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U.S. Anti-Gay Leaders Holding Seminar In Uganda

By Casey Sanchez on March 6, 2009 - 10:54 am, Posted in Anti-LGBT

A bizarre trio of American anti-gay leaders arrived in the Ugandan capital of Kampala Thursday to stage a three-day seminar, “Exposing the Truth Behind Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda,” in a country where homosexuality is already a crime. They are:

• Scott Lively, co-founder of the hate group Watchmen on the Walls and author of The Pink Swastika, a pseudo-history book claiming that “militant male homosexuals” helped mastermind the holocaust.

Caleb Lee Brundidge, a “sexual reorientation coach” for the International Healing Foundation, whose signature technique, as demonstrated on CNN, involves patients “beating on chairs with tennis rackets and screaming, “Mom, Mom, why did you do this to me?” Brundidge also counsels men struggling with their sexuality to visit mortuaries with a fringe Charismatic ministry team to “practice raising the dead.”

• Don Schmierer, a board member for Exodus International, an international umbrella group covering hundreds of “ex-gay” ministries. Schmierer warns parents in his guide to preventing homosexuality to watch out for boys who show “extreme macho behavior” are “frail, deformed, deaf” or “avoid fights/physical altercations.”

According to Steven Langa, executive director of the Family Life Network, the New York-based Christian right advocacy group that organized the seminar, Lively, Brundidge and Schmierer were called to Uganda because gay activists in that county are recruiting children to homosexuality.

That justification seems farcical, considering that death threats and the fear of state-sanctioned execution have forced gay rights activists in the African country underground. For decades, homosexuality in Uganda has been a crime.

Violent anti-gay attacks are common in Uganda, where fundamentalist Christians and Muslims filled a stadium last August for a rally demanding the mass arrests of gays and lesbians after a handful of activists wearing masks to protect their identities held a press conference to demand basic civil rights.

Two months later, the country’s Ethics and Integrity Minister, James Nsaba Buturo, announced plans to step up enforcement. “If someone is a homosexual or confesses to being a gay or lesbian, then he is a criminal,” Buturo said.

The Uganda seminar is proving controversial even among supporters of “ex-gay” therapy. Warren Throckmorton, a leading proponent of sexual orientation change, wrote in a blog post that he’s distressed by the appearance of the American speakers in Uganda: “It sends the wrong message for these people to go where the agenda is not simply congruence with religious teaching but also on state intervention in private behavior.”

  • GayMassage

    Some guy wrote to the people on godhatesfags saying that someone had gotten an A on a high school essay on Ellen Degeneres and they came and protested at my roomates high school.

  • Dan Vojir

    I agree with John:

    We all need to be educated on the differences that exist in the nature of human sexuality. Ignorance is a treatable dis-ease. Homosexuality is not.

    The problem is in educating an entire country that does NOT want to be educated. I believe Uganda was just declared a “Purpose Driven Nation” by Rick Warren. He’s incredibly influential there and is considered the biggest donor of AIDS medicines, supplies, etc. As a result of his influence, all the AIDS “prevention” programs are abstinence-only programs. While he crows that he “has many friends” who are homosexual, he has yet to prove that he and his ministry have done anything for gays with HIV in this country.

    Because of Warren, Uganda will NEVER be open to any education about sexual orientation. If it were possible, I would conduct a mass exodus of gays out of Uganda while blaming people like Warren for the exodus. I would also begin a campaign to site Uganda not as a Purpose Driven nation, but an Ignorance Driven nation. Yes, it would humiliate Ugandans, but in a way, that’s the point. Mark Twain once said: “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” Point a finger at Uganda and you will see just how fast Uganda will try to “prove” its civilization and even sophistication. I.E., if it wants to prove that it is civilized, it must erase its anti-sodomy laws. The world is changing, and if Uganda wants to change with it, then that’s what it has to do.

    Please watch very closely the machinations of Rick Warren. I really don’t think he is to be trusted in any way.

  • Roy Crockett

    The question among my friends is to what extent do these
    three ‘leaders’ having any connection, if any, with the breakaway Episcopal Chirch in America.

