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Posts for January, 2014

India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider Verdict Recriminalizing Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

January 28th, 2014

Last December, India’s Supreme Court reinstated a colonial-era sodomy law criminalizing same-sex relationships by overruling a High Court decision four years earlier which struck down the law as unconstitutional. Today, the Supreme Court turned back a request for it to reconsider its decision.

On Tuesday, a bench of Justices H.L. Dattu and S.J. Mukhopadhaya dismissed the review petitions observing that there are no grounds to interfere. In its review petition the Centre had assailed the December 11 judgment contending that law must reflect social change and the aspiration of the society and not operate on vacuum. The review petitions were dismissed in the chamber.

In view of the dismissal of review petitions the next option for the Centre and others is to file a curative petition, which will be heard by a minimum of four senior-most judges and a maximum of five judges.

India’s colonial-era law provides a maximum term of ten years’ imprisonment.

Indian Supreme Court to reconsider sodomy ruling

Timothy Kincaid

January 27th, 2014

In December, a two-judge panel of India’s Supreme Court ruled that the country’s Colonial Era law against sodomy, Section 377, was constitutionally permissible. The ruling was issued on the day one of the judges retired.

The government of India, along with many organizations, requested that the Court revisit that decision. Tomorrow they will decide whether to do so: (TimesofIndia)

The Supreme Court will tomorrow take up petitions filed by Centre and rights activists seeking review of its verdict declaring gay sex an offence punishable up to life imprisonment.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya will take up the petition in chamber to decide whether the verdict needs to be re-looked or not.

Indian government requests court revisit sodomy law ruling

Timothy Kincaid

December 21st, 2013

From BBC

The Indian government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking it to review its decision to reinstate a 153-year-old law that criminalises homosexuality.

The government asked the court to review its order saying it believed it “violated the principle of equality”.

BJP supports reinstatement of India’s Section 377

Timothy Kincaid

December 13th, 2013

The leader of the center-right political party in India, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has announced support for the newly-reinstated sodomy laws. (Telegraph of India)

BJP president Rajnath Singh today said his party “unambiguously” endorsed the re-criminalisation of gay sex — the first conclusive statement from the party that makes the legislative option difficult for the UPA.

“We will state (at an all-party meeting if it is called) that we support Section 377 because we believe that homosexuality is an unnatural act and cannot be supported,” Rajnath Singh told The Telegraph tonight.

The United Progressive Alliance (of which The Congress is the leading party) has about 261 of 543 seats in Parliament. National Democratic Alliance (of which BJP is the leading party) has about 151 seats. So any legislation may be determined by smaller parties.

India may not keep its sodomy laws

Timothy Kincaid

December 13th, 2013

Getty image from BBC

Indian gays are angry and dismayed over the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate sodomy laws and have taken to the streets. But there is another somewhat-unexpected group that also seems to feel betrayed and upset by the ruling: Indian politicians.

In July 2009, when the New Delhi Court ruled that the colonial era sodomy laws were a violation of the Constitution, there was little formal objection. In September of that year Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to let the decision apply to the rest of the nation and the government and the political parties heaved a huge sigh of relief. While they recognized that individual rights demanded that the laws be lifted, they also knew that doing so would anger various conservative or religious factions. So they stayed silent on the issue, did not appeal the decision, and were happy that the courts had taken it off their shoulders.

But a collective of religious groups appealed and, to the surprise of nearly everyone, the courts overturned the New Delhi decision, stating that the law was constitutional and that if it sodomy laws were to be abolished it would be up to the legislature.

So now legislators and politicians are back in an uncomfortable position. They are made even more so by the near-universal outcry of the nation’s newspapers. (Caveat: I’m judging this by English-language papers. While Hindi is the official language of India’s government, English is also has official status and is the language of business, journalism, and the judiciary and is the common language across India’s many regional dialects.)

Now it appears that the government may channel the outrage to try and reverse the high court’s decision – especially if they can do so without actually passing laws themselves.

From the Times of India (the world’s largest-selling English language newspaper)

“The government is considering all options to restore the (Delhi) high court verdict on (Section) 377 (of IPC). We must decriminalize adult consensual relationships,” law minister Kapil Sibal said.

Finance minister P Chidambaram said the Supreme Court ruling was “wrong” and all options would be looked at to set right the Supreme Court order.

Terming the judgment “disappointing”, he said the court should have applied “current social and moral values” in the case.

