American Architects of Anti-Gay Uganda

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American Architects of Anti-Gay Uganda

Scott Lively is an American evangelical, best known in Oregon for heading up the Oregon Citizens Alliance, which pushed for several anti-gay laws in the state, before he moved on to California and Defend the Family, a group that encourages the rehabilitation of LGBT folk into heterosexuals. This is before, however, he took up his cause in Uganda last March, convincing a number of political leaders to pursue, so he says, forced rehabilitation — a measure that manifested in the world’s harshest anti-LGBT laws requiring life sentences in prison for those convicted of engaging in gay sex, and the pursuit of the death penalty for a “serial offender”, someone who is HIV-positive or discovered having sex with a person under the age of 18.
Though Lively said in an email to the Guardian newspaper in Great Britain that his purpose in addressing members of the Uganda parliament this Spring was to “urge them to emphasise therapy, not punishment in their anti-homosexuality law,” he failed to acknowledge that in Uganda, homosexuality is already a crime. What he has admitted, however, is that Uganda provides fertile ground for his ideals: “Uganda is a Christian country; America is not a Christian country anymore.”
The talk, the man and the situation that sent Ugandans into a “fever pitch, with backers of the legislation drumming up support by holding mass rallies and marches condemning homosexuality,” according to journalist and filmmaker, Mariana Van Zeller, will appear tonight on “Missionaries of Hate” a documentary shot for Al Gore’s “Current TV” by Van Zeller and her partner Darren Foster. This spring, Van Zeller and Foster flew to Uganda to interview all the players in the law, which raised the ire of countries across the world, and returned with some incredible footage of the “fever-pitch” campaign to further punish LGBT Ugandans, featuring the legislation’s backers’ mass rallies and marches that condemn homosexuality.
“Our cameras were rolling as Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa brought a young woman to a press conference to testify about how she had been allegedly recruited to be a lesbian,” Van Zeller recently wrote about the film in a column for the Huffington Post. “American being used to seduce our children into homosexuality,’ Ssempa said in the film. “This bill is in response and desire to protect our children.” She added that they also filmed Ssempa showing hardcore gay porn in church in order to demonstrate the “sickness” of homosexuality.
But “Missionaries of Hate” also features the crusaders of Uganda, who fight endlessly for the legitimacy of LGBT people there and who desperately need international aid. From a March 2009 session in which three American Evangelicals, including Lively, depicted LGBT people as predatory, these people have been standing up to local politicians and religious leaders to defend themselves, even after being beaten, imprisoned and blackmailed for being gay.
The legislation has reached a standstill in the Ugandan parliament, and few believe it will pass in its current incarnation. However, the animosity toward LGBT people as a result has made Uganda one of the most antagonistic environments in the world for them. In the tradition of American agitators, however, they remain undeterred in their fight.

Missionaries of Hate airs as the season debut of Current TV’s “Vanguard” tonight at 10 and 11 pm EDT. Check your local listings for the channel.


Comments [4]

CJ's picture

No logic involved

These types of issues escape a logical mind; there is no real way to approach it. Curative rape...what is that exactly?? I know what it sounds like- but cannot wrap my mind around the concept! I have identified as lesbian all my life- it has been a road to hoe- but this kind of crap really gets my hostility up. I have been true to my heart and have endured so much, for so long, that I have found myself feeling more and more distain for males- young males in particular. I am not of the attitude that if you ignore it- it will go away. It never does! And I don't ascribe to the idea that if you vote and do all the right things- it will go away. It just depends on the country and culture you hale from- and how tolerant they are. How do I stay neutral and unaffected? I feel like I have to cower...and I won't do that! How do you keep your perspective- without losing your humanity? 

Conlite's picture

I know a couple of pastors

I know a couple of pastors who travel to Kenya and Uganda regularly.  They have expressed great concern about the effect of ministers from the west who treat preaching in Africa like a drive-by shooting or a quick ego boost, then leave the locals to pick up the pieces.

It especially breaks my heart to think that members of the gay community in these countries often don't have the resources to move or leave if they are targeted.  I think it is great that documentaries such as this are being made, but I can hardly stand to watch them.  It is watching the mentality behind the Spanish inquisition come to power again here in the 21st century.

Tex's picture

Earth -

is hell....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Grace Moon's picture


can I say this is pretty effing horrifying...

that hate can be 'drummed up' when there was NONE.

Just watched part 1 on current - if anyone is having probs with our embed code above

tweet tweet @gracemoon