The bill would impose the death penalty on some offenses, maintain life imprisonment for other offenses, and make it a crime to fail to inform the authorities if you know a homosexual. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but imprisonment is rarely enforced. If this become law, one may expect a change in policing policy.
Most recently, in March of this year, three Americans were recruited by the Uganda-based Family Life Network to speak at workshops on ways to change people from gay to straight. Two of the Americans, Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively, spoke in favor of keeping homosexuality illegal but giving those convicted an option of therapy to cure them of their gayness. Both Brundidge and Lively spoke to the Ugandan parliament regarding their views and reinforced the idea that homosexuality is learned and curable. Their ideas took hold. The proposed bill bases the need for stronger regulation on the concept that "same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic."
The other American who spoke in Kampala, Don Schmierer, is a board member with Exodus International, the leading Christian ministry which helps same-sex attracted people affirm traditional Christian doctrine regarding homosexual behavior. However, just yesterday, Exodus International denounced the legislation as "horrible legislation" and "hateful public policy." Critics of Exodus complain that the organization should have denounced the original trip to Uganda. At least Exodus has spoken out against the Ugandan proposal; Brundidge's International Healing Foundation and Lively's Defend the Family International defended the Ugandan mission and have been mute regarding the proposed law.
Even Rick Warren had a hand in all of this:
Another American Influence in Uganda has been the American war on AIDS. Specifically, Rick Warren's Saddleback church has invested heavily in Uganda and declared it a "Purpose Driven Nation." A major figure in Uganda endorsed by Saddleback is Martin Ssempa. Ssempa has been quoted as being opposed to homosexuality. He has been accused of publishing the names of suspected homosexuals in local newspapers, sending homosexuals into hiding. Mr. Ssempa has three email addresses on the Internet and I tried them all three times in order to ask his view of the proposed legislation. However, he has not replied.
So, there you go. American money and initiative played a role in the creation of this proposed new draconian law.
And the reaction of Christian bishops of all kinds to this outrage?
La Tedescha (the Italian name for the current Pope) creating a home for all those Anglo Catholic misogynist closet sisters in Rome dominates the news, but this hardly appears at all.