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The Family and Uganda's Anti-Gay LegislationRalph E. Stone Salem-News.com
The United States Government must investigate the abuses of human rights and to re-evaluate the continued United States support of the Musevene regime, especially in light of this proposed anti-gay legislation.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - A secretive, privately-funded group known as “The Family” or "The Fellowship," one of the most powerful, well-connected Christian fundamentalist movements in the United States, used its influence and funds through The Family’s African outreach programs to support a proposed Ugandan law that would impose the death penalty on "repeat offenders" engaging in gay sex.
The Family’s membership includes congressmen, corporate leaders, generals and foreign heads of state. The Family engages in backroom dealings effecting both domestic and foreign affairs with little or no public accountability. Their activities possibly violate the Open Government Act. Because the Family chose not to register as a lobby group, their domestic and foreign activities are purposely kept secret. At the very least, we as Americans should challenge our elective officials as to their membership in the Family, what they do for the organization, and how the organization shapes their views. See "The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power" by Jeff Sharlet for more information on The Family.
How did this draconian Ugandan law come about? In March of last year, American anti-gay activists traveled to Uganda for a conference that pledged to “wipe out” homosexuality. Seven months later, David Bahti, a Ugandan lawmaker and a member of The Family, sponsored the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.” The proposed legislation is so severe that it may indeed wipe out gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.
Uganda already punishes gay intimacy with life in prison. The “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009” would penalize anyone who “attempts to commit the offence” with up to seven years in jail. Additionally, a person charged will be forced to undergo an invasive medical examination to determine their HIV status. If the detainees are found to be HIV+, they may be executed.
The Family had already caused the jettison of one of Africa's most successful anti-AIDS programs, Museveni came under pressure from America to use abstinence instead of condoms. Representative Joseph Pitts (R. Pa), a Family member, wrote this into law, redirecting millions of dollars away from effective sex-education programs. The result was an AIDS rate in Uganda, once dropping, nearly doubled.
The Family had converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to its anti-gay brand of Christianity. The Family’s leader, Doug Coe, calls Museveni The Family’s “key man” in Africa. The Family and other anti-gay groups have long viewed Uganda as a laboratory to experiment with Christian theocracy.
Museveni was once the poster child for African democracy. But lately, under his guidance, horrific war crimes have been committed in the Great Lakes region of Uganda, and continuing human rights violations are claiming the lives of millions.
With passage of “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009,” the 20-year-old Musevene regime, supported by the United States and many European governments, would disavow many international treaties on human rights. This proposed law would allow for extradition of homosexuals living in other countries back to Uganda--violating current international norms.
It is estimated that half of Uganda’s annual budget comes through international aid. The United States Government must investigate the abuses of human rights and to re-evaluate the continued United States support of the Musevene regime, especially in light of this proposed anti-gay legislation.
Salem-News.com writer Ralph E. Stone was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is an American Veteran who served in war. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law. Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation. You can send Ralph an email at this address firstname.lastname@example.org
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