By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com April 28 2014 4:08 PM ET
God must be appalled that American leaders are speaking out against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, says Wisconsin state senator and congressional candidate Glenn Grothman.
Grothman, who made the statement in an appearance earlier this month on Milwaukee-based Voice of Christian Youth America’s In Focus TV program, asserted in the same interview that the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act would grant preferences to LGBT people in hiring and promotion.
He told host Jim Schneider that while the U.S. once was known for sending agricultural assistance and Christian missionaries to Africa, “instead, what we have is the Secretary of State going to Africa and educating Ugandans, or saying he is going to send American scientists to Uganda to explain how normal homosexuality is.”
Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials have spoken out against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which provides for harsh punishment of homosexuality, which was already illegal in the nation. The act, signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in February, mandates life imprisonment for people convicted of “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as repeated same-sex sexual encounters between consenting adults, any such encounter in which one person was a minor or HIV-positive, or any in which the participants were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The law also provides tough penalties for people or organizations found guilty of “aiding” or “abetting” homosexuality.
Museveni said he signed the law after being convinced by scientific studies that homosexuality is a learned behavior, not an innate characteristic, and therefore can be discouraged by society. This conclusion contradicts widely accepted scientific findings on the matter.
Grothman, however, is in Museveni’s camp. “I wish we had more political leaders and religious leaders speaking out and saying, what in the world is John Kerry doing?” he told Schneider. “I mean, what must God think of our country? If now, rather than sending people to Uganda to explain better agricultural techniques, sending missionaries to Africa educating people on Christianity, we send scientists to Africa to say how wonderful the homosexual lifestyle is. It is just unbelievable what has become of our country.”
On ENDA, which has been passed by the U.S. Senate and awaits a vote in the House of Representatives, Grothman said he would not only vote against it but be an outspoken opponent. “When you put a class in these discrimination statutes … it’s not only you can’t discriminate, it’s a preference. Because all of the sudden employers have to worry, ‘If I don’t hire this guy, if I don’t promote this guy, I’m going to be sued for discrimination.’”
Grothman, currently the assistant majority leader in the Wisconsin Senate, is one of several candidates seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. House from Wisconsin’s Sixth Congressional District, located in the eastern part of the state, just north of Milwaukee. The incumbent, Republican Tom Petri, is retiring.
In addition to holding antigay views, Grothman has asserted that climate change does not exist, and he wants to ban affirmative action in Wisconsin. Also, according to Right Wing Watch, he “opposes equal pay measures because he thinks ‘money is more important for men,’ believes women’s equality amounts to a ‘war on men,’ and once tried to classify single parenting as child abuse.” In the 1990s, in legislation to ban so-called partial birth abortions, he sought (unsuccessfully) to remove an exception to the ban if the procedure was necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life.
Watch his In Focus remarks on Uganda and ENDA below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.