Watch In Uganda, Gays Face Growing Social, Legal Hostility on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
In an unexpected development, the Ugandan 8th Parliament adjourned today without the hotly anticipated vote on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The meeting opened with a prayer and a statement read by the Communication Chair. With no other business taken up, the meeting was adjourned. Ugandan activist, Peter Yiga told Citydesk he believes, “The bill will defiantly come back since all those guys advocating for it will still be in Parliament.” Bills that are not passed at the close of the session automatically die and must be re-introduced into the next session if they are to proceed. Dr. Thomas, an Uganda HIV/AIDS service provider says, “LGBTI Ugandans are still using all means necessary to stop the bill.” Tabling the bill for a second year without it being completely denounced he says, “fuels discrimination and stigma by the State.” This uncertainty marks one of several twists and turns in the bills two year evolution that began directly following a three-day Kampala seminar in March 2009 lead by American Evangelicals namely Bryan Fischer’s friend Scott Lively. “The public is very bitter,” said Yiga. “People have resorted to beating and insulting us, telling us to migrate to the USA where homosexuality originated.” Dr. Thomas says, “There is a dwindling number of LGBQI Ugandans who call for counseling for diseases. The few calls that do come in are of distress and fear. This week I have witnessed three transgender people forced to move from their homes in Kasubi, Namuwongo and Keybando.” Activists say they are doing a better job at mobilizing but still desperately need international pressure to continue. Dr. Thomas said he needs, “UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to provide genuine support for LGBTI groups as a measure of anti-HIV campaigns.” Yiga wants increased international pressure to help keep moral high while enduring hate crimes. “The five people that attacked my house confessed they are bitter about the way Museveni is handling the matter,” said Yiga, “and are planning to kill us one-by-one.” Swearing in for the 9th Parliament is scheduled to begin May 16 with an announcement on May 18 as to when the next session will begin. Speculation is that the break will be about four weeks.
UPDATE: May 7, 2011 Exporting Homophobia took 2nd place at the Idaho Press Club’s Best of 2010 banquet category: Weekly Print Media Watchdog / Investigative Report
What other’s are saying about Exporting Homophobia
“I was curious enough to do some research, and came across your excellent article. We’ve known for a long time about the U.S. Evangelical right exerting it’s influence in Africa…Thank you for shedding light on a truly troubling, frightening in fact, subject.” Michelle Faul, Chief Africa Correspondent, Associated Press
“Some of Jody May-Chang’s story on homophobia in Uganda you’ve heard before. If you’ve read any of writer Jeff Sharlet’s work on The Family, or heard him on NPR’s Fresh Air, much of what you’ll read in “Exporting Homophobia” will not surprise you. This month, Sharlet is back on the airwaves and back on stands with a follow-up, and May-Chang interviewed him earlier this year as that work was just going public. It’s a dense read, but one I think is worthy of the page space and your time.” – Rachel Daigle, Editor-in-Chief Boise Weekly
Exporting Homophobia: American far-right conservative churches establish influence on anti-gay policy in Africa — Gay Ugandans face daily fear for their livesBy Jody May-Chang ©2010 NEWS FEATURE STORY Originally published on BoiseWeekly.com Sept. 08, 2010 Peter Yiga is a Ugandan born-again Christian with a degree in computer engineering. He is the father of a young child and is also a known gay activist in a country that is on a witch hunt. In February, Yiga attended a human rights conference in the capital city of Kampala. “I saw a member of parliament who attended, talking very bitter and vowing to kill everyone–including their sons and daughters–if they were proved homosexuals,” he told BW by Internet video conference from Uganda. Yiga described how he and his friends are psychologically tortured and forced to endure daily warnings and promises of being hunted down and killed. “The church and other leaders have done a lot to brainwash people, and all the community now is readily spitting fire against homosexuality. They are planning to kill or panga [machete] us. We have been running from house to house because when a neighborhood learns about your orientation, then you should expect mob justice anytime,” he said. Although homosexuality has been illegal in Uganda since the colonial era, there has been an unprecedented escalation of hatred fueled by Uganda’s pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. If passed in its present form, the wide-ranging legislation calls for the death penalty for gays and lesbians who engage in sex and are HIV positive, have committed the offense of homosexuality more than once, have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a sexual encounter or one partner has a disability. For other, less “aggravated” offenses, they face life in prison.
