A new report from The New York Times links three American evangelical Christians — whose teachings about “curing” gays have been widely discredited in the U.S. — as influential in Uganda’s anti-gay legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by death.
According to the Times, the three spoke at an event in Uganda last March, where the agenda was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda,” as characterized by event organizer Stephen Langa.
For three days… the visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
The three Americans who spoke at the conference — Scott Lively, a missionary who has written several books against homosexuality, including “7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child”; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads “healing seminars”; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality” — are now trying to distance themselves from the bill.
Human rights advocates in Uganda say the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle.
Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like “Die Sodomite!” scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape.
Debate on the bill, which is now before a parliamentary committee, is scheduled to begin early this year.
More than 35 African nations have outlawed homosexuality, and Egypt and Mali are likely to follow suit this year. In Kenya, being gay is punishable by 14 years in prison. Nigeria is considering imposing, among other things, a five-year prison sentence on anyone visiting a gay website or attending a same-sex marriage.
Read the full article at The New York Times.
Filed under: Africa