  • John Criswell

    Simply put, “sexual preference” to a straight oriented person would refer to the type person of the opposite sex they might find appealing. To the gay or lesbian oriented person it would refer to the type person of the same sex they might find appealing.
    To a person of a bisexual orientation the term sexual preference takes on a whole other meaning. Since they are sexually attracted (in varying degrees) to persons of both sexes they can very well chose which way they want to swing.
    In a homophobic society, that usually translates into straight marriages with occasional wide-stance toe tapping
    in public restrooms, or paying for male prostitutes all the while condemning the “Gay Lifestyle” as sick or against “God’s Will”.
    Homophobic bisexuals will be the first and foremost proclaimers of the notion that gay sex is a choice made by sinners and that “God hates FAGS”.
    Who better to believe that to be gay is a choice than a bisexual who bases their belief that everyone must have been faced the same mixed feelings that they have had and make the same choices that they have had to face.
    Nobody needs treatment for their sexual orientation. We all need to be educated on the differences that exist in the nature of human sexuality. Ignorance is a treatable dis-ease. Homosexuality is not.

  • Carter

    Very salient points made about the term “orientation” vs “sexual preference”. – Interesting stuff.

    However were we to accept sexual preference; might not the term “preference” imply choice made via willful (or wanton, if you are to cast it in a negative light) behavioral modes? I had been my understanding that those who happen to be Gay have NO choice in the matter. Try as they might, they are who they are. If the implication is that through “treatment” they may have a different behavioral element we open the door to comparing the Gay population to those who are (for instance) alcoholic or compulsive gamblers.
    Thus with effective treatment & expressed desire for change, they may live lives free from the “disease concept”. This could be problematic – it opens “Pandora’s Box” to those who honestly believe that a Gay individual is sick.
    Even in alcohol treatment, the disease concept is questioned. NOT because chemical differences exist in the brain but because it offers some individuals a scapegoat for taking responsibility for his actions. Taking responsibility for one’s sexual activities is (IMO) mature & emotionally healthy. Self acceptance may be a hallmark of mature thinking. Acceptance for the sexual proclivities of one’s life may be an opportunity for many to live with their sexuality in peace.ESPECIALLY if one thinks of their sexual activities as bad or shameful.

    Depending upon where a person lives & what they had been exposed to, the realization that they are Gay may be a very painful. frightening thing. If we are to add to this (as a society) that they are mentally diseased, a percentage of them seek “treatment”. During the 1980’s the mental health community made a fortune over “treating” everything imaginable.
    Then a gentleman named Stanton Peele wrote a book entitled “The Diseasing of America” that directly attacked the foolish level of calling every behavior a “disease” & offering “treatment”. [Peele wrote several other books dealing with related issues in the Mental Health community & was for many years an outcast, as his points were a direct attack on an INDUSTRY!]

    Those mental health professionals who bought into an enveloping, ever expanding “disease model” did a GREAT disservice to those who believed them & participated in so-called treatment for everything from family dysfunction to shopping. SOME of those folks are still around, “treating” what they call “sexual addiction”. This is a non-peer reviewed, non-medical fantasy of a one man band. Guess who are the largest percentage of those “treated”?

    The Diseasing of America, S. Peele
    ISBN 0-395-588802-2
    Another book with a unique similarity (Gays are diseased) is “The Racist Mind” written by Raphael Ezekiel
    ISBN 0-14-023449-7

  • Richard Ammon

    Despite the press and buzz about this event, a friend of mine attended one day and reported that there were all of 43 people gathered!
    I’d say it was much less of a ‘conference’ and more of a mutual support group of insecure pubescent-minded boys…
    There’s a lot more Uganda LGBT News & Reports about this and other events on my website:

  • John Criswell

    What came first the chicken or the egg? Timothy Arthur O’Brien seems to think that sexual activity sets the “orientation”. Orientation meaning the way one faces. Perhaps the activity simply follows the internal “orientation.
    It’s a much more accurate term than the old “sexual preference” term. For those who self-identify as “gay” or “straight” it is easy to realize that there is no preference or choice involved in their orientation. It’s just the way it is.
    The confusion comes with the majority of humans who have experienced bi-sexual feelings in their lives. To them it seems to be a sexual preference because FOR THEM it is! In a homophobic society it can very confusing for a bisexual. They assume things that don’t apply universally.

