Exporting U.S. hate

American evangelicals played a key role in the creation of anti-gay measures in Uganda that remain viable — and very dangerous

Phyllis Guest
Taking Notes

What? Africa does not have enough problems already with the struggles with civil wars, food shortages, severe droughts and the hangovers of apartheid?

Apparently some Americans — self-styled guardians of faith and family — think those problems are insufficient. Apparently they think it is necessary to add fuel to the flames of Africa’s anti-gay movement.

Here’s a part of what has happened and continues to happen in Uganda, a southwestern African nation whose 31 million citizens are among the poorest on the continent. (Uganda has natural resources aplenty, including copper and cobalt, crude oil and natural gas, however. So poverty does not afflict the political elite.)

In March 2009, Stephen Langa, an evangelical Christian, organized a conference in Kampala, Uganda, entitled “Exposing the Truth about Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda.” Langa and his cohorts sought to concentrate the minds of that political elite on the efforts of the LGBT community to “recruit and/or lure children” into the homosexual lifestyle.

Here’s where the U.S. comes in: Three American evangelicals — Scott Lively and Don Schmierer, who are white, and Caleb Lee Brundidge, who is black — were featured in speeches and workshops.

Let’s begin with Lively, who organized an entity called Abiding Truth Ministries and has long been an anti-gay activist. He has sought to have homosexuality itself, all expressions and any public advocacy thereof, declared felonies.

He is best known in anti-gay circles for co-authoring The Pink Swastika, a book that blames homosexuals for the worst atrocities of the Nazis. Perhaps it is redundant to note that he also denies the Holocaust.

According to Boston.com, Lively moved from Temecula, Calif., to Springfield, Mass., in 2008, determined to “re-Christianize Springfield.” His principal vehicles are the Redemption Gate Mission Society and the Holy Grounds Coffee House.

Lively still opposes LGBTs, of course, but he now claims to be caught up in serving and saving the poorest people in Western Massachusetts. He has been interviewed several times since the Kampala conference, and he has repeatedly said that he did not push for the death penalty, just for “reparative therapy” to make everyone straight.

Schmierer has also been a homo hater for a long time. His principal identification is with Exodus International, which describes itself as an ex-gay ministry. One of his several books is An Ounce of Prevention, which purports to teach parents how to “pick out” a gay or potentially gay child, and turn that child toward the straight and narrow.

More alarming — because it uses newer media and because it came out just months ago  — is an iPhone application designed to straighten its users. “Truth Wins Out” objected, collected more than 150,000 signatures on a petition claiming the app contained objectionable material, and submitted the petition to Apple. Apple promptly removed the app from the iTunes store.

No word whether Schmierer himself, who’s an old, white-haired guy, has used the app himself.

Brundidge is a whole ’nother thing. Young, tattooed and dreadlocked, he claims to have overcome his same-sex attraction through the National Association for the Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). That’s a New Jersey-based organization run by a man named Richard Cohen.

You can see Brundidge and Cohen performing some of NARTH’s “ministry and healing” exercises on Internet video clips, which are laugh-out-loud funny.

In any event, Brundidge graduated to heterosexuality or a facsimile thereof and began giving Tender Loving Care seminars in Maryland. In 2006, he became a “Sexual Reorientation Coach” (who knows how), and in 2007 he moved to Phoenix, Ariz., for the “opportunities” presented by Extreme Prophetic Ministries.

He counsels online and via telephone and speaks at churches. Believers have called upon him to raise the dead, but to date the dead have not responded.

So in March 2009, these three Americans went over and presented their anti-gay message, and within a month, Ugandan Member of Parliament David Bahati submitted a bill calling for the death penalty for many same-sex acts, not just by males but by all LGBTs, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

International donor nations objected to the death penalty, and since Uganda’s elite wanted to keep the money coming, they saw to it that the act was softened to demand only life without the possibility of parole.

Then this year on Jan. 10,  the UK’s Guardian newspaper published an article entitled “We are free to be gay in Uganda — for the moment.” Exactly two weeks later, Uganda’s best-known gay activist, David Kato, was beaten to death with a hammer.

“David’s death is the result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009,” said his friend, Val Kalende.

Uganda’s Minister of Ethics & Integrity (yea, right!) James Nsaba Buturo has now told his nation’s gays to “forget about human rights.” The anti-gay bill remains very much alive.

