Slouching Toward Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate
October 27th, 2011
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 4: The Bill Stalls While Debate Rages
April 1, 2010: Lies and Death, Brought To You by Corporate Advertising. WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell released another video (see Feb 18, 2010), this time claiming that he read the bill and decided it was limited to three things: intentionally spreading HIV, child molestation, and coercion. Either he has never read the bill, is just lying about its contents, or he is a blithering idiot without any ability to comprehend simple English.
April 1, 2010: Archbishop Tutu and the Clinton Health Access Initiative Join African Coalition Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “All forms of discrimination, in particular against vulnerable groups, undermine the human dignity of all in Africa.” The Anti-Homosexuality Bill “promotes prejudice and hate and encourages harmful and violent action against marginalized groups in Africa”. We have the full press release and statement.
April 6, 2010: Canadian Social Workers Condemn Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) strongly condemns the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before the Ugandan Parliament and firmly rejects the position taken by the National Association of Social Workers of Uganda (NASWU) to support the bill (see Mar 26, 2010). ‘CASW cannot go far enough in condemning these actions,’ said CASW President Darlene MacDonald. ‘Upholding basic human rights is not an option for social workers, but rather an ethical responsibility.’” We have the full statement.
April 6, 2010: 118 British MP’s Sign Motion Condemning Uganda’s “Kill the gays” Bill. Members of Britain’s Parliament lined up to sign a motion condemning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. “That this House calls on the British Government and the European Union to press the government of Uganda not to proceed with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which violates the equality and non-discrimination provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights.”
April 8, 2010: Does Televangelist Joyce Meyer Support Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill?. It turns out that American televangelist Joyce Meyer is quite popular in Uganda. We were able to obtain a schedule for Uganda’s Lighthouse Television, which airs Meyers’s program three times every weekday, with additional time slots through the week. She also maintains a physical presence in Kampala, and we had photos of her offices and book store. Clearly she is interested in Uganda, so we had to ask: Does she, like Andrew Wommack (see Feb 3, 2010), support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill?
April 9, 2010: The Quiet Death of Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill? Since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was sent to two Parliamentary committees (see Dec 27, 2009), we have heard very little about its progress. Stephen Tashyoba, chairman of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, confirmed that the proposed law “was not a priority.”
April 12, 2010: Joyce Meyers: Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill “Profoundly Offensive, Dangerous, and Disturbing Attack”. We asked (see Apr 8, 2010), she answered. Joyce Meyer declared, “As a global society, we do not have to agree, endorse or condone the lifestyle choices of others. However, history has taught us that we equally cannot and should not excuse those who would hide behind religion or misuse God’s word to justify bigotry and persecution.”
April 20, 2010: UK Prepares to Ban Ugandan “Kill the Gays” MP; Ugandan Parliament To Delay Until 2011. The Guardianreported that the British Foreign Office were drawing up plans and procedures to ban Ugandan M.P. David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, if he does not drop the bill. A senior government official warned that “major diplomatic incident if the Ugandans do not back down.” The Guardian also reported that Ugandan government officials appear to be stalling the bill until 2011.
April 21, 2010: American Evangelist To Rally Against Gays In Uganda. Just when things appear to be calming down in Uganda, we receive word that American extremist Lou Engle will hold a rally in Kampala on May 2. Engle’s web site said the rally “is intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public and to fight vices eating away at our society.” Among the vices listed was “homosexuality and increased immorality.” We feared this might become a second “nuclear bomb” delivered by meddling American Evangelicals.
April 21, 2010: Status of Ugandan Anti-Gay Bill Appears In Doubt — For Now. Reports begin to trickle out about the Ugandan Cabinet Subcommitte’s recommendations regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Uganda’s Daily Monitor reports that the bill “may never be passed in its current shape, if at all, and that it may be long before it is discussed with seriousness.”
April 22, 2010: Will Lou Engle Unleash Another “Nuclear Bomb” In Uganda?. We uncovered audio of a rally Lou Engle held in Las Vegas in 2007, where he described apocalyptic visions of “homosexual demons” in the heart of The Castro in San Francisco. We wondered if this was the kind of volatile message he was preparing to deliver in Kampala.
