From 5 to 8 March 2009, a workshop took place in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, that featured three American evangelical Christians: Scott Lively, an author who has written several books opposing homosexuality; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-professed former gay man who conducts sessions to heal homosexuality; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, an organisation devoted to promoting "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ. The theme of the conference, according to The New York Times, was the "gay agenda":
"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' "
American evangelicals such as Scott Lively and others have a history of involvement in Uganda where they focus their
missionary work. As a result, they have become influential
in the shaping of public policy in Uganda, Nigeria and, to a lesser extent, Kenya. Stephen Langa, the March 2009 workshop organiser, specifically cited an unlicensed conversion therapist named Richard A. Cohen, who states in Coming out Straight, that was given to Langa and other prominent Ugandans,
Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than
heterosexuals; homosexual teachers are at least 7 times more likely to
molest a pupil; homosexual teachers are estimated to have committed at
least 25 percent of pupil molestation; 40 percent of molestation
assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.
These statements were based on faulty studies performed by Paul Cameron, who has been expelled from the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association, and Cohen confirmed their weaknesses, stating that when the book will be reprinted, these statistics will be removed.Pambazuka News stated "It's worth noting that it costs a considerable
amount of money, time and processes to table a private-member’s bill,
which begs the question of how the MP from Kabale District [Bahati] is
financing this process? It has also been common practice for the
mushrooming pastors and churches to use homophobic attacks on opponents
as a way to discredit each other and sway faithfuls."Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor and former affiliate of Rick Warren, has endorsed the bill.Warren however later publicly denounced the bill, calling it "un-Christian". In February 2010, to counter opposition to the bill, Ssempa showed gay
pornography to 300 members of his church, shocking them with images of
explicit sexual acts, and implying that all gay people engage in them,
but straight people do not.
During March 2009, Scott Lively met with several legislators and
Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Buturo. He followed his visit
with a post to his blog saying that he was "overjoyed with the results
of our efforts and predicted confidently that the coming weeks would see
significant improvement in the moral climate of the nation, and a
massive increase in pro-family activism in every social sphere.
[Conference organiser Stephen Langa] said that a respected observer of
society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear
bomb against the 'gay' agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the
predictions, are true."
Note from Anthony Venn-Brown All Evangelicals and Pentecostals from Australia, the US and other countries should be aware of what is going on and if, even unknowingly their influence may be adding to deaths, beatings and untold suffering. If you have any influence it should be for good not evil.
If you have an hour and want more information this BBC documentary "The Worlds Worst Place to be Gay" is one of the best.
Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.