SMUG decries anti-gay “hate campaign” in statement to Parliament

Efforts to mobilize Ugandans to hunt down and imprison Ugandan gays and lesbians received worldwide attention during a three-day Family Life Network conference held March 3-5 in Kampala. But the media haven’t caught up with the rest of the story: challenges against this “hate campaign” by the local group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).

The conservative Family Life Network met with Ugandan members of Parliament to enlist them in an anti-gay witch hunt. In response, during the week of March 15, SMUG delivered a letter to Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, alerting him to the falsehoods generated by conference speakers from the United States and the role played by right wing U.S. evangelicals attempting to whip up a fight.

The Family Life Network, with American visitors Dr. Scot Lively and Don Schmierer, ignored scientific studies about homosexuality, attempted to link gays and lesbians to child sexual abuse and the promotion of pornography, and asserted that gays and lesbians are “out to destroy the country,” reported SMUG in its letter to Parliament.

Sources told Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and SMUG that Family Life Network Director Stephen Langa, along with Dr. Scot Lively, met with members of Parliament to strategize over how to use the government’s resources to hunt down and punish gays and lesbians. The sources attended a meeting March 15 in which Langa reported on the Family Life Network’s strategy, which includes pushing the government to create a special police division to persecute gays, and going door to door to enlist support for a campaign to purge Uganda of homosexuals.

SMUG charges that the Family Life Network borrows heavily from the anti-gay ideology of right wing U.S. evangelicals. SMUG’s complete letter, signed by its chair Frank Mugisha, along with information about the U.S. Christian Right’s international campaigns, can be found on PRA’s website.

For more information about the March 3-5 conference, visit Box Turtle Bulletin, the right wing Christian Post, and the anonymous Gay Uganda blog.

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