April 23, 2010: Ugandan LGBT Activists Denounce The Call Uganda, Call for Protests in Kansas City. Alarmed at the prospect of another possible explosive rally in Uganda by American anti-gay extremists, Sexual Minorities Uganda denounced Engle’s TheCall and called for protests against the group’s main facilities in Kansas City.
April 24, 2010: Ugandan Cabinet Committee Recommends Passing Anti-Gay Bill On the Down Low. Uganda’s Sunday Monitor appears to have obtained a copy of the Cabinet Subcommittee’s recommendations for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The Cabinet recommended passing “useful provisions of the proposed law” into other bills, stating that the title of the Anti-Homosexual Bill is “stigmatizing” and makes passage difficult. The Committee recommended retaining clauses banning all advocacy on behalf of gay people.
April 27, 2010: Churches Rally For Anti-Gay Bill in Eastern Ugandan. NTV Uganda carried images of a rally in the eastern city of Mbale demanding passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
April 27, 2010: Lou Engle Answers Uganda Rally Critics. In response to criticism over Engle’s planned rally in Kampala, TheCall issued a press statement saying, “Though we honor the courage and stand with the stated purpose of the many Church leaders in Uganda who are seeking to protect the traditional and biblical family foundations of the nation, we have serious concerns with the bill as presently written, especially in terms of some of the harsh penalties for certain homosexual behaviors or offenses.” Engle denied that the planned rally would be a forum to support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
May 2, 2010: Lou Engle Praised Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Engle held his rally, and despite assurances a week earlier, he praised Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill and the people behind it. “NGOs, the U.N., Unicef, they are all coming in here and promoting an agenda. Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda has become ground zero.”
May 3, 2010: American Joins Kampala Rally Pushing For Passage of Anti-Gay Bill. More details emerge about Lou Engle’s May 2 rally in Kampala. Engle commended Uganda’s “courage” and “righteousness” in formulating the bill, and said, “We warned the youth against the act, when America allowed homosexuals freedom, it was the end of their Nation.” Another speaker was Pastor Julius Oyet, who played an extensive role in supporting the bill (see Dec 4, 2009), told the rally, “Members of parliament should not waste time by debating the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They should quickly make it a law.”
May 4, 2010: Engle Offers Tactical Support For Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Another detailed eyewitness account emerges of Engle’s rally in Kampala. The eyewitness confirms that Pastor Julius Oyet called on Parliament to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill just before Engle took the stage. Engle himself carefully avoided explicitly calling for the bill’s passage, but instead reinforced the propaganda lines justifying the bill. He talked about speaking with Ugandan pastors “dealing with a controversy they never wanted” and blamed NGOs, the UN and UNICEF for “promoting an agenda that the church of Uganda did not want to be in this nation.”
May 10, 2010: NY Times: Uganda Cabinet “Rejects” Anti-Gay Bill. The New York Times joins the premature celebration.
May 24, 2010: A Talk With Bishop Senyonjo, A Straight Ally In Uganda. I had the opportunity to meet with LGBT ally Bishop Christopher Senyonjo while he was on a U.S. tour in Orange County. In Part 1 of my series on Bishop Senyonjo, he describes how he became an advocate for LGBT people in Uganda. (See also part 2 and part 3of our talk with Bishop Senyonjo.)
May 24, 2010: Scott Lively Initiates Renewed Push to Pass Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill. Lively sent an email to supporters promising to “get off defense and counter-attack the false witnesses with hard facts about Uganda.” He also posted a letter on his web site addressed to Speaker Edward Ssekandi urging passage of the bill with the death penalty removed. He pushed for that modification not because he thought the death penalty for homosexuality was wrong however. Instead, he cited more pragmatic reasons: European countries would refuse to extradite Ugandans living abroad if Ugandan had a death penalty. Also, removing the death penalty “would take the wind out of the sails of their current campaign against the bill.”
May 24, 2010: Anita Bryant Goes To Uganda. Not literally. It’s a riff on the title for Current TV reporter Mariana van Zeller’s article on Huffington Post about her documentary which premiers the next day. She draws a line from Anita Bryant’s claim that gays recruit children to the anti-gay propaganda being promulgated by prominent pastors in Uganda.
