US funds homophobia in Uganda

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has published a disturbing story reporting that the US Government has been funding anti gay and lesbian groups in Uganda such as the Makerere University Community Church and the Ugandan Muslim Tabliqh Women’s Desk who have said they will form an “anti-gay squad to fight homosexuality.”

GLHRC’s investigation followed a series of distressing events in Uganda. At an August 16 press conference, Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of LGBT groups, launched Let us Live in Peace Campaign, calling for understanding and respect of sexual minorities. SMUG’s campaign was met with an increase in hate speech by religious groups. The primary instigator of the backlash was Pastor Martin Ssempa, leader of the Makerere University Community Church and spokesman for the Interfaith Family Culture Coalition Against Homosexuality in Uganda. Ssempa organized an August 21 rally in Kampala, the country’s largest city, at which more than one hundred demonstrators, including several government officials, demanded official action against LGBT people. Ssempa has called homosexual conduct, “a criminal act against the laws of nature,” and has said that, “there should be no rights granted to homosexuals in this country.”

According to the U.S. Embassy in Uganda’s website, Makerere University Community Church received a grant under a program designed to provide funds for AIDS prevention, treatment and care programs in Africa. Mr. Ssempa and his coalition, which includes Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, and Evangelicals, have threatened the safety of Ugandan LGBT rights activists by posting their names, photos and addresses on a website (http://kobsrugby.com/demo/). With support from conservative organizations such as Family Watch International in the United States, Ssempa has launched attacks not only on homosexuals but on Uganda’s women’s rights and HIV activists as well…………Continue

The US has also supported Cameroon and Iran in preventing gay rights groups from having consultative status at the UN. At the same time that the US government is funding anti gay and lesbian organisations, it’s own State Department has issued a report on human rights giving details of abuses by some governments based on “sexual orientation and gender identity”. Not surprisingly the report failed to include the US government’s own human rights record in the report.

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