He said the government should file a review or curative petition and that the matter should be heard by a five-bench judge.

And the nation’s most influential politician is also on board.

Amid an uproar over the Supreme Court verdict on gay rights issue, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said she was disappointed that the apex court and hoped Parliament would address the matter.

“I hope that Parliament will address the issue and uphold the constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens of India, including those directly affected by the judgement,” the UPA Chairperson said.

It would be very difficult to get the law reversed in Parliament, but if the request for judicial review is not successful, it may be pursued. India is a significant player in the global marketplace and is determined to be a modern and progressive nation and while the culture is still largely homophobic, recent years have shown an increase in tolerance for homosexuality in India and the surrounding region.

Acceptance and Legality

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2013

Georgetown University’s Eric Voeten looks at comparisons between social acceptance of homosexuality and legality. (WaPo)

Voeten’s interesting article discusses how international pressure impacts nations with low tolerance and how the decision by India’s courts could have challenging consequences.

“A Great Day for Prejudice and Inhumanity”

Jim Burroway

December 11th, 2013

So says the respected novelist, poet, and leading LGBT rights campaigner Vikram Seth to one of India’s leading commercial broadcasters:

Indian human rights advocates are calling today a “black day” following the country’s Supreme Court decision to reinstate the country’s colonial era sodomy law. In 2009, the Delhi High Court ruled that the 153-year-old law, known as Section 377, was unconstitutional, and for the next four years LGBT people in a country representing more than 17% of the world’s population were free from the threat of arrest and imprisonment for up to ten years. Today’s Supreme Court decision reinstates Section 377 and throws the whole issue to Parliament, and has shocked human rights advocates in India and around the world. Pink News has reaction:

“Such a decision was totally unexpected from the top court. It is a black day,” said Arvind Narrain, a lawyer for the Alternative Law Forum gay rights group.

“We are very angry about this regressive decision of the court.”

Ashok Row Kavi, of the activist group Humsafar Trust, said: “This is a very sad day for us, we are back to square one in our fight for the democratic rights of the gay community.”

…“One would never expect the supreme court of India to make such a retrograde order, that is so against the trend internationally,” said rights lawyer Colin Gonsalves.

“This takes us back to the dark ages. This is a day of mourning for us in India.”

Photo by Kabi

“Retrograde” seems to be the most common expression Indians are using to describe today’s decision. Protests have broken out in the financial capital of Mumbai. Observers doubt that India’s government will take up repeal of Section 377 anytime in the foreseeable future. Parliament is currently hopelessly deadlocked, much like our Congress. Elections are coming up in May, and the socially conservative Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are seeing gains in the polls as it is.

The Times of India has a good primer on the case and asks:

Here’s a pop quiz. Which century are we living in? 21st you say! But it seems the Supreme Court of India doesn’t agree with this logical fact. What else can explain the dogmatic and regressive verdict of the SC today in which they have upheld section 377 of the Indian Penal code that says that sexual relationship against the order of the nature is an offence. They also ruled that the courts should not intervene and that it was up to parliament to legislate on the issue. Wow, another wonderful responsibility on the able shoulders of our educated, socially sensitive and logical MPs-deciding how India’s citizen should lead their private lives!

The Times continues:

The verdict has been shocking on many levels.

Firstly, landing a major blow to India’s claim of being a country with a modern outlook, the fact a law made by Britishers in the 1860′s has been upheld in 2013 makes for a strange sentence.

Secondly, with many countries now equating gay equality with the rights for same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court ruling puts India back in the company of most nations in the Islamic world and many African countries which criminalise homosexuality. The only country in South Asia where gay sex is now legal is Nepal.

“It is highly embarrassing for the country because now we will be among the dirty dozens of the world,” said Narayan, the lawyer from the Alternative Law Forum.In most western countries, the debate about same-sex couples has shifted on to their rights to marry. More than a dozen countries now allow homosexuals to wed.

Thirdly, it is a blow to people’s right to equality. Just because gays have made a different lifestyle choice, they do not deserve to be put in jail. They are also entitled to their privacy and dignity. They do face widespread discrimination and ignorance from a largely homophobic Indian society. And with this verdict, the law has also deserted them.

Fourthly, by putting the ball in the Parliament’s court, the Supreme Court has now granted power to decide how India’s citizens should lead their private lives, in the hands of those MPs who are yet to become sensitive even to the gender equality issue.