May 25, 2010: Missionaries of Hate: Where Killing Gays Is the “Lesser of Two Evils”. Mariana van Zeller’s documentary “Missionaries of Hate” premiered on Current TV, providing the most complete video record so far of the past year’s anti-gay turmoil in Uganda. In one segment, van Zeller talked with Lively and asked if he supported the bill with the death penalty removed. Lively professed to hold other reservations about the bill, but called it the “lesser of two evils.” He also admits that he knew they wanted to introduce a “strengthened” anti-homosexuality bill before he conducted his anti-gay conference in Kampala alongside Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge.
May 25, 2010: Bishop Senyonjo on Marginalization and Death Threats as an LGBT Ally in Uganda. In the second part of a series on a talk with Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyongo, he describes the retaliation, exile, and death threats he and his family endured when he first became an ally to the country’s LGBT community. (See also part 1 and part 3of our talk with Bishop Senyonjo.)
May 26, 2010: Myths and Consequences: The True Impact of the Kampala Anti-Gay Conference. In the third part of a series on a talk with Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyongo, I interviewed him and asked him if he could confirm whether the famous March 2009 conference held by three American anti-gay activists (see Mar 5, 2009) had the kind of effect that observers in the West had claimed. Bishop Senyongo describes the aftermath of the conference, both politically and in the lives of LGBT individuals who came to see him in his office. (See also part 1 and part 2of our talk with Bishop Senyonjo.)
May 27, 2010: Kill-the-Gays Bill Sponsor: Uganda Is Providing Leadership Where It is Needed Most. Current TV’s Vanguardreporter Mariana van Zeller has posted some outtakes from their documentary “Missionaries of Hate,” in which she talks with Ugandan M.P. David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Bahati brags that many American Evangelicals who publicly condemn the bill have told him they privately support it. Later evidence would show that he may have been referring to Lou Engle (see May 4, 2010), who spoke at a rally in Kampala supporting the bill.
May 27, 2010: Scott Lively Struggles With Uganda’s Death Penalty. In another outtake from Current TV’s documentary “Missionaries of Hate,” reporter Mariana van Zeller interviews Scott Lively and asks whether he supported the bill even if it included the death penalty. The interview, as it appeared in the documentary, left his answer ambiguous on the specific point of the death penalty. In this outtake, he’s more clearly against the death penalty, but he really has to struggle with it for quite a while before he gets there. You can actually see him mulling it over — could I support killing gays? Isn’t that better than nothing? –before he finally says, “I don’t believe that it’s… that I could support it that way.” Even still, he looks as if he still needs some convincing.
May 28, 2010: Earth Times: Uganda to Drop Anti-Gay Bill. Those were the assurances which Uganda reportedly gave to Germany.
June 2, 2010: Ugandan Blackmail Message Released. There have been numerous reports of blackmail messages being set to LGBT Ugandans. The anonymous gay blogger GayUganda posted one such message sent to someone working at Makarere University.
June 2, 2010: Eat Da Poo-Poo! — The Martin Ssempa Remix. Current TV Vanguardreporter Mariana van Zeller’s “Missionaries of Hate” included images of Martin Ssempa’s press conference in which he displayed gay porn in his push for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Jan 25, 2010 and Feb 17, 2010). Someone remixed Ssempa’s porn-fixation and an Internet hit was born.
June 3, 2010: Family Research Council Supports Uganda’s “Kill the Gays Bill”. Lobbying reports filed with the U.S., House of Representatives revealed that the Family Research Council spent $25,000 to oppose House Resolution 1064, which denounced Uganda’s plan for executing gay people (see Mar 24, 2010). The FRC called the bill, “Uganda Resolution, Pro-homosexual promotion.” A similar entry was found in a Senate lobbying report against CIVH Res. 1064, which they also list as “Ugandan Resolution, Pro-homosexual promotion.”
June 4, 2010: FRC’s Response to Ugandan Resolution Lobbying Efforts Leaves More Questions than Answers. The Family Research Council’s Tom McClusky addressed concerns raised by their lobbying report on the Uganda resolution before the U.S. Congress. McClusky claimed they “didn’t necessarily lobby against or for the resolution,” but claimed that the original language “was incorrect on what Uganda was doing” — an answer that opened way more questions than it answered given the vast amounts of false information that the bill’s supporters have been putting out.