What? We couldn’t send food or footwear, books or bed nets? We had to send hatred?

Must be that America has an oversupply of hatred against our community.

Phyllis Guest is a longtime activist on political and LGBT issues and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 31, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

WATCH: Why not to give to the Salvation Army

Just a quick annual reminder as many of you head out to do your holiday shopping: If you care about LGBT equality, you probably shouldn’t give money to the Salvation Army’s annoying bell-ringers. The above video, which explain why, was brought to our attention by Bil Browning at The Bilerico Project, who writes the following:

While many think of the group as just another charity, in truth the group is a religious sect that is notoriously anti-gay; you shouldn’t give to the Salvation Army this holiday season if you support gay rights.

When a former boyfriend and I were homeless, the Salvation Army refused to help us unless we broke up and left the “sinful homosexual lifestyle” behind. We slept on the street and they didn’t help when we declined to break up at their insistence. I’ve seen the discrimination the Salvation Army preaches first hand.

And below is a voucher from the days before YouTube when gay groups protested the Salvation Army by putting “gay dollars” in the kettles. Feel free to print it out if you’d like to revive those protests.



—  John Wright

SA Catholic leaders shut down gay Mass

Catholic leaders in San Antonio recently shut down a Mass offered to gays and lesbians for the last 15 years, citing a conflict with church teaching, according to The San Antonio Express-News:

Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú, the interim head of the archdiocese, told church officials the Mass conflicted with Catholic teaching because it was offered for the gay Catholic advocacy group, Dignity San Antonio. Part of the national organization, DignityUSA, it seeks the acceptance of alternative lifestyles in the Catholic Church.

“The Mass … continues to send conflicting messages about the Church’s official teaching concerning the proper celebration of the Eucharist and living an active homosexual lifestyle,” Cantú wrote in an Oct. 13 letter to the St. Ann pastor, Father John Restrepo.

Dignity officials say they will continue the mass at another location. They also say they’ll appeal the decision to the new head of the archdiocese who will take over next month.

—  John Wright

‘Christian’ group plans to attend Fort Worth council meeting tonight to protest city’s ‘homosexual/transgender agenda’

Earlier today, I got an e-mail from Pastor Curtis Smith with Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Arlington, saying that a group calling itself “Believers Stand United” had been circulating an e-mail urging all the God-fearing Christians in the Metroplex to head over to Cowtown tonight for the Fort Worth City Council meeting to speak out against an impending “major move by the city to promote and implement a homosexual/transgender agenda in the city.”

The e-mail talked about the 20 recommendations made by the City Manager’s Diversity Task Force in the wake of the Rainbow Lounge raid last June, and warned that the city manager “has started implementation of these without public discussion.”

(Just for the record, most of the items on the list required no action by the City Council. The only one that did that has been implemented was the amendment of the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to include protections for transgender people, and that happened after a marathon council session last year during which PLENTY of people had the chance to speak against it.)

The-email said: “All of these recommendations would be funded by your dollars as a taxpayer in Fort Worth and would give this group of citizens’ special status and privileges.” Hmm. We haven’t heard that “special privileges” argument before, have we?

The e-mail continued:

“Several churches and ministries are planning to attend the Fort Worth City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 13. The purpose of this meeting is two fold. First, to have the Christian community’s voice heard with regards to the cities plans to promote the homosexual lifestyle with taxpayer dollars. Second, to show support for our Police Department and to those officers who serve the city.

“We would like your involvement and participation in this meeting. Invite and bring as many people as you can to the city council meeting. Several pastors and ministers form the community as well from our ministry will be addressing the city council. The city council meeting starts at 7pm, but I would encourage you to get there early to ensure a seat. Click Here for directions to City Hall.

“There is a move in this country to redefine marriage. We as believers need to stand up in love and have our voices heard on this issue. Numbers matter; even if you do not live in Fort Worth your presence at this meeting will have a profound affect. Again, the meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July13 at 7pm in City Hall – 1000 Throckmorton St, Fort Worth 76102. Thank you for taking action. God loves everyone, and so do we.”

(Don’t you just love that last part: “God loves everyone, and so do we”? Oh yeah, these folks are just oozing love for the homosexuals and transgenders, aren’t they?)