Indian court reinstates colonial era sodomy law

Timothy Kincaid

December 11th, 2013

Belfast Telegraph

A colonial-era law criminalising homosexuality will remain in effect in India, a top court said, dealing a blow to gay activists who have argued for years for the chance to live openly in India’s deeply conservative society.

The Supreme Court threw out a 2009 New Delhi High Court decision that struck down the law as unconstitutional, saying it was for lawmakers – and not the courts – to decide the matter.

This is a serious set-back for rights in India.

Lawrence sodomy case was sexless

Timothy Kincaid

March 7th, 2012

What if John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner were innocent? What if the men arrested in Lawrence v. Texas, the case that found that gay couples had the right to intimate expression of their relationship were not in a relationship, not a couple, and had never intimately expressed anything to each other.

And that is what Dale Carpenter claims in Flagrant Conduct, his new book covered in a well written and informative New Yorker review (I’ve not yet read Carpenter’s book but anticipate that it will be fully enjoyed). The two men arrested for anal sodomy never had sex.

I expect that anti-gays will triumphantly declare this to be “an admission” that it was all contrived, a “hoax”. It wasn’t, but that’s beside the point.

I think it is appropriate that Texas’ sodomy laws were overturned in a case of non-sodomy. That wasn’t why they existed (and still exist) on the books.

Sodomy laws morphed with the times. When sodomy was a crime against nature by two men, it was a punishable crime. But when society came to recognize that it was not “two men”l in general but rather a distinct class of people, they took on a different role.

Now their purpose was placing and keeping gay people in an inferior social and legal position. They did not criminalize sex, they criminalized identity.

That is one reason it was so difficult to have them challenged. Arrests were extremely rare. The threat of arrest and the classification of a group of people as inherently criminal provides few victims in the eyes of the court.

In fact, Lawrence and Garner we’re not really arrested for sex, though some officers imagined that they saw sex occurring. But it was the setting – the erotic art, the clearly gay men – that gave these officers enough ‘proof’ of a crime. Their biases provided the rest.

So it is only fitting that sodomy laws, the legal prohibition on being gay, was decided on a case in which it was that status, rather than sex acts, was the cause of arrest.

India’s Supreme Court affirms decriminalization of homosexuality

Timothy Kincaid

February 16th, 2012

UPDATE: strike all below. They have not made a decision, this was just the direction of their questions.

There has been, for some years, increased tolerance and acceptance of sexual minorities in India. The largest break-through was in 2009 when the New Delhi High Court found that sodomy laws were unconstitutional and the government chose to apply that ruling to the nation as a whole.

In response some religious and other organizations and individuals petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling. Today the court confirmed the decision of the New Delhi High Court and officially ended the nation’s ban on homosexuality.

The justices took an interesting approach, pondering the meaning of Section 377 of the Indian penal Code which prohibits “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. In an age of invitro fertilization and surrogacy, they decided that banning same-sex expression as being against the order of nature made little sense. And referring to sculptures of Khajuraho, they determined that gay sex was not originally an offense to Indians, but that the laws prohibiting it were colonial imports from Britain.

Bryan Fischer Wants To Put Everyone In Jail

Jim Burroway

October 14th, 2011

At least he’s not just picking on gay people:

YouTube Preview Image

These are behaviors that can be made illegal, and should be made illegal: those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral – that means it’s perfectly appropriate to have laws against what the law calls fornication, absolutely appropriate to make that illegal; men who practice homosexuality, perfectly permissible – in fact, we’re directed, we’re told in the Scriptures that it’s a good idea, this is the purpose of the law, it’s for the lawless and disobedient to engage in homosexuality – it’s perfectly appropriate for that kind of behavior to be against the law.

CO Civil Unions Defeated In House Committee

Jim Burroway

April 1st, 2011

The crazies came out again in Colorado last night to defeat the Senate Bill 172, which would have provided Civil Unions and other protections for LGBT Coloradans. The bill died in the committee on a 6-5 strict party-line vote. All Republicans voted no, including Rep. Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) whose uncle is gay. “It was tough,” said DelGrosso. As tough as it is for his uncle?

Rep. B.J. Nikkel (also R-Loveland), after voting no herself, thanked members of the committee and the bill’s sponsor for “a very thoughtful, civil dialogue about the issue of civil unions.” That “civil dialogue” not only included the “anus lady,” but last night featured the testimony of Paul Cameron.