Jason Jones interviews Scott Lively on The Daily Show
July 28, 2010 in Gay Reichs
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COMMENTARY By Jody May-Chang ©2010 Bryan Fischer is well-known in Idaho. To some he is a hero of “family values,” but to many he is a living, breathing example of what is wrong with America. Fischer is the pitchman for contempt and the poster boy for intolerance. The man’s obsession with and hatred of homosexuals is well documented, but recently he has been gaining national attention. Fischer’s visceral scorn for gays was rarely, if ever, challenged by the Idaho news media that ran to him for a quote as if he was the anointed representative of all that is Christian in Idaho. He was essentially considered a “balanced” voice to oppose gays in Idaho. Fischer is now climbing into the national spotlight to brand homosexuals and others who don’t fit into his narrow view of the world as threats that should be locked up or perhaps even executed. This past year, he was hoisted into the national spotlight when he was included in MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann’s Worst Person segment for his xenophobic rant that called on banning Muslims from the serving in the U.S. military following the Fort Hood tragedy. More recently Fischer has been calling for the national criminalization of homosexuality, comparing gays to everything from IV drug users to murderers. This fact was brought out by Fox News’s Alan Colmes who called out Bryan Fischer on is daily radio show. Colmes did what no reporter or editor in Idaho had the common sense, guts, or journalistic integrity to do when it came to Bryan Fischer â€“ Colmes held him accountable for his words and pressed him with hard questions! Continue reading
By Jody May-Chang ©2009 During Bryan Fischer’s self-righteous reign of terror in Idaho, he literally made a career out of issuing outrageously pious and ungodly statements aimed at dehumanizing and vilifying lesbian, gay and transgender people. He managed to do so with such skill that his propaganda was rarely, if at all, questioned by reporters covering him.
One of his most abhorrent deeds has been Fischer’s shameless promotion and support for Scott Lively, in his May 14, 2008 post “The truth about homosexuality and the Nazi Party” he abundantly quotes and summarizes Lively’s anti-gay Nazi propaganda book “The Pink Swastika”. Lively’s book, and Fischer by extension, among other things, blame homosexuals for starting the Nazi party. Fischer Writes:
Last year, Fischer wrote these things to promote and encourage attendance for the “Shake the Nation” religious hate fest held here in Idaho. Why is it necessary to revisit this? Well, for two very important reasons. First of all, Bryan Fischer’s blossoming national fame has its roots in here thanks to the Idaho media which gave him free reign to make outrageous statements while never holding him accountable. The Idaho media gave Fischer ink and face-time on camera without so much as a single hard question. The Idaho media’s kid glove treatment of Fischer has allowed him to attain his long sought after status as a national celebrity. His most recent claim to fame is his anti-Muslim racism, which is a huge embarrassment to fair minded Idahoans. The second, and most troubling reason that revisiting this relevant, is because of Bryan Fischer’s connection and support of Scott Lively who now is an evangelical celebrity who promotes the notion that you can “pray the gay away” Fischer’s cronies are “credited to have inspired” Bill No. 18, The Anti-Homosexual Bill of 2009 in Uganda. This bill, which is very likely to become law, will impose harsh sentences upon those who are gay, suspected of being gay or offer protection to those who support gay people. These so-called gay offenses include:
- “In fact, the Nazi Party began in a gay bar in Munich.”
- “Most of Hitler’s closets aids were homosexuals or sexual deviants.”
- “Heinrich Himmler, second in powered only to Hitler, was publicly opposed to homosexuality but may have been a closet homosexual himself, Himmler was deeply immersed in the occult.”
- “May of the guards and administrators responsible for concentration camp horrors were themselves homosexuals.”
- “The ‘Butch’ homosexual guards and capos were capable of unrestrained cruelty, sadism and savagery. A guard at Auschwitz, for instance, strangled crushed and gnawed to death as many as 100 boys and young men a day while raping them at his leisure.”
- “Some parts of the American Nazi movement are explicitly homosexual.”
