”I don’t have any special power to influence these people. They asked for my opinion, and I gave it. It’s pretty racist to suggest that the Africans have no will of their own to produce public policy to suit their own values and that three little-known and not very influential figures from America could come in and basically dominate this process. I mean that’s – it’s pretty racist…. We simply gave our opinion, and if it was true that our opinion was so weighty, then they would have backed off immediately upon hearing that all of us say that we don’t agree with what they did.”
NPR’s Michelle Martin speaking with Scott Lively, a wickedly anti-gay preacher and reported proponent of ex-gay therapy, who met with Ugandan leaders that crafted and proposed a bill in that African country which may end up imprisoning gay people for life or result in their death by hanging. Lively has been pinpointed one of three religious extremists from America who went to Uganda earlier this year and provided “evidence” to officials and religious leaders that gays can change and that homosexuality is not to be tolerated by society. Within weeks of that meeting, according to multiple sources, the current version of that horrifying bill was presented to the legislature. Though some word has surfaced that executions may be dropped from the bill, there has not been any backing off of the hatred coming from high-ranking government members, leaders of Uganda’s Anglican church, and other religious groups there. They continually pit this proposed law against the influence of “western” society. A claim that is quite odd, since Lively is an American as were the other two ex-gay proselytizers he was photographed with, and also since backers of the bill have been taking lots of US tax-payer dollars to promote President Bush‘s PEPFAR (AIDS policy). Conservative members of Congress associated with the C Street ”Family,” Evangelical religious leaders like Rick Warren, and Richard Cohen (a key source of the ex-gay nonsense presented in Uganda), have all said that they do not support the bill as it is currently written. But they have done so only after a months-long delay, and after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others hammered away at their meddling in Ugandan politics and its destruction of effective AIDS prevention policies. (NPR)
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