YouTube Preview Image

To give you some perspective about where Cameron gets these crazy ideas, as recently as five years ago, the head of the Eastern Psychological Association publicly denounced Cameron for fraudulently passing off a paper he wrote as having been presented before the assembled association at a meeting in Philadelphia. Cameron has been removed from the rolls of the American Psychological Association for ethical violations in his fraudulent “research”, and his he has also been denounced by the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association (twice), and the Canadian Psychological Association, all for consistently misinterpreting and misrepresenting research on sexuality, sexual orientation, and the gay community.

You would think that were bad enough, but it gets worse. In a March 1999 edition of his newsletter, Cameron wrote glowingly of how the Nazis “handled” homosexuality. Specifically singling out the policies of Rudolf Höss, the mastermind behind Auschwitz. This echoes what Cameron said in 1985 at a CPAC conference, in which he proclaimed, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” Cameron’s manifesto calls for the recriminalization of homosexuality and the denial of private domestic partner benefits to anyone who is HIV-positive. He would ban LGBT people from teaching or working at schools or day care centers, and mandate that all course material present homosexuality as “a public health hazard.”

To the shame of Coloradans everywhere, arguments like Cameron’s carried the day.

Update: ThinkProgress has more audio.

Montana House Blocks Attempt to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

March 30th, 2011

The Montana House last night shot down an attempt to remove the state’s law making consensual gay sex illegal. Even though laws like Montana’s was struck down by the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision Lawrence v Texas, Montana lawmakers in the house moved to preserve the unconstitutional law yesterday:

The motion by Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, to blast Senate Bill 276 out of the House Judiciary Committee, received 51 votes in the 100-member House but failed to secure the 60 votes needed. The vote was 51-47.

The Senate passed SB276, by Sen. Tom Facey, D-Missoula, 35-14, but the House Judiciary Committee tabled the bill.

Before the court ruling in 1997, gays and lesbians in Montana risked being charged with felonies and if convicted, they could have faced a maximum penalty of a 10-year prison sentence and a $50,000 fine, said Sands, a lesbian.

Incredibly, this was the reason given for the law’s retention:

Rep. Ken Peterson

Judiciary Chairman Rep. Ken Peterson, R-Billings, who is an attorney, said the Supreme Court didn’t find the law unconstitutional.

Its ruling held that same-sex adults, in private, not-for-commercial purposes, are protected by the right to privacy, Peterson said. The court didn’t say the law was unconstitutional, he said.

“It should not be repealed because of situations it might apply in,” he said.

In other arguments to keep the law, Rep. Michael More, R-Gallatin Gateway, reportedly cited Scripture, natural law and “eternal law.”

Montana’s confusing day

Timothy Kincaid

February 23rd, 2011

The legislature in Montana has been having a lot to say today about gay folk. And it’s all over the place.

The Senate decided to remove the unenforceable anti-gay language from their books: (Gazette)

The Montana Senate has voted to remove an obsolete state law that criminalized homosexual relations.

The state Supreme Court struck down the law in 1997. Senate Bill 276 would remove the language from state code.

The Senate endorsed the bill Wednesday 41-9.

While the House voted to reverse any municipality’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinances.

Montana GOP lawmaker seeks to repeal anti-gay law

Timothy Kincaid

September 20th, 2010

Back in June we, along with many others, noted that the platform of the Montana Republican Party included this position:

We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.

As it turns out, this was a position that had sat in their platform since 1997 and no one really noticed that it was there. But the attention proved to be embarrassing to some in the party. (AP)

“I looked at that and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” state Sen. John Brueggeman, R-Polson, said last week. “Should it get taken out? Absolutely. Does anybody think we should be arresting homosexual people? If you take that stand, you really probably shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”

Revising the Party platform requires a process involving committees and conventions and cannot happen over night. However, this has prompted Brueggeman to take action where he can. He is going after the defunct sodomy law that, though unenforceable, still sits on the Montana law books. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

State Sen. John Brueggeman says he is requesting a draft of a bill to strike down the law. The bill would be considered by the 2011 Legislature, which convenes in January.

The Polson Republican has criticized the GOP platform statement. He now says Montana shouldn’t have such a discriminatory law, even if it can’t be enforced.

I guess a little embarrassment can be a motivator.