- “What’s the point here?” Fischer asks, “Simply that there is another side to the constant refrain from homosexual activists who frequently mention the Nazi persecution of homosexuals and in doing so imply Christian who opposed the normalization of homosexuality Are in effect crypto-Nazis.”
Last spring, Scott Lively, who is now the president of “Defend the Family,” went to Uganda with Don Schmierer of “Exodus International” and Caleb Lee Brundidge of “The International Healing Foundation” to conduct an anti-homosexual seminar. Lively is quoted by LifeSiteNews.com saying that his trip to Uganda was “with the purpose of getting them to liberalize the law making it more oriented toward therapy” and says the current bill “went too far.” Lively is a fraud who is now trying to distance himself from his own propaganda, but what is very clear here is that he is deeply rooted in a longtime campaign of contempt against homosexuals. Lively, like Fischer, is a bold-faced liar and a propagandist. He admitted going to Uganda to testify in favor of this immoral legislation. In his own words, his reason was because of, “a lot of external interference from European and American gay activists attempting to do in Uganda what they’ve done around the world “homosexualize that society,” and “the many male homosexuals coming into the country and abusing boys who are on the streets.” Fischer shamelessly promoted Scott Lively by encouraging the public to listen to this man’s hate speech. At the time Lively came to Idaho Fischer said that his merchant of hate will, “address some of the lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany and its disastrous embrace of homosexuality.” Fischer posted a “Shake the Nation” event on his website to promote the conference which he later deleted, but not before I had a chance to PDF that post. You will note that “Shake the Nation” was organized by Fisher’s good friend Tom Munds who appears to have thought twice about stepping into Fischer odorous shoes. A good friend once told me, “Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you what you are.” Bryan Fischer aligns himself with hate mongers then tries to rewrite history by deleting it from is his website. The Idaho news media had an opportunity to shed some light on Bryan Fischer, but instead of defending the public’s right to know about this miserable fraud, they ran to him as if he was the official spokesman of the Christian community. The Idaho news media shares some responsibility in failing to examine Fischer’s record and giving him the keys to the newsroom to spread his propaganda. Now the world is hearing about Scott Lively and the Ugandan Bill No. 18 that calls for throwing gays in prison and executing them. The rightwing echo chamber screams about so-called “death panels” well, this is what they really look like thanks to the unchallenged rants of a con-men like Bryan Fischer and his cronies. The Rachel Maddow Show – Uganda Be Kidding Me – December 2, 2009
- Commits the offense of Homosexuality, Life in prison
- Aggravated Homosexuality, Death
- Attempting to commit Homosexuality, 7 years in prison
- Attempt to commit Aggravated Homosexuality, Life in prison
- A person who funds or sponsors homosexuality, min 5 – max 7 years in prison
- Know someone is gay and do not report them within 24 hours, 3 years in prison
- Extradite citizens back to Uganda from anywhere in the world for prosecution if suspected of committing any of the above crimes.
Jody May-ChangÂ© May 18, 2008 PrideDEPOT.com One of the biggest recruiters of hate spoke at the so-called “Shake the Nation” conference here is Boise this weekend was Scott Lively, author of “The Pink Swastika,” an evil tool that blames homosexuals for the Holocaust. Lively is a fraud who masks his hate speech as a spiritual message. His brand of faith-based bigotry is specifically crafted to generate fear about gay people, the kind of fear that escalates into violence. Bryan Fischer is the local mouth piece for the right-wing agenda, which seems increasingly obsessed with homosexuals. While in his role as executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, Fischer uses the non-profit IVA website to promote Lively’s twisted political propaganda. “The Pink Swastika” has little to do with religion and promoting Christian values, but everything to do with hiding behind non-profit status while promoting political propaganda. Lively sows the seeds of hatred masked as God’s message by lying about LGBT people. Last summer, in a speech Lively (left) gave in Novosibirsk, Russia, he spews his religious extremist garbage saying, “I have been working with the Russian community in Sacramento; I want to tell you that this is an example that will show you how bad things are in the United States. Because we have come to a place in the United Sates where the homosexuals have achieved very high power and that they have begun to punish, they have begun to cause the political powers to punish anyone who says that homosexuality is wrong,” says Lively. Continue reading