June 4, 2010: FRC’s Latest Clarification About Uganda Resolution. The Family Research Council made another stab at trying to explain its lobbying against a Congressional resolution condemning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Again, they repeat the disturbing claim that they were trying to change the draft “in order to make it more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.” But they added, “FRC does not support the Uganda bill, and does not support the death penalty for homosexuality,” because, they reason, you can’t cure them if you kill them.
June 5, 2010: Did FRC Lie to Congress About The Ugandan “Kill-The-Gays” Bill?The Family Research Council claim that they were merely lobbying Congress so that a resolution condemning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality would be “more factually accurate regarding the content of the Uganda bill.” We uncovered a radio broadcast by Tony Perkins soon after the the National Prayer Breakfast of Feb 4, 2010, in which he himself misrepresented what the plain text of the bill (which we have posted on the web for everyone to see) actually does. Instead, Perkins repeats almost verbatim the false line pushed by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa (see Dec 31, 2009). Is this the message FRC carried to the hill?
June 8, 2010: Exodus President Expresses Regret For Uganda Debacle. Exodus International president Alan Chambers posted on his organization’s blog a comprehensive acknowledgment of his personal failings over his handling of the Uganda debacle in which an Exodus board member traveled to Kampala with two other American anti-gay extremists to deliver the now-infamous conference (see Feb 24, 2009). In the statement, Chambers acknowledged receiving prior warnings from BTB’s Timothy Kincaid (see Mar 6, 2009), as well as warnings from Ex-Gay Watch’s David Roberts and Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, but said that he didn’t give the warnings the attention they deserved. What’s more, he acknowledged that the reason he didn’t heed them was “due to who was issuing them.”
June 11, 2010: Why Does This Las Vegas Church Still Support Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Pastor?Several American Evangelical groups had severed ties to Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa over the past year, but Las Vegas’s Canyon Ridge Christian Church was strangely resistant. The Nevada megachurch continued to list Ssempa as one of their “Global Outreach Strategic Partners” despite questions Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton raised with Executive Pastor Mitch Harrison in February. We wondered how much longer would Canyon Ridge continue to provide financial support?
June 14, 2010: Does Lou Engle Really Oppose Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill?When American anti-gay extremist Lou Engle went to Kampala to speak at a rally, he denied that the rally would be a forum to support the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill (see Apr 27, 2010). But news reports later emerged revealing that this was precisely the purpose of the rally (see May 2, 2010; May 3, 2010; and May 4, 2010). Ugandan M.P. David Bahati, the bill’s sponsor, later claimed that American evangelical pastors told him privately that they supported the bill but could not say so publicly (see May 27, 2010). Jeff Sharlet now reveals a conversation he had with Bahati and “Apostle” Julius Oyet, a driving force behind the bill, in which the two revealed that Engle had explicitly supported the bill when speaking with them, but that he had to “lie to the Western media because gays control it.”
June 22, 2010: Las Vegas Church Which Supports Ugandan “Kill-The-Gays” Pastor Wants To Test You For HIV. Canyon Ridge, which lists Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa as an international “strategic partner” (see Jun 11, 2010), is also offering free HIV testing by the Southern Nevada Health District. The irony is amazing. One of the categories which the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would merit the death penalty is being HIV-positive (see Oct 15, 2009).
June 22, 2010: Lou Engle Supports Criminalization of Homosexuality. Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, posted an interview she conducted with Engle for the Religion Dispatches web site. In this exchange, Engle denied knowing MP David Bahati (the bill’s sponsor) or Julius Oyet, who appears to be a major behind-the-scenes player in promoting the draconian bill in Uganda, and he denied supporting the bill when meeting with Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo. But he also said that “we appreciated the two guys [Bahati and Oyet] whose hearts were to bring forth a principled bill.” Engle denied supporting the death penalty provision, although he believed that there was a biblical basis for having one under certain circumstances. but he did acknowledge his support for criminalization of homosexuality to prevent it from being spread “through the legal system of the nation.”