The Peter’s wackadoodle school exposed

Timothy Kincaid

August 11th, 2010

Last weekend Peter LaBarbera and a host of wackadoodle anti-gay activists held a three day seminar to teach young recruits how to demean, disparage, and fraudulently portray gay people. Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, sent in two infiltrators to report on Peter’s nonsense.

They provide some interesting information about the speakers and the audience:

Quite honestly, I found that many of these people were not “hateful” in the sense that they don’t actively wish LGBT people harm. They truly believe that if homosexuals would only live the lifestyle and hold the beliefs they themselves hold, those homosexuals would go on to live richer, more fulfilling lives. I experienced many of those attending the conference to be kind, concerned individuals.

By my count, around 45 people attended the conference on any given day. That’s including the speakers and the families of the speakers, so actual attendee numbers on any given day were lower, and some new attendees were there on Friday and Saturday. Of the people attending, a large majority were older. On the first day there were only around five people attending who looked to be under the age of 30.

Also present are synopses of the speakers’ views. For example, this is from a group session:

Barber: We should not be politically correct. It’s natural for gays to be reviled. It’s important to focus on the health risks of homosexuality, but we need to be aggressive and unapologetically loving.

Quinlan: If you Bible-thump or talk about sex, it turns pro-gays off. If you give them the science, you sound like somebody in authority and they don’t know how to respond to that.

Goldberg: We need to use the term “homosexual” instead of “gay” because it has a more negative connotation. No one is gay; they’re only “gay identified.”

Kincaid: This issue of homosexuality affects you because gays are demanding to give blood. The hemophiliacs are outraged by the homosexual lobby saying they have a right to give blood. They want to force themselves into the blood supply in a callous and arrogant manner. Mothers need to speak up. Mothers, your children are at risk!

Quinlan: The church has to be involved in politics. Politics are dirty. Our Founding Fathers were all religious men. They weren’t all just deists. They were Bible-believing men. We do have the truth and the truth is this: a family is made up of a mother and a father because it takes a mother and a father to raise a child.

Higgins: Parents need to remove their children from public schools. Even after doing that, they need to make law changes because our taxes go to the public schools. When we are silent on this issue, we teach our children through role-modeling to be cowardly conformists. We bequeath a legacy of much greater oppression to our children and our grandchildren. At least I can say to my children that I did everything I could.

Lindevaldsen: We need to work to completely eliminate public schools — government schools — and push a Christian/Biblical model of educating our children

Sorba: We need to unify behind common winning talking points. Boycott the term “gay.” They are in no way attached to any kind of identity because it’s not an identity. They’re not functioning in accord with their design. We need to repeat over and over and over again that there is no scientific evidence that people are born gay. There is no study that proves causation. Psychiatrists need to reclassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

LaBarbera: “Born gay” evidence is unreliable. There was once a pro-gay activist yelling as loud as he could that I was a maniac who wanted to kill gay people. This shows how unstable these guys are.

Sorba: Genes code for proteins, not for behaviors. The “born gay” thing is a debate that we’re definitely going to win. Nobody’s a meat puppet dangling from the strings of the chemical reactions of their brain. It’s letting your emotions rule instead of your reason. It’s a debate about if you’re able to define reality vs. your ability to intellectually understand the reality of world around you. We should be able to argue for the re-criminalization of sodomy and overturn Lawrence v. Texas — the punishment would just be a fine. It would inhibit gay night clubs from springing up where AIDS is spread. It’ll inhibit pornography. We need to go on the offense. Then we know we’re gonna win. You’re not born gay; it’s a vice. These people need help.

Barber: The reality of ex-gays poses an enormous threat to the homosexual movement. Their entire argument hinges on the immutability of homosexuality.

LaBarbera: [Discussing LGBT protesters] They come there with their hateful signs; this is the level of fanaticism we’re dealing with. It’s just as hard to convey how radical the movement is as how bad the behavior is.

Barber: At gay pride parades, they have sex in the street in front of children.

Kincaid: Left-wing student groups are leading boycotts of blood drives, because they’re “discriminatory.” This movement is expanding. If this keeps getting bigger and bigger, we are going to face a shortage of blood. It’s extortion. I remember when AIDS happened. I remember covering this. You have to be older to understand what was happening at this time. I really don’t think a lot of the young people today remember the panic and catastrophe that enveloped the nation because of AIDS. They don’t understand how it developed. They don’t understand the devastation. We need to educate the young people about this disease as well as new-and-potentially-just-as-deadly diseases that may not be being detected currently through blood tests. It’s not a matter of discrimination. It’s a matter of life.