Well, Pastor Smith was encouraging the LGBT community and our supporters to turn out for the meeting, too, to try and counteract all that love. And the folks over at Fairness Fort Worth — who said the group planning to attend the meeting are an offshoot of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries, led by Kenneth’s son John — are also stepping up to the plate to make sure the anti-gay agenda doesn’t get a free pass.

Here’s the statement from Fairness Fort Worth:

“To our GLBT Community and Supporters,

“Over the last 48 hours you may have heard that an off-shoot of Kenneth Copeland Ministries plans to attend tonight’s Fort Worth City Council meeting to protest issues important to us. Many have asked if we should create a large turnout as we did this time last year. Fairness Fort Worth recommends that we save that for a more productive day.

“Here’s why. Citizen presentations occur at the tail-end of the meeting. While last year the mayor moved these up due to an urgent issue — this time around there isn’t anything so pressing. In fact, this promises to be one of the longest Council meetings of the year. You’re certainly welcome to attend, but know this meeting may easily go until 1 a.m. Nothing on the agenda tonight specifically addresses GLBT issues. However, we have contingency plans in place to address adversarial remarks should it be necessary on any agenda item.

“Fairness Fort Worth continues to work through and be a significant stakeholder in our city process. Council members have come to respect our participation. This evening they will see the faces of our GLBT and supportive straight leadership in the gallery reinforcing the amazing initiatives they have taken over the last year.

“Tonight, watch the news; tomorrow, check your paper. Have water-cooler discussions with your colleagues and heart-to-heart conversations with your family and friends. Others may manufacture problems. We’re creating solutions.”

I also talked to Jason Lamers in Mayor Mike Moncrief’s office. He told me that there was nothing on the agenda specifically related to the LGBT community, and that he had not heard anything about the “Believers Stand United” group coming to the council meeting tonight. And, like Fairness Fort Worth, he warned that the meeting is likely to last late into the evening — at least till midnight — and that the public comment part of the meeting won’t happen until the end. He also pointed out that you can watch the council meeting live online at the Fort Worth city website.

So there you have it. The so-called Christians are planning to take their hate to the Fort Worth City Council again tonight. Fairness Fort Worth has pledged to have people there ready to answer the hatefulness if and when the need arises. But it couldn’t hurt to have a few more friendly LGBT faces in the crowd to back them up.

Watch for coverage of the meeting here on the blog tomorrow and in Friday’s Dallas Voice.

—  admin

Right-wing immigration group is gay-baiting Sen. Lindsey Graham

ALIPACAmericans for Legal Immigration is gay-baiting Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-SC) because of his support for immigration reform. Graham is the senator best known for apologizing to Justice Samuel Alito’s wife for the tough questioning of her husband during his judicial committe hearings and calling Justice Sonia Sotomayer “nasty,” “a terror” and “a bit of a bull” at hers.

On their website ALIPAC, they wrote:

The national border security organization known as Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) is officially calling for US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to make his homosexual lifestyle public knowledge in the interest of political integrity and national security.

William Gheen, president of the group, spoke to a Tea Party rally on Saturday, April 17. He said:

US Senator Lindsey Graham is gay and while many people in South Carolina and Washington DC know that, the general public and Graham’s constituents do not. I personally do not care about Graham’s private life, but in this situation his desire to keep this a secret may explain why he is doing a lot of political dirty work for others who have the power to reveal his secrets. Senator Graham needs to come out of the closet inside that log cabin so the public can rest assured he is not being manipulated with his secret.

Really? You don’t care about his “private sexual life?” But proving he’s gay people explains why he supports reforming the broken immigration laws? Because if he’s gay, he’s automatically in favor of illegal immigration? And just what is a “closet inside that log cabin?” A snotty reference to LGBT Republicans or a skewed view of Abe Lincoln’s luxurious suburban upbringing in a mini-mansion made of logs? Making deals to hide being gay? That’s so 1970s.

On the topic of immigration reform, about the only thing that the LGBT community might agree on is that current laws aren’t working. The solution is something that the LGBT community is as divided on as every other group in the country.

One comment by Gheen we can certainly agree with, however.

“Barney Frank has more integrity and bravery than Senator Lindsey Graham right now,” Gheen said, although I’m sure he didn’t mean it as a compliment to Frank.

—  David Taffet