Staff Editorial

Dead rights activist scares the Family

Through the simple action of not recognizing the murder of a gay rights activist in Uganda at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, the Washington D.C. based group known as the Family, which organizes the breakfast, showed the lengths it employs to distance the group from a case that has its fingerprints indelibly marked on it.

Uganda police informed the world of the murder of David Kato on Jan. 27. The news sparked a storm of criticism of the country and its treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

But people must remember when the undercurrent of homophobia that had always plagued Uganda grew into a tidal wave.

In March, it will be almost two years since three American evangelical Christians associated with the Family traveled to Uganda to speak with the growing number of evangelical Christians in the country.

According to The New York Times, workshops led by the American evangelicals discussed “how to turn gay people straight, how gay men sodomized teenage boys and how ‘the gay movement is an evil institution’ intended to ‘defeat the marriage-based society.’”

The article quotes Val Kalende, a president of a group of gay rights in Uganda, saying that Kato’s death is the result of those meetings.

“David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by US evangelicals in 2009,” Kalende said. “The Ugandan government and the so-called US evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.”

When a bill was introduced in the Legislative Assembly of Uganda that year calling for extreme punishment (including, for a time, the death penalty) for convicted homosexuals, media scrutiny turned to the American evangelicals and their role in the bill.

One after another, the evangelicals said they were not responsible, that their words did not matter.

The lack of words from the Family is bound to have the same effect as the words spoken almost two years ago. As much as the Family would like to wash its hands of the bloodshed, it will not be achieved through silence.

1 Comment

  • Funny how you pick one group, while another made up of many other countries routinely deny and remove them permanently from their society. Right now one of those brotherhoods is stirring up the pot.

Leave a Comment