Sorba: Of course romantic attraction can happen between any two people, but the question is whether it adheres with the “Good.” A thing is Good insofar as it helps actualize the potential for humanity. Man is a rational animal. His final end is to know God and truth; truth means correlation with reality. Absent truth, what’s the point? Absent correspondence with reality, what are we doing here, dreaming? If Eros is the thing by which you define the Good, a man leaves his wife and kids in the name of “love.” Love is not the supreme decision maker for us. The Good is.

Go check out the multi-page report. It is well worth reading

Lou Engle’s Uganda Sermon Endorses Country’s “Stand for Righteousness”

Jim Burroway

June 23rd, 2010

TheCall’s Lou Engle has been trying to have it both ways in addressing questions of whether he supports Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. These questions were especially pertinent when it was announced that Engle would be putting on one of his TheCall rallies in Kampala last May. Engle issued a statement denying that he was going there to promote the bill.

We then learned through multiple sources that he had, in fact, promoted the bill at the rally. He was surrounded on stage with key supporters of the bill: Pastor Julius Oyet; the bill’s sponsor, MB David Bahati; and Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo. Engle later issued another statement saying he regretted promoting the bill at the rally, but in contradiction to eyewitness accounts, Engle protested that the bill’s promotion took place after he left.

Current TV’s Vanguard reporter Mariana van Zeller’s outstanding 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. Engle’s TheCall Uganda appeared briefly in that documentary. Today, Mariana posted an extended clip of what Engle said at that rally.

And I went through a personal wrestling in my own heart whether we should come here and join you. We know that Uganda has been under tremendous pressure in the church. We felt that same pressure. But I felt like the call was to come and join with the church in Uganda to encourage you, that in the nation you are showing courage to take a stand for righteousness in the earth. [Applause]

Jesus is a merciful savior today for everyone trapped in sin. But he is also the architect of society and the great governor of the universe. Establish marriage between a man and a woman from the beginning so that society would be preserved and read right and it would be for the well-being of the children.

And so we’ve come here to join you to pray that your government would have wisdom to uphold righteousness in this land. We are restraining, trying to restrain an agenda that’s going to hurt the nation and hurt families. Right now that homosexual agenda is sweeping into our education system, and parents are losing their rights over the education of their children. I believe there’s only one hope. Help us God! Help us! But I believe Uganda has suddenly become ground zero, not because they asked for it, but God brought you to make a statement and a stand for righteousness.

Keep in mind, Engle said this right after Oyet took the stage to call for the bill’s passage, and Engle was immediately followed by Buturo, who also called on the Parliament to pass the bill. It’s no surprise that Oyet and Bahati left the rally ecstatic in the belief that they had Engle’s full support. I don’t see how anybody watching could have walked away from the rally with any other conclusion. Engle fully supported the bill, and that his support was so strong that he he felt that “the call was to come and join with the church in Uganda to encourage you.”

And now we have Engle’s more recent statement saying he supports criminalization. The only thing he criticize now is the death penalty. But even there, he believes that the death penalty is biblically sound. That’s not exactly a rousing denunciation. Not nearly as rousing as the full-bore, no-exceptions support he gave to the people of Uganda.

Uganda’s latest American kill-the-gays bill supporter is now in St. Louis, where he has been speaking nightly at the Gateway House of Prayer on S. Lindbergh Blvd. in the western St. Louis suburb of Rock Hill. He will be speaking every night through July 12.

Lou Engle Supports Criminalization of Homosexuality

Jim Burroway

June 22nd, 2010

Lou Engle on stage with other supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill at a TheCall rally in Kampala (Michael Wilkerson / Religion Dispatches)

Lou Engle, the Dominionist evangelical preacher behind TheCall, has confirmed more or less what Uganda MP David Bahati told author Jeff Sharlet: That Engle supports Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill – at least some form that is similar to the one that is currently under consideration.

Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Votersposted 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.”

