US Evangelicals’ Role In Uganda’s Bill Giving Death Penalty To Gays
Uganda’s anti-gay bill that would give life imprisonment, and in some cases the death penalty, to anyone convicted of having gay sex, comes on the heels of a missionary trip to that country by three evangelical Christians preaching against homosexuality. This is a country where, during the Bush administration, Uganda’s “family values” policies were praised by the US government which sent tax dollars to its abstinence programs.
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.”
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.
“I feel duped,” Mr. Schmierer said, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children. He acknowledged telling audiences how homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, but he said he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.
“That’s horrible, absolutely horrible,” he said. “Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people.”
Uganda is facing a loss in foreign aid, causing the country to back off the death penalty aspect of the bill, but not the punishment of life in prison. The organizers of the conference where the evangelicals spoke helped draft the bill, and Lively met with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss it.Click here for reuse options!
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