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Thursday, 16 April 2009

Taking Cue from Exodus, Uganda Moves to Imprison Gays Regardless of Behavior


By Michael Airhart

We received news passed along to us via South African Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation:

Heartened by support from prominent U.S. ex-gays — in particular, Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, ex-gay activist Scott Lively, and Richard Cohen protege Caleb Lee Brundidge — at a March 5-7 conference in Kampala, Uganda is moving forward with a campaign that was announced at that conference. Uganda intends to imprison gay Ugandans for their attraction, regardless of whether they are sexually active.

Church- and government-led vigilante campaigns require money to operate, and that money appears to be coming, in part, from U.S. taxpayers.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has uncovered evidence that the Bush administration had used anti-AIDS funds to subsidize groups in Uganda that actively promote violence and discrimination against lesbians and gay men. Among those receiving money, according to U.S. government records, were Uganda Muslim Tabliqh and the Makerere University Community Church. The church’s leader, Pastor Martin Ssempa, was a leading organizer of anti-gay rallies in Kampala. The supply of laundered has not yet been stopped by the Obama administration.

According to 365gay.com (April 6):

KAMPALA — The Ugandan government vowed to move forward with a bill that would toughen the country’s already harsh punishment of homosexuality. Sex between two people of the same sex already is a criminal offense in Uganda - punishable by life imprisonment - although there are no records of any recent convictions.

Now the government is prepared to expand the law, making it a criminal offense to be gay. The legislation would make any public display of being gay a crime.

International human rights and LGBT groups have called on Kampala to drop the bill and repeal the sodomy law.

Last week, about 20 gays and lesbians staged a rally in the capital denouncing the government. One woman said she was publicly stripped naked and taunted by a pastor and his congregation as they attempted to exorcise her.

Read more at 365gay.com.

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