With the continued support of Exodus International for his recent pro-vigilantism conference, Uganda ex-gay activist Stephen Langa on March 15 followed through on threats to renew a campaign of antigay vigilantism across the African nation, according to Box Turtle Bulletin.
Then, on March 19, U.S. writer Richard Rosendall noted that Uganda’s antigay vigilante campaigns may be subsidized by U.S. taxpayers through evangelical groups’ misuse of former President Bush’s abstinence-only AIDS funding in Africa.
And on March 22, Langa put self-proclaimed child molester and “ex-gay” George Oundo on the soapbox before Ugandan pro-government (antigay) media, to declare that all gay Ugandans are “targeting mostly children ‘because they are easy to initiate and they like easy things.’ ” Oundo projected his own sickness onto gay people, and accused Ugandan anti-violence and pro-equality groups of enabling his alleged past acts of child molestation. Oundo, who was arrested and possibly tortured by the Ugandan government in 2008, now works for antigay pastor Martin Ssempa, who has coordinated past Ugandan vigilante campaigns that were monitored by Human Rights Watch:
Campaigns with access to millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that were intended for AIDS prevention, but which increased the spread of AIDS through vigilantism, prejudice, miseducation, and denial of access to condoms.
The new campaign by Langa, aided without apology by Exodus, may enjoy ongoing support from U.S. taxpayers unless action is taken to stop the funding.
Extensive previous coverage by Truth Wins Out. Details after the jump.
As TWO, Box Turtle Bulletin, and Ex-Gay Watch have previously reported, Exodus International President Alan Chambers and board member Don Schmierer were warned in late February of Langa’s plan to use a March 5-7 conference to launch his vigilante initiative. Chambers and Schmierer proceeded with participation in the conference; Schmierer told Ugandans that homosexuality is due to bad parenting and molestation, and silently affirmed conference leader Langa’s declarations that:
- Uganda’s sentence of life imprisonment for homosexuality is too lenient
- homosexuality is caused by an epidemic of homosexuals who recruit youths through molestation in schools
Schmierer also silently affirmed co-speaker Caleb Lee Brundidge, who advocates “Christian” witchcraft and works for Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. Cohen teaches audiences to blame parents, and he became infamous two years ago for promoting ex-gay, same-sex, patient-doctor, full-body cuddling on CNN.
And Schmierer again silently affirmed co-speaker Scott Lively’s declarations that homosexuality, not Naziism, was responsible for the Holocaust — and furthermore that homosexuality, not Hutu Power, was somehow responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide. (Addendum: Watch video of Langa promoting Lively’s Holocaust revisionism.)
At no point during the conference did Schmierer express opposition to Uganda’s draconian laws or to the growing climate of vigilantism. Afterward, Chambers waited until March 13 to claim, unofficially and very quietly, that Exodus does not support Uganda’s laws — but he declined to tell that to either U.S. or Ugandan news media. Furthermore, Chambers expressed no opposition to Langa’s plans for vigilantism, nor to the conference co-speakers’ support for ex-gay witchcraft, parent-bashing, and Holocaust revisionism.
On March 15, Langa followed through with the launch of a vigilante campaign that had been announced at the conference. According to an eyewitness to Langa’s announcement, Langa:
- falsely stated that homosexuality is not about sexual attraction, it is caused by bad parenting, molestation, bribes, or rebellion
- denied the existence of sexual orientation — a predisposition in one’s sexual attraction
- quoted the discredited ex-counselor and PFOX leader Richard Cohen, who is an advocate of same-sex patient-doctor cuddling and parent-bashing, as the source of Langa’s (false) claim that homosexual attraction is a learned behavior that can be unlearned
- parroted Scott Lively’s revisionist claim that the political and religious movement for gay equality was a sexually transmitted disease, delivered via sodomy between three Americans in the 1920s who somehow transferred that disease of homosexual lust for freedom and privacy to Nazi Germans in the 1930s
- repeatedly declared that gay Ugandans “are after your children” and “They don’t care about you adults they want your sons and your daughters.”
The purpose of Langa’s defamations, and his March 23 hiring of a child molester as speaker, was to incite mass fear, anger, and retribution in Ugandans who have already been subjected to similar myths in media campaigns steered by Uganda’s despotic government. U.S. ex-gay involvement in Langa’s vigilante campaign persists. According to the eyewitness:
…During the reactions [to Langa’s March 15 announcement] a prominent pastor also said that they have been talking with an ex gay activist who has given them a five year plan for the gay agenda in Uganda. And they have submitted this plan to the ministry concerned, that they await reactions.
That ex-gay activist is likely to be either Lively or Schmierer. According to his LinkedIn profile, Schmierer is a program officer for Fieldstead and Company, the fund-raising arm of religious-rightist financier Howard Ahmanson Jr.
For his part, Ahmanson acknowledges he is a donor to Exodus International and, over the past decade, Ahmanson has funded efforts to cause schism in the U.S. Episcopal Church, drawing antigay Anglican congregations into a rebel alliance with the Anglican Church of Uganda.
While same-sex-attracted Ugandans seek to live in peace and to be truthfully understood, U.S. ex-gay activists are waging a bold campaign to use defamation and violence to divide Ugandan families and drive gay Ugandans into the shadows, into prisons — and into the grave.
And that campaign may be receiving help from U.S. taxpayers.
According to Richard Rosendall, a gay libertarian writer:
James Kirchick of The New Republic wrote on March 10, “The problems with PEPFAR (President’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) were inherent in the 2003 legislation establishing the program.” For example, a third of PEPFAR prevention funds were reserved for pushing abstinence until marriage. Kirchick writes, “Many organizations combating HIV- whether groups that worked with prostitutes, gays, or intravenous drug users – have been either neglected or explicitly prohibited from receiving U.S. money, while evangelical Christian organizations have had little problem accessing funds. In this way, while PEPFAR distributed drugs to millions of people living with the disease, the program undermined the global fight against HIV transmission.”
Charles Francis, a disillusioned former Bush appointee to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, seeks a course correction from the new president and Congress. He wrote to me last week about the need to reverse the Bush legacy that includes alliances with violent homophobes like Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa and born-again Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. The latter’ ruling party organized a March 6 demonstration in Bujumbura in which thousands of people demanded the criminalization of homosexuality.
“Today,” Francis writes, “we see this wave growing dangerously across the continent, from Senegal, where AIDS activists are now imprisoned, to Nigeria, where lawmakers want to jail gay people merely for living together, to Uganda, where three Americans recently held a public seminar on the ‘Homosexual Agenda.’ It is time to put a ‘hold’ on PEPFAR until Congress can demand the transparency and the necessary reform for this program.”
(Emphasis is TWO’s.)