June 23, 2010: Lou Engle’s Uganda Sermon Endorses Country’s “Stand for Righteousness”. Current TV Vanguardreporter Mariana van Zeller, whose documentary “Missionaries of Hate” explored the relationship between American Evangelicals and the rising anti-gay campaigns that have been taking place in Uganda over the past year, posted an extended clip of Lou Engle’s speech at a rally he threw in Kampala (see May 2, 2010). In the clip, he urged his audience “to make a statement and a stand for righteousness.” That statement appeared immediately after Pastor Julius Oyet took the stage to call for the bill’s passage, and Engle was immediately followed by Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, who also called on the Parliament to pass the bill.
July 1, 2010: Las Vegas Church Stands By Martin Ssempa. Despite calls to distance itself from Ugandan pastor and “Kill-The-Gays” Bill supporter Martin Ssempa, Canyon Ridge Christian Church pastor Mitch Harrison reiterated the church’s financial support for Ssempa. And in the statement, Harrison repeated Ssempa’s claim that the death penalty was only “for homosexuals who molest children or rape the handicapped.” We again went back to the text of the bill which we posted online (see Oct 15, 2009) and reprinted Clause 3 in its entirety to prove that not only is Ssempa lying yet again, but that Canyon Ridge is now complicit in spreading Ssempa’s misinformation — with the help of Las Vegas City Lifereporter Jason Whited, who ignored the plain text of the bill and used information provided by Ssempa (via Pastor Harrison) to ridicule “the hysteria among some left-leaning talking heads” while defending Canyon Ridge.
July 2, 2010: Willow Creek Association’s Ties to Martin Ssempa Revealed While Las Vegas Church Continues to Hold Its Ground. In an article appearing on Salon, Dr. Warren Throckmorton explored the close working relationship between Las Vegas-based Canyon Ridge Christian Church and Ugandan “Kill-the-gays” Pastor Martin Ssempa. And in pulling on that thread, Throckmorton discovered a much larger relationship between the Willow Creek Association and their East African hero. Meanwhile Canyon Ridge said they “do not believe Martin Ssempa to be the man the media and others have portrayed him to be.” We said never mind how “the media and others” portrayed him. We presented six videos featuring Ssempa himself (two of which were of his own creation), and asked what about how Ssempa portrayed himself?
July 3, 2010: Rags to Riches in Africa: Become a Pastor. An article in The Economist demonstrates one way of earning vast amounts of wealth and prestege in Uganda: become a pastor. And if you can cultivate American connections, you can really hit pay dirt. Of course, Martin Ssempa gets a mention.
July 13, 2010: Nevada Health Officials Sever Ties with Megachurch over Martin Ssempa. Southern Nevada Health District, which partnered with Canyon Ridge for National HIV Testing Day (see Jun 22, 2010), announced that they are severing ties with Canyon Ridge over their financial support for Ugandan “Kill-The-Gays” pastor Martin Ssempa.
July 20, 2010: Another Uganda Documentary In the Works. French filmmaker Dominique Mesminsent completed a trailer for an upcoming documentary. While the people speaking in the trailer are unidentified, one appears to be pastor Julius Oyet, who has emerged as a close confidant to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s sponsor MP David Bahati. This video captures Oyet defending the death penalty for gay people.
July 26, 2010: Rob Tisinai Takes On Molotov Mitchell. We don’t know that WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell actually hates gay people, but we do know that he wants to love them to death (see Feb 18, 2010). But publicly calling for the execution of all gay people is a little extreme – even for WND – so Mitchell and crew have revised their call to execution of some gay people and limit it, for now, to those overseas. Mitchell and WND can support Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill but pretend that they only want to kill the really badgays. But to do so, Mitchell has to lie through his teeth about what is really in the bill. Rob Tisinai calls him on it.
August 6, 2010: Reports Build About “Stalled” Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Several reports have appeared indicating that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been “stalled.” For regular readers of BTB, this may be old news, but we decided to briefly revisit the ground that the AHB has travelled from the time it was introduced into Parliament.
