Uganda: Come for the wildlife, stay for the gay-bashing.

arvan's picture

GLBTQ rights in Uganda have sucked for years, with open persecution by of gay, lesbians and other queers being propagated by hateful and ignorant people in positions of power.  The country has instilled oppressive laws against homosexuality and court cases have challenged these.  The police and mobs have taken to routinely beating, torturing and killing gays, ostensibly to protect the population from immorality.  (Apparently, killing unarmed people who love each other is not immoral in Uganda.  Lucky break, there.)

Recently however, things went from bad to worse with the help of the import of US gay-bashing whack jobs.  According to Casey Sanchez at the Southern Poverty Law Center:

A bizarre trio of American anti-gay leaders arrived in the Ugandan capital of Kampala Thursday to stage a three-day seminar, “Exposing the Truth Behind Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda,” in a country where homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. They are:

• Scott Lively, co-founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls and author of The Pink Swastika, a pseudo-history book claiming that “militant male homosexuals” helped mastermind the holocaust.

Caleb Lee Brundidge, a “sexual reorientation coach” for the International Healing Foundation, whose signature technique, as demonstrated on CNN, involves patients “beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?” Brundidge also counsels men struggling with their sexuality to visit mortuaries with a fringe Charismatic ministry team to “practice raising the dead.”

• Don Schmierer, a board member for Exodus International, an international umbrella group covering hundreds of “ex-gay” ministries. Schmierer warns parents in his guide to preventing homosexuality to watch out for boys who show “extreme macho behavior” are “frail, deformed, deaf” or “avoid fights/physical altercations.”

Perhaps these whack-jobs sensed the losing battle against gay marriage in the US and have looked to franchise ignorance and hatred abroad, so they can keep feeding their families from the spoils of gay-bashing.  Or, maybe God is whispering in their ear right now about how we all need to be saved, no matter how much it may hurt us.

Uganda is quite capable of fostering its own religious intolerance from both Christian and Muslim factions calling for mass arrests of gays.  So, they don't really need US help in destroying lives.  It is sad and sickening to consider that blacks in Uganda are importing the philosophy of hatred disguised as God's word from the hate-filled "Bible-belt" of the US, which used the same language of intolerance to persecute black slaves.  I guess Tarzan was busy.

In the aftermath, bogus arrests are being carried out with one ridiculous charge after another being leveled in a feeding frenzy of persecution and social intolerance.

The situation also has taken a new direction after a 19-year-old man accused Pastor Robert Kayanja of Rubaga Miracle Center of having sodomized him. This story has been running in the Uganda media for almost two weeks now. After police cleared the pastor of sodomy charges, the President of Uganda came out and blamed the Ugandan police for not handling the investigations very well. Anti-gay groups are also strongly supporting the Pastor’s accuser.

So, if you have any time to offer to the cause, please contact

The Embassy of Uganda:

His Excellency Professor Perezi K. Kamunanwire>>
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Tel: (202) 726 4758
Fax: (202) 726 1727


80 Maiden Lane, Suite 1505
New York, NY 10038
Phone: 212.430.6054
Fax: 212.430.6060

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Homophobia in Uganda

calibrit's picture

I run a nonprofit that has substantial operations in Uganda. I think it would be worth while to mention a little bit of the history of homophobia there, and why Uganda might find it especially difficult to move to a culture of equal rights for sexual minorities. Christian missionaries, both Catholic and Anglican, started arriving in what is now known as Uganda in the 1870s. At the time, the main local monarch was the King of Buganda (the central and most prosperous part of the country). The King of Buganda's custom was to have a harem of teenaged boys and girls. By the 1880s, the missionaries made some converts among the King's court, including some of his harem. A major part of the Christians' preaching was that homosexuality was abominable and against God's will. Therefore, when the converts became Christians, they also started to resist homosexual advances from the King. Enraged at this challenge to his authority, the King of Buganda had over twenty of them burned. This act undermined the King's popularity, and spurred very extensive conversions to Christianity among the Muganda people. Within a year, Uganda had become a British protectorate. Nowadays, the current Kings of Buganda have long since apologized for the crime of their predecessor, and work to support Christianity; a vast majority of Ugandans are Christian; and Ugandan Christians' sense of their faith is deeply bound up with the story of the martyrs who heroically resisted the King's abominable advances. Many schools are named after the Martyrs, including several my nonprofit works in. We can easily say, "but they should change". But it was barely two lifetimes ago that Western missionaries came to Uganda and explained that their eternal God opposed homosexuality very strongly. Ugandans would be entitled to say to Westerners, is this God you speak of so changeable as that? As it happens, I do not think that God opposes homosexuality at all. But we should recognize why anti-gay messages might resonate particularly effectively in Uganda. They are not "importing this philosophy": it was imported a few generations ago, at a time when it was completely uncontroversial.

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