Preacher from US headed to Uganda to Spread Hatred of Gays
Kansas City, Missouri preacher Lou Engle is headed to Uganda to spread a message of hatred of gays.
Lou Engle, a radically anti-gay and anti-abortion evangelical, is scheduled to hold an all-day anti-gay stadium event, TheCall Uganda Rally, on May 2nd, at Makerere University Sports Field, Kampala, Uganda. If both Engle and TheCall sound familiar, it's because a similar event, a 12-hour rally to boost support for Yes on 8, was held in San Diego's Qualcomm stadium during the Prop 8 battle in California.
US Evangelicals Have History of Spreading Anti-Gay Rhetoric in Uganda
- Did Exodus conference in Uganda unleash anti-gay vigilantism?
- US fundamentalist group at heart of Uganda's anti-gay law
- It's not so invisible anymore: 'The Family's influence in Uganda
Lou Engle is not the first American Evangelical to go to Uganda to spread a message of hatred of gays. Three Evangelicals from the United States - Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer - held a three day conference on homosexuality in Kampala, Uganda, in March 2009. It's apparent goal was to unleash anti-gay vigilantism in Uganda.
The Reverend Rick Warren, who delivered the invocation at President Obama's inauguration, is also suspect for his relationship with Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. Ssempa is one of the driving forces behind the growing anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, who not only has a close relationship with Warren, but allegedly has connections with the secretive political religious group, The Family, a US fundamentalist group at the heart of Uganda's anti-gay law.
Danger of TheCall Uganda and Lou Engle
The web site for "TheCall Uganda" announces the stadium rally and encourages those attending to fast for twenty-one days before the massive rally in Kampala. Their goals are to wage war against:
- Witchcraft and human sacrifice
- Homosexuality and increased immorality
- Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people
- The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala
Engle's Plan Holds Common Theme, Incites Violence, Spreads Fear
The LGBT/SOGI Human Rights Program at the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office indicates that Engle's plan is to scapegoat LGBT people for all the ills described above, a common theme that Ugandan pastors like Martin Ssempa have picked up on used to increase support for violence against LGBT people.
With the Anti-Homosexuality Bill under consideration, "TheCall: Uganda" threatens to export homophobia at a time when it could have deadly consequences. Threats and violence against LGBT people are already increasing. Many have had their photos in Ugandan newspapers with headlines describing them as "Top Homos."
Frank Mugisha, president Sexual Minorities of Uganda, said, "Gay people are already fleeing their homes and have to move from house to house because of threats to their lives. Americans need to stop Lou Engle from coming to Uganda."
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) Plea
Sexual Minorities Uganda calls on all human rights defenders, organizations, religious communities and leaders, governments, and civil society, globally to take action to ensure that Lou Engle and his associates do not set foot in Uganda and that the Call Uganda does not proceed with this inflammatory and hate-inducing plan. While Sexual Minorities Uganda supports freedom of worship, we recognize the need for restriction on any speech that incites hatred and violence against a minority group. If a prayer event is to be held in Uganda, it should be done in a manner which encourages Christ-like love and acceptance and does not incite hatred and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.
Join the Campaign to Stop TheCall on Facebook. Follow the Campaign to Stop TheCall on Twitter. Call and/or write Letters of Protest to TheCall Ministries and ask them to stop exporting homophobia to Uganda.