The Family and Uganda’s Anti-Gay Legislation

by Ralph E. Stone on December 2, 2009

A secretive, privately-funded group known as “The Family” or “The Fellowship,” one of the most powerful, well-connected Christian fundamentalist movements in the United States has used its influence and funds through the Family’s African outreach programs to support a proposed Ugandan law that would impose the death penalty on “repeat offenders” engaging in gay sex.

How did this draconian law come about? In March of this year, American anti-gay activists traveled to Uganda for a conference that pledged to “wipe out” homosexuality. Seven months later, David Bahti, a Ugandan lawmaker and a member of the Family sponsored the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.” The proposed legislation is so severe that it may indeed wipe out gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.

Uganda already punishes gay intimacy with life in prison. The “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009” would penalize anyone who “attempts to commit the offence” with up to seven years in jail. Additionally, a person charged will be forced to undergo an invasive medical examination to determine their HIV status. If the detainees are found to be HIV+, they may be executed.

The Family had converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni to its anti-gay brand of Christianity. The organization’s leader, Doug Coe, calls Museveni the Family’s “key man” in Africa. The Family and other anti-gay groups have long viewed Uganda as a laboratory to experiment with Christian theocracy.

Museveni was once the poster child for African democracy. But lately, under his guidance, horrific war crimes have been committed in the Great Lakes region of Uganda, and continuing human rights violations are claiming the lives of millions.

With passage of “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009,” the 20-year-old Musevene regime, supported by the United States and many European governments, would disavow many international treaties on human rights. This proposed law would allow for extradition of homosexuals living in other countries back to Uganda–violating current international norms.

It is estimated that half of Uganda’s annual budget comes through international aid. The United States Government must investigate the abuses of human rights and to re-evaluate the United States support of the Musevene regime, especially in light of this proposed anti-gay legislation.


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