Friday, October 23, 2009

How American Evangelicals are Killing Gay People in Africa

Hate never made for a good export. But that hasn't stopped a prominent group of American evangelicals from trying to ship their anti-LGBT principles abroad. One glaring example of right-wing theology run amuck across the globe is fresh out of Uganda, where legislative efforts to attack Ugandan LGBT people reached fever pitch this week.

Uganda is an interesting example of how the radical religious right in the United States has sought to take their battle against all things related to homosexuality to a global level. Earlier this year, a prominent group of evangelicals -- among them representatives from Exodus International and Defend the Family International -- attended a conference in Uganda aimed at discussing ways to fight homosexuality. The goal of the conference was to brainstorm ways that the government, schools and churches in Uganda could "wipe out" homosexuality from the country.

From American religious leaders to participate in something like this shows some pretty gross disrespect for human rights. What's worse, their support has lent credence to a bill introduced in Uganda's parliament this week that will imprison people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and will imprison straight people who support gay rights. Oh, and let's