US fundamentalist group at heart of Uganda's anti-gay law
A United States fundamentalist group is at the heart of Uganda's anti-gay law. Originally known as The Fellowship, an international organization founded in 1935, today it is known as 'The Family', described by Jeff Sharlet in his book The Family: Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, who investigates the political power of 'The Family', a secretive fundamentalist Christian association. 'The Family', under the reclusive leadership of Douglas Coe, is described by prominent evangelical Christians as one of the most, or the most, politically well-connected fundamentalist organizations in the United States.
David Bahati, a Ugandan lawmaker and member of the fundamentalist group The Family, sponsored the antigay legislation and has received millions of dollars in funding through the organization’s African outreach programs. The Family has also cultivated a "deep relationship" with Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni (pictured, right), Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, said in a Tuesday interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on National Public Radio.
Sharlet detailed The Family's connections with Capitol Hill powers-that-be, including Nevada senator John Ensign (pictured, left) and Kansas senator Sam Brownback. “Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma boasts of traveling around the world, doing The Family's political business, he said. "[Oklahoma] Senator Tom Coburn has done the same thing. [Iowa] Senator Chuck Grassley has been very involved in African affairs on behalf of The Family. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming is a part of it.”
Though gay sex is already criminalized in Uganda, the proposed legislation currently before parliament would add a specific clause called “aggravated homosexuality,” which would impose the death penalty on so-called repeat offenders as well as those who have HIV and engage in sex. Even failure to report a gay person to authorities could result in a lengthy prison sentence.
The transcript of the interview is available here.
Previously on NowPublic by this Author:
Uganda anti-gay bill has potential to divide Commonwealth leaders (November 25, 2009)
Museveni claims European gays are 'recruiting' Ugandan citizens (November 23, 2009)
Jefferson Awards winner recognizes genocide looming in Uganda (October 21, 2009)
Uganda's Daily Monitor raises its voice on behalf of defenseless (October 20, 2009)
Did Exodus conference in Uganda unleash anti-gay vigilantism? (October 19, 2009)
Human rights groups blast Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 (October 18, 2009)
Exodus International Holding Bryce Faulkner Hostage? (July 16, 2009)
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