Peter LaBarbera Thinks the US Could Learn From Uganda on Homosexuality
He admits he’s not actually read the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 which, among other penalties, would mandate the death sentence to Ugandan LGBTs for the charge of “aggravated homosexuality,” but Peter LaBarbera, who is the president of the organization “Americans for Truth About Homosexuality” (ironically named if ever anything was) gets the gist of this deeply dangerous bill enough to comment on his website regarding the United States Congress opposing the measure (emphasis his):
Here’s the question I keep asking myself about the Uganda controversy: just what is it that qualifies the United States of America to lecture the Ugandans about homosexuality? Is it our public policy that enshrines immoral sexual behavior (oops: “sexual orientation”) and gender confusion (er…”gender identity and expression”) as a “civil right”? Is it our homosexual “marriage” laws that make a mockery of this divine institution (laws about which Prof. Throckmorton is curiously silent)? How about our pro-homosexuality educational propaganda in K-12 schools that corrupts young students’ minds in the name of “tolerance”? Or the 24/7 “gay bathhouses” and sex clubs that proliferate in urban centers across the United States to facilitate quick-and-easy (and anonymous) deviant sexual hook-ups? (“Come to America: where you can have all the safe sodomy you want! Discounts for students (no joke) and free condoms available for your perverted pleasure!”)
In case you’re wondering who Prof. Throckmorton is, he’s an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. As a Christian himself, he dared to go against LaBarbera’s militant anti-gay agenda, writing an op-ed in the Independent in which he notes that, in his opinion, and based on the research he has both read and carried-out, homosexuality does not appear to be a wholly changeable characteristic, people can not be recruited into it, and that the entire basis for the Ugandan anti-gay bill is fundamentally flawed.
LaBarbera seems unhappy with this conclusion. After spewing a few bullet-pointed opinions regarding the “devastating (public) health crises” that LGBTs have apparently created, as well as the “corruption and victimization of children” that they have wrought, LaBarbera adds:
As you can see, most of America’s “lessons” on homosexuality for Uganda are negative ones. Could it be that the more faith-filled and Bible-trusting African Christians have something to teach jaded Americans like Barack Obama and Warren Throckmorton about homosexuality?
LaBarbera is now calling on his readers to have Throckmorton fired because the professor’s personal views don’t fit with LaBarbera’s own. LaBarbera also says in the article that he doesn’t support the death penalty for LGBTs because that’s “draconian.” Great. Apparently anything just short of torture, including punitive jail sentences, living in fear of being informed on, and possible forced conversion therapy, are all just fine though.
In other news, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission heard testimony concerning Uganda’s Anti Homosexuality Bill on Thursday with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis), the only openly lesbian member of Congress, as Chairperson.
Over the past few months it has emerged that several prominent American Evangelicals may have influenced the creation of Uganda’s anti-gay draft bill, a fact that was a recurring theme in Thursday’s hearing. You can watch Rep. Baldwin’s powerful introduction to the hearing below:
Julius Kaggwa of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law flew from Uganda to attend the hearing. He relayed how many gay and lesbian Ugandans had received death threats due to the climate of oppression and hostility this bill has helped to antagonize. From UK Gay News:
“Our rights as human are universal,” he told the hearing, adding that the character of Uganda and the rights of its citizens were at stake.
Mr Kaggwa pointed out that sexual minorities in Uganda were already excluded in HIV programmes – and the Bill makes the situation unimaginably worse.
“All in Uganda are affected,” he said.
Mr Kaggwa added that the Bill was not just a foreign policy issue. “It’s national issue affecting all Ugandans.”
Christine Lubinksi of the Infectious Diseases Society of America said that she and her colleagues were all deeply concerned about the harm the bill could do in terms of the chilling effect it would have on HIV prevention. “Silence equals death,” she said, before adding, “No modification of the Bill would make it palatable to those committed to social justice.”
Ms Lubinski refers to the fact that Ugandan MP David Bahati – who originally tabled the bill – has, after much resistance, said that he would be open to altering “certain clauses” of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill so that its more stringent measures, such as the death penalty, could be removed in favor of things like forced conversion therapy instead.
Together with 93 other members of Congress including Rep. Jared Polis and Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Tammy Baldwin has created two separate letters to voice Congress’ opposition to the draft bill, one to urge President Obama to speak out against the proposed legislation, and another that is addressed to Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, which calls on him to reject all attempts at passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.
In the letter to Obama, Rep. Baldwin urges the President to “use the full force of his office to oppose this hateful and life-threatening legislation.”
From Baldwin’s press release:
“The pending Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda is an appalling violation of human rights and it behooves us, as Americans and Members of Congress, to do all we can to prevent its passage,” said Congresswoman Baldwin. “We fervently hope that President Obama will use the full force of his office to oppose this hateful and life-threatening legislation in Uganda and send a clear message to other countries that such discrimination must not be tolerated. And, we hope that Ugandan President Museveni recognizes that this legislation is morally untenable and politically harmful to his nation,” Baldwin said.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is expected to get a full hearing in the Ugandan parliament within the next few weeks.
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