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American Evangelicals Feel Duped by Ugandan Bill


The New York Times reports on three American evangelicals who are attempting to deny the widespread recognition that their visit to Uganda last year inspired the pending bill to punish gay people with the death penalty.

According to the Times, the three Americans spoke at a conference in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, in March, on topics including how to make gay people straight, and the threats that the gay rights movement poses to traditional society.

"The three Americans who spoke at the conference -- Scott Lively, a missionary who has written several books against homosexuality, including '7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child'; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads 'healing seminars'; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is 'mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality' -- are now trying to distance themselves from the bill," reports the Times.

Schmierer insists that he was invited to talk about parenting gay children.

"I feel duped," he told the Times.

However, Ugandan human rights advocates say the conference inspired the bill proposed in October by parliament member David Bahati.

"Human rights advocates in Uganda say the visit by the three Americans helped set in motion what could be a very dangerous cycle," reports the Times. "Gay Ugandans already describe a world of beatings, blackmail, death threats like 'Die Sodomite!' scrawled on their homes, constant harassment and even so-called correctional rape."

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Julie Bolcer