Is Exodus International, an evangelical Christian group that promotes “praying the gay away,” a bunch of naifs, or are they to blame for the proposed “Kill Gays” law now being considered by the Ugandan Parliament? Back in March, an Exodus board member and two other (widely discredited) American anti-gay activists addressed an anti-homosexual conference in Uganda:
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. 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.”
There’s a pretty general consensus that the conference was instrumental in building support for the “Kill Gays” bill, but according to a story in today’s New York Times, the Exodus board member above, Don Schmierer, says he was “duped” into helping build support for the bill at the conference. Instinct – and the Box Turtle Bulletin – cry “bullsh*t” at Exodus’ claims of innocence, but it’s not clear whether or not the Exodus speaker and his colleagues knew their words would light a fire in Uganda far stronger than they would ever ignite in the US.
Mr. Kaoma [a Zambian Anglican priest] was at the conference and said that the three Americans “underestimated the homophobia in Uganda” and “what it means to Africans when you speak about a certain group trying to destroy their children and their families.”
“When you speak like that,” he said, “Africans will fight to the death.”
Meanwhile, witch-hunts for lesbians, gays, and bisexuals continue in Uganda.
New Jersey – Legislative leaders are saying it won’t succeed “in a million years,” but the state should still vote on same-gender marriage. (Towleroad)
D.C. – Two new laws take effect in the new year – the ridiculous HIV travel ban is finally, formally lifted, and same-gender marriage takes effect in Washington, D.C. Longtime gay activist Craig Dean will be first in line. (The Advocate)
New York – A Buffalo, NY woman has her eye slashed in a potential hate crime. (Towleroad)