There is a new role for some American Evangelicals in Africa!1
... 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."
In the New York Times article, click on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill Legislation link. The second and third paragraph read:
This Bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family. 2
This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.
Let's take a look at 3.0 (in the bill):
(b) prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices in Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family (...) (e) prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions, protocols, agreements and declarations which are contrary or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act; (d) prohibit the licensing of organizations which promote homosexuality.
The main promoter of the document, David Bahati, member of the Ugandan parliament, doesn't feel he has to justify to the Ugandan people the platitude expressed in section (b). Why should he, when the THE FAMILY already rubber-stamped it? Then, section (e) has the weightiness of a Fascist proclamation. Uganda's Minister for Ethics and Integrity3 (yes, there is such a ministry in this humble African state) doesn't have to abide by any previous international protocols and laws regarding sexual discrimination and persecution, much less ideas of sexual understanding and tolerance. The whole absurdity paves the way for what's coming in part II article 3, where homosexuality is purposefully mixed up with pedophilia to make it look criminal -as if there were no heterosexual pedophiles.
Except the penalties, the spirit of the bill converges with the tone of Exodus International,4 whose banner reads: We believe that God wants to heal homosexuals through His church. Our goal is to equip you for that task!
Let's not even be as naive as to ask sappy questions such as why would God not accept homosexuals as they are. The decisive question is political: Why do Ugandan politicians care so much for what American Evangelists have to say on -secular issues such as- peoples' sexual orientation? Why is the American Evangelical worldview so powerful as to influence legislation in Uganda?
$$$MONEY$$$5 Ugandan anti-gay legislation is buttressed with American Evangelical funds!
Why bother with a message of love and redemption when American Evangelicals can bring forth a "more effective treatment" for Ugandans homosexuals?
1The American "advisers" of the bill are: Scott Lively, a missionary who has written anti-homosexual books; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads "healing seminars," and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is "mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality." 2 In what sense is homosexuality a danger to the structure of the Ugandan family? 1- People that divorce or choose not to marry in Uganda cannot be gay by definition (paradoxically, many gays would like to be married). Infection? 2- Heterosexual marriage is not affected by being gay simply because a homosexual (by choice) would not marry a heterosexual person. 3Mr. James Nsaba Buturo already invoked the cultural relativist argument: "What we are doing is what the country wants. I see a clash of cultures here and the need for those who are not us to accept our culture." 4Exodus has been around since 1976, but its profile has risen noticeably in the past few years. Typically, articles in the Christian right press about AIDS, about politically active gays and lesbians or anything connected with the "homosexual agenda," are accompanied by referrals to Exodus and its mail-order "Christian General Store" of anti-gay books and tapes. Among the most widely circulated is Joe Dallas' Desires in Conflict: Answering the Struggle for Sexual Identity. The book is written for Christians struggling to reverse (or repress?) their homosexual tendencies. "Former" homosexuals affiliated with Exodus make frequent appearances on Christian TV and radio programs, where their testimonies reinforce the idea -for mostly straight audiences- that homosexuality is demonically inspired (Taken from The Humanist, Vol. 54, July-August 1994 by Sarah Diamond). Click on the second tab from the left "Who We Are" and scroll down to "Mission & Doctrinal Statement." The psychobabble and pseudo-facts of Exodus International would be laughable, were it not that its homophobic ideas have become actual policy in Uganda! 5During the Bush administration, American officials praised Uganda's family-values policies and steered millions of dollars into abstinence programs.