Posner asked a series of questions specific to the bill. Engle denied supporting the death penalty provision, although he believed that there was a biblical basis for having one under certain circumstances. She also asked what other provisions in the bill he didn’t support:

I pressed him about which penalties in the bill he didn’t support — and he did say that although he could see someone supporting the death penalty, he did not, and he did not support “hard labor” as punishment or the requirement that churches report LGBT people to the authorities. But when I asked him if he would support a bill with less harsh penalties, he added: 

My main thing is to keep — is to not allow it to be legalized, so to speak, so then it just spreads through the legal system of the nation. So I’m not — I’m not making a statement as to what I think the penalties should be. It’s not my job to do that. I do think, I do think that these leaders are trying to make at least some kind of statement that you’re not just going to spread the agenda without some kind of restraint, a legal restraint and punishment. And I don’t know what the line is on those, but I can’t go that far as I understand that bill already said. [emphasis mine]

Engle admitted that his praise for the bill’s supporters’ “principled stand” might have led them to believe that he supported the bill. Although he insisted he did not support the bill as written, “I did support the principle of a nation saying, restraining it from coming into their nation.” He then went on to maintain that because homosexuality hasn’t been “restrained” in the United States, “I don’t think it’s going to be good for the nation, it sweeps into the education system, and the church is going to end up losing its privilege to have its own voice. Gender rights, will trump religious rights. I think it’s wrong, it’s not good for society. Those are the statements I came with, so frankly I was quite surprised to be thrown into this huge controversy.”

According to this interview, it appears that Lou Engle’s position on Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill is virtually identical to that of Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively. Lively, too, says that he doesn’t support the death penalty, but he finds the rest of the bill acceptable. Lively has called the bill “a step in the right direction” several times. More recently, he told Current TV’s Marianna van Zeller that passage of the bill would be “the lesser of two evils.” When asked whether that endorsement includes the death penalty, Lively had to struggle with that option for quite a long time before finally deciding that he still doesn’t support it, even as the “lesser of two evils.”

Engle now appears to hold the exact same position as Lively.

Lies and death, brought to you by corporate advertising

Timothy Kincaid

April 1st, 2010

In February, we shared with you a video by Molotov Mitchell in which he defended Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Mitchell endorsed the idea of executing gay people and called the Ugandan bill “more American than Americans”.

Make no mistake, Mitchell would delight to have homosexuality recriminalized in the West and would have no problem with death as the punishment. Because, as he says, God makes the rules and Jesus didn’t abolish the Old Testament.

But calling for the execution of gay people doesn’t sit comfortably with most Americans, even those who are socially conservative. So Mitchell is back with a new video, one in which he clarifies which gay people should be hanged at dawn.

And to do it, he lies about the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality bill. Mitchell claims to have read the bill and tells us that it is 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. (Unlike Mitchell and every other supporter of the bill, we provide it so that you can read for yourself).

But this time, Mitchell’s endorsement of executing some gay people is funded by corporate advertising. Depending on when viewed, Mitchell’s call for death is preceded by an advertisement encouraging you to buy Dell computers or French’s fried onions or search the internet on Bing (or perhaps even others).

Those who wonder why Bing, Dell or French’s would pay for propaganda designed to justify and deceive about the criminalization and execution of gay people can inquire with those companies by calling:

Reckitt Benckiser (French’s) USA: (973) 404-2600

Dell: (512) 338-4400

Microsoft: (800) 518-5689

Our international readers may wish to find their own local number for Reckitt Benckiser here.

I don’t know much about French’s, but Dell and Microsoft pride themselves on their inclusive diversity programs.

Family Research Council’s Peter Sprigg Wants To Throw You In Jail

Jim Burroway

February 2nd, 2010

Don’t believe me? Then check this out:

Peter Sprigg was on Chris Matthews’s Hardball to talk about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on gays in the military. Sprigg, of course, is against ending the ban. But skip ahead  to about the 8:15 mark, and you can see what Sprigg really wants to do:

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you Peter, do you think people choose to be gay?

SPRIGG: Uh, people do not choose to have same-sex attractions, but they do choose to have homosexual conduct. And that’s conduct also , which incidentally is against the law within the military. It violates the Uniform Code of Military Justice. It doesn’t make any sense for us to be actively recruiting people who are going to be violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

MATTHEWS: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: Well, I think certainly it’s defensible.

MATTHEWS: I’m just asking you, should we outlaw gay behavior?

SPRIGG: I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned the sodomy laws in this country, was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.

MATTHEWS: So we should outlaw gay behavior.

SPRIGG: Yes.

This is the guy who nearly two years ago said we should “export” gays:

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