  • Mike Airhart

    In an open letter, three watchdog organizations have called for the resignation of two Exodus International leaders for their involvement in the Uganda conference:

    In a followup letter, Truth Wins Out appeals to local Exodus ministries to take a stand against the organization’s support for imprisonment and forced ex-gay re-education in Uganda:

    The South African Gays and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation supports the watchdog groups’ open letter:

  • Timothy Arthur O’Brien

    I am not sure about this word “orientation”. I think the reality is that once sexual activity contexts are established, we see varyingly aggressive and varyingly accepting behaviors. This by nature will mean that there will be desires expressed, variably amplified by surrounding social activity, and they will be variably accepted or denied. It is the discomfort that arises from this interaction that we are concerned with as a debating community. If groups are polarized and segregated (this being an oversimplification, as sexuality does not fit neatly into ideas of “gay” and “straight”) does this raise or lower the discomfort? My experience has been that the discomfort surrounding inevitable issues of aggression and acceptance is heightened by segregation of “gay” and “straight”. I don’t like those social designators much anymore, for that reason.

  • John Criswell

    The question we should be asking is what would motivate these people to carry a crusade all the way to a country that has codified their particular phobia against an orientation which if examined objectively appears to be a natural variation of sexuality that has always existed in humans.
    Perhaps they were molested as children, are closet homosexuals, or just bi-sexuals obsessed with guilt.
    More likely than not they have found that scapegoating and pointing fingers can profitable. Hey, it worked historically for the church, more recently for the Republicans, and currently for the demagogue Rush Limbaugh.

  • Carter

    One of the more interesting little facts was a discussion (back about 40 years ago) when the American Psychiatric Association had a symposium regarding whether homosexual orientation was a conscious choice made by the individual. Thus making homosexuality either a disease, a “chemical programed pattern of sexuality”, or a conscious lifestyle.A lengthy dialog ensued on this topic for years.
    Homosexuality was removed from the definition of emotional disease models based on this discussion & surrounding research.
    The consensus was that just like the heterosexual; the choice was between non-sexual activity (abstinence) or homosexual orientation. Thus homosexuality was deemed to be a non-disease.
    “Behavior modification” was examined & the results were looked upon similarly to that of “trigger response” to sexual stimulus. This same method was attempted with other sexual stimulus that, at the time were grouped with homosexuality.
    The endangerment of children to pedophilia was attempted to be addressed in the same manner as homosexuality. This is where a lot of the problems arose. The behavior modification techniques employed on the pedophile did not have lasting impact on the child molester unless the techniques were maintained voluntarily throughout life.
    Research showed that the overwhelming amount of homosexuals had the SAME moral / social inclinations between age-of-consent elements as did heterosexuals. What’s more, pedophiles maintained a higher level of heterosexual stimulus that homosexual stimulus. This was extremely important, as the past view was that homosexuality was a pedophilia-oriented dynamic – which it was not.
    Through this, the bottom dropped out of the “homosexual-as-dysfunction” concept in the view of the professional medical community.The gay sexual stimulus appears to be a chemical / social dynamic & not moral agenda. many gay individuals had chosen not to engage in sexual activity but it did not change their orientation.
    Sexuality is a highly complex agenda in human behavior. It appears that it cannot be taught. It also appears that it cannot be altered from any long term methodology with the exception of a behavior-modification routine lasting throughout a life time.
    Is it appropriate to demand that someone conform to a sexual stimulus that a certain society deems appropriate if no harm is being done? If were are simply dealing with a consenting adult agenda: where do we find the harm? If homosexuality cannot be taught just as heterosexuality cannot be taught; where do we find societal harm?
    From a heterosexual perspective, if the sight of a woman legs stimulates the sexual response, we can put her in completely covering bag-like clothing, but eventually a leg will show through. If someone has sexual proclivity to be stimulated via that leg or whatever, all we can achieve is to diminish opportunity for stimulation.
    But is it necessarily the woman’s FAULT or RESPONSIBILITY for being who she is? This OBJECTIFICATION of people as “sex-objects appears to have a very negative impact on the very fabric of society! Is it the responsibility of every member of society to maintain a value system where they individually take responsibility for their responses. Even if the woman is dressed or undressed; is it not the moral agenda of the individual looking at her to restrain themselves from acting inappropriately?
    In the same context: is it not the same for a heterosexual to maintain responsibility not to teach a young person (who happens to be heterosexual) that just because a woman bends over in front of him, that is not sexual invitation or indeed, an invitation for rape?
    Transpose this to homosexuality & you see the logic of the societal / medical perspective. This transcends religious elements.{ But religion can have a positive or negative impact on this subject.]