August 20, 2010: African Homophobia Moves Forward As Ugandan Archbishop Threatens Schism. Ugandan Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi declared tine Anglican Communion “broken” while first Lady Janet Museveni told a youth convention that “homosexuality attracts a curse. … The devil is stoking fires to destroy our nation and those taking advantage are doing so because our people are poor.”
August 22, 2010: Ugandan MP: Homosexuality Is An Abomination Punishable By Death. Uganda’s largest independent newspaper carried a fawning profile of M.P. David Bahati, in which the newspaper uncritically repeated Bahati’s mischaracterization of the death penalty provisions in the AHB. Sunday Monitor incorrectly described the death penalty as being reserved “for gays who lure the underage into the vice or infect one with HIV/Aids.” We reprint the relevant portion of the actual text of the bill to demonstrate the exceptionally wide net that the proposed death penalty actually casts.
August 24, 2010: The Connections Between American Fundamentalism and African Homophobia. Jeff Sharlet excerpted a portion of his book, C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, in which he details the extensive network that is operating between American fundamentalists and Ugandan politicians. Those excerpts, which appear in Harpers and The Advocate, included an interview with one American missionary working in Uganda who thought Bahati had it all wrong: gays should be interned in reeducation camps, not prisons. Meanwhile, Bahati told Sharlet that based on his Bible, Bahati was willing to kill every single gay person in Africa. Sharlet adds that American Evangelicals havec established a new tradition: “the practice of exporting a religious battle you’re losing somewhere far out on the edges and then declaring victory there as a precedent for revival back home.”
August 24, 2010: “There is Already A Break”: Ugandan Archbishop Declares De-Facto Schism. In a gathering of 400 African bishops of the Anglican Union in Entebbe, Ugandan Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi declared that the communion was in schism. “There is already a break,” he said. “It doesn’t need to be announced. It is in the way people act.”
August 24, 2010: Anglican Head Cedes Leadership To Africa. According to a news report on Ugandan television, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who throughout the crisis had been a dithering and dissembling figurehead, threw in the towel entirely and conceded that it may be “God’s Will” that African bishops continue to foment division within the Worldwide Anglican communion.
August 24, 2010: Aid for AIDS Nevada Ignores Concerns About Linkage to Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill. The Las Vegas-based AIDS service organization, Aid for AIDS of Nevada, received several requests to explain why they continue to partner with a megachurch with ties to Ugandan “Kill the Gays” pastor Martin Ssempa. All of those requests, including one from BTB’s Timothy Kincaid, have gone unanswered. Not only that, but a request for comment was even deleted from the organization’s Facebook page.
August 24, 2010: AFAN Arrogantly Dismisses Concerns About CRCC. Later that same day, Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) finally answered mounting questions about their relationship with Canyon Ridge Christian Church, which maintains financial ties to Ugandan “Kill the Gays” pastor Martin Ssempa. AFAN denied that a relationship exists, despite the fact that the megachurch’s name was plastered on AFAN’s web site.
August 24, 2010: Ugandan MP Confirms “The Family’s” Connection to Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Speaking to a reporter from Uganda’s The Independent, MP David Bahati, sponsor of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill, confirmed the role of the secretive U.S.-based evangelical group known as The Fellowship or The Family.
August 24, 2010: In Their Own Words: Ugandans Talk About LGBT People. A journalism student at Northwestern University traveled to Uganda to shoot a short documentary film in which ordinary Ugandans talk about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. It’s an incredible revelation.
August 25, 2010: David Bahati’s Plan for Genocide. Jeff Sharlet, author of C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, was set to appear on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air on NPR to describe the scene when Bahati said he was prepared to “kill every last gay person.” Sharlet said, “It was a very chilling moment because I’m sitting there with this man who’s talking about his plans for genocide and has demonstrated over the period of my relationship with him that he’s not some back bender — he’s a real rising star in the movement.”
August 25, 2010: Aid For AIDS Nevada FINALLY dumps Canyon Ridge Christian Church. After repeated inquiries (see Aug 24, 2010), AFAN finally announced that they decided to dissolve their relationship with Las Vegas-based Canyon Ridge Christian Church over their continued financial support for Uganda’s “Kill-the-Gays” pastor Martin Ssempa.
