The extent to which US evangelical Christians are helping push the ‘Kill The Gays Bill’ in Uganda has been revealed in a series of tweets between them and anti-gay activists in the African country.
Matt Barber, attorney for Liberty Counsel, a US right wing Christian law firm, listed as an anti-gay group, has been praising anti-gay Ugandan evangelical pastor, Martin Ssempa on Twitter.
Ssempa tweeted earlier this week: ‘Homos are paid to spread the vice by hiding it under human rights gibberish! They are $$ by rich European sodomy groups!’
Barber retweeted Ssempa’s anti-gay slur and praised him in a follow-up tweet, saying: ‘Here’s a man not afraid of the international homofascist juggernaut.’
The two continued to promote each other’s anti-gay tweets throughout the week.
Liberty Counsel consistently spreads anti gay hate throughout the US, but their rhetoric (talking about a international ‘homosexual’ lobby investing money in recruiting ‘members’, calling it fascist, and so on) and methodology (pamphlets, speeches, use of social media) is now being used in Uganda.
But the link between Ssempa and the US evangelical anti-gay movement goes far deeper, say members of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) rights, it amount to exporting anti-gay hate campaigns and adapting them in the African country.
Ssempa and the US evangelical pastor Scott Lively have also been implicated in working closely together with Ugandan Member of Parliament (MP) David Bahati in drafting and pushing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill (AHB) currently under consideration by Uganda’s parliament.
The bill has called for gays, under certain conditions, to face the death penalty.
AHB’s language echoes the false and hateful allegation by Lively and Liberty Counsel that a ‘sodomy’ and ‘homosexualists’ groups from the West ‘promote’ ‘perversion’ in Uganda, naming LGBT activists as ‘militant homofascisits’.
Lively has gone even further to suggest that gays are to be blamed for the holocaust and compared LGBT rights advocates to the Nazis, and fascists.
There are strong links between Lively and other US pastors, such as Rick Warren, who have a close relationship with the First Lady and member of Parliament, Janet Kataha Museveni, as well as the President himself, that have made similar allegations.
The idea that homosexuality is ‘imposed’ on Uganda by the West is increasingly echoed in speeches by some of Uganda’s leaders.