rights highlighted several arrests and other incidents of anti-gay harassment, intimidation and human rights abuses.
March 13, 2010: Coalition of Ugandan Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Other Leaders Unite Against Anti-Gay Bill. The Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, composed of heads of Uganda’s largest officially-recognized religions, issued a joint statement which, in a mixed message which remains deeply homophobic and ill-informed, represents the strongest criticism yet of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by that nation’s mainline religious leaders. We reprint the statement in full and try to figure out what it means.
March 13, 2010: The Lies of Martin Ssempa, Part II. Having been caught in one lie (see Mar 8, 2010), Ugandan Pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa is at it again, touting the “story of transformation” of George Oundo, the deeply disturbed “ex-gay” (See Mar 26, 2009), who, it turns out, is not “ex-gay” after all.
March 18, 2010: Ugandan LGBT Activist To Tour Eastern US. Frank Mugisha, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) spokesperson, began a speaking tour with scheduled stops in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
March 22, 2010: Exodus International Issues Statement Condemning Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill. More than a year after the infamous March 2009 conference featuring Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and more than six months after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced into Parliament, Exodus International’s Board of Directors finally issued a statement condemning the bill.
March 24, 2010: Congress to Consider Resolutions Condemning Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Both houses of Congress were considering separate resolutions condemning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
March 25, 2010: Canada’s House of Commons Condemns Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Canada’s House of Commons yesterday unanimously condemned Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The resolution demanded that the bill be withdrawn, homosexuality fully decriminalized, and the rights of LGBT people in Uganda fully respected.
March 26, 2010: Uganda Social Worker association Endorses the Kill Gays Bill. The National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) relies heavily on American anti-gay activist groups to create a statement in support of the Kill Gays bill. The statement dismisses human rights concerns, argues against an understanding of sexual orientation, endorses exorcisms and reparative therapy, and repeats misleading and fraudulent claims about gay people.
March 27, 2010: Martin Ssempa Denounced by Alma Mater. In an undated document placed on the web site of Philadelphia Bible University, the school’s administration “categorically condemns any position that calls for violence against human beings created in the image and likeness of God, or violent solutions to socially controversial issues. … His present publicly stated position in no way represents or reflects the views of the University, its administration, or its faculty.” Ssempa had received a graduate degree from the university in 1994, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2006.
March 29, 2010: Exodus Steps Up Opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Exodus International followed up with their policy statement condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Mar 22, 2010) with a press release denouncing the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda’s (NASWU) endorsement of the bill (see Mar 26, 2010).