August 30, 2010: Uganda’s President Calls for “Tolerance” At African Bishop’s Conference. The All Africa Bishops Conference wrapped up its meeting in Entebbe with a call for the Worldwide African Communion to “stick to their culture and reject Western ways tearing the church apart.” Among the “Western ways” specifically denounced is the Western church’s positions on the equal dignity and worth for LGBT people and the ordination of women. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni addressed the body and asked for tolerance for everyone, except for gay people.
September 7, 2010: New Yorker Whitewashes “The Family’s” Involvement In Uganda’s “Kill-The-Gays” Bill. The New Yorker’sPeter Boyer helped “The Family” immensely by whitewashing the ties between the secretive American Evangelical movement and M.P. David Bahati, sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. According to Boyer, “The Family” got the bill killed. But according to the actual facts, the bill was not dead and Bahati, a key “Family” man in Uganda who organizes that country’s version of the National Prayer Breakfast that the Family is best known for in the U.S., continued to push for the bill’s passage.
September 8, 2010: Australia’s SBS Television Focuses on Uganda. A segment appeared on the Australian documentary program Dateline which dealt with the deteriorating situation affecting gay people in Uganda. While most other documentaries focused on the main players — David Bahati, James Nsaba Buturo are also included in this documentary as well — Canadian journalist Aaron Lewis also interviewed several Ugandan LTBT advocates describing how the controversy surrounding the AHB has made for a very difficult and dangerous climate for gay people. Advocates interviewed include Sexual Minorities Uganda’s Frank Mugisha and Pepe Julian Onziema, and Sheila Mugisha, who was assaulted in what was supposed to be a “curative rape.” Also, for the first time, we get to hear from Stanley Nduala, who writes for the notorious tabloid Red Pepper and was responsible for that tabloid’s outing campaigns (see Apr 6, 2009; Apr 19, 2009; and Dec 30, 2009). Apparently, making life miserable for LGBT people pays very well in Uganda: Nduala is shown driving around Kampala in a late model Mercedes.
September 8, 2010: Prominent Ugandan Anti-Gay Minister Defeated In Party Elections. Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) conducted primary elections which were chaotic even by NRM standards. The purpose of the primary elections were to select nominees to stand for the upcoming Parliamentary elections the following February. This is the opportunity for the party to reward those who served the party well and punish the troublemakers. One surprising primary loss was Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, an ardent support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, who lost his nomination to represent Bufumbira East. Buturo however did not resign, but instead demanded new elections.
September 8, 2010: Uganda May Pass Portions of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill On The Downlow. An African news report quotes Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo as saying that the Ugandan Cabinet is reviewing a proposed Anti-Pornography Bill with an eye toward curbing “the vice of homosexuality.” Some of his suggestions for that bill sounded remarkably like several provisions contained in the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, leading us to wonder if this is one indication of how the AHB would be split up and portions parceled out to other bills in order to secure passage with minimal notice. (see Apr 24, 2010 for reports of cabinet subcommittee recommendations to do just that).
September 10, 2010: Defeated Ugandan Anti-Gay Minister Continues To Threaten Gays. Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo may have lost his party’s nomination to keep his seat in Parliament, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going away. According to the Uganda Constitution, the President has the power to appoint ministers who are not members of Parliament. Buturo himself declares, “I am still here.”
September 12, 2010: Defeated Ugandan Anti-Gay Minister Blames “Political Mafia”. Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo lashed out at the “political mafia” who, he says orchestrated his defeat in the ruling party’s primaries (see Sep 8, 2010). We reviewed not only what his electoral loss might mean, but also the choices which Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni face in response to the loss.
September 28, 2010: Ugandan Tabloid Grossly Distorts An American Paper’s Interview With Gay Asylum Seeker. The tabloid Red Pepperis at it again, this time grossly distorting an interview with Moses Mworeko that was published in Washington, D.C.-based Metro Weekly. Mworeko, who was seeking asylum in the U.S. because he felt his life would be in danger of he were returned to Uganda, discussed growing up gay and his pro-forma marriage in a desparate attempt to fit in with Uganda’s societal expectations. Red Pepper twisted that interview beyond all recognition, writing, “This gay monster raped boys in school but failed to bonk his wife.”
Next: Part 5: “Hang Them!”