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4 min

Religious forces behind Uganda’s anti-gay bill

Plus: Will gays bring down Scientology?

A proposed bill in Uganda seeks to completely outlaw homosexuality and its promotion, and it even includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” This would be defined as gay sex with anyone under 18 or with a physical disability — regardless of consent — or if the accused is HIV-positive, regardless of consent or condom use.

According to the website Care2.com, “The bill seeks to criminalize the ‘promotion’ and ‘dissemination’ of materials that are affirming of homosexuality, meaning that a charity that helps any known homosexual, for whatever reason, could fall foul of this egregious and ill-defined law.

“Frighteningly, the bill also mandates that, should an individual reveal their sexuality to a relative or friend, they must be reported to the authorities within 24 hours. If the relative/friend does not report that individual, both parties could be fined or face prison sentences. This extends to those who know of relatives who have left Uganda to enter same-sex partnerships in another country.'”

The bill is reprinted here: boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/09/15/14708.

Much of the impetus for this homophobic attack comes from Christian religious groups in Uganda, supposedly with the support and aid of fundamentalist groups from the States.

According to a press release from the queer advocacy group Truth Wins Out, “Sadly, this witch-hunt has the bloodstained fingerprints of leading American evangelicals. The Fellowship (aka The Family), one of America’s most powerful and secretive fundamentalist organizations, converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to its anti-gay brand of Christianity, which is the ‘intellectual’ impetus behind the anti-gay crackdown. The clandestine organization’s leader, Doug Coe, calls Museveni The Fellowship’s ‘key man’ in Africa. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family, writes of the African strongman’s conversion:

“‘So,’ Doug Coe told us, ‘my friend said to the president, ‘Why don’t you come and pray with me in America? I have a good group of friends — senators, congressmen — who I like to pray with, and they’d like to pray with you.’ And that president came to the Cedars (a religious retreat), and he met Jesus. And his name is Yoweri Museveni… And he is a good friend of the Family.'”

And according to BoxTurtleBulletin.com — another queer advocacy site — much of the planning for the new bill occurred at a March conference in Uganda which featured several of the wackier members of America’s evangelical movement:

“American Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively provided the much-anticipated red meat on day three of the anti-gay conference taking place in Kampala.

“On Saturday, Lively repeated his discredited historical revisionist theory in which he claims that the cornerstone of Germany’s Nazi Party lies firmly in the gay movement, and that the gay movement today, if left unchecked, will result in a similarly murderous fascism wherever it goes. In Kampala, he went further by expanding his examples of what he calls homosexuals’ murderous impulse by blaming the 1994 Rwanda genocide on gay men.

“Lively is one of three Americans speaking at that conference, along with Exodus International board member Don Schmierer, and a relative unknown, Caleb Lee Brundidge, of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. Brundidge is also a member of Phoenix-based Extreme Prophetic ministries, where he goes around to area mortuaries trying to raise the dead….

“To understand Lively’s demented assertions, it’s important to read his book, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party. In it, he contends that ‘the Nazi Party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.'”

And before we Canadians start congratulating ourselves on being better, remember that Exodus International — one of those Christian gay therapy organizations — has a Canadian branch.

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Once again, it seems homosexuality has succeeded where nothing else could. This time, queers can take credit for healing the centuries-old rift between the Catholic Church and the Anglicans.

As with so many other religious conflicts, the answer appears to lie in a mutual hatred of homos and women. Apparently, the Pope noticed that a number of Anglicans were angry with their church for permitting some congregations to ordain gay priests and women.

Now, some of those disenchanted Anglicans had already turned control of their congregations over to rabidly homophobic Anglican leaders in South America and Africa. So, the Pope appears to have reasoned, why shouldn’t the vultures of the Catholic Church — the originators, after all, of religious homophobia — swoop in on some of the carrion?

In his zeal to shore up his sagging numbers in Western Europe and North America, the Pope has even decreed that the new Anglican recruits will not even have to follow long-established Catholic law. For example, those Anglican priests who are married — to women, of course — will still be able to practice as Catholic priests.

Can you imagine what a slap in the face this is for those long-time Catholic priests who have faithfully followed their church’s nonsensical insistence on celibacy, with nothing but diddling altar boys and downloading child porn to console themselves with? And, especially, can you imagine how hard to bear this will be for that straight Catholic priest? You know the one.

But bringing dissenting Anglicans into the fold serves two purposes for the Pope. First, it allows him to make up for some of the many Catholics who have deserted the church over its antediluvian stances on contraception and abortion. And second, it allows the Pope to continue to try to build a united front against the ongoing menace of homosexuality, which is apparently destroying the very moral pillars of our society.

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On the bright side, it seems it may be homosexuality that finally brings down Scientology.

Filmmaker Paul Haggis quit the cult last month, saying he could no longer deal with the group’s homophobia.

According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, “Haggis claimed he could no longer ‘be a member of an organization where gaybashing is tolerated….’ Haggis had earlier called on spokesman Tommy Davis to denounce statements made by the church’s San Diego branch in support of the controversial legislation that bans gay marriage in California. ‘The church’s refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly,’ Haggis wrote in a letter addressed to Davis. ‘Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.'”

I applaud your actions, Paul, but are you a moron? Scientology’s hatred of homosexuality is well-documented and has been for years. I know it’s a cult, but really, didn’t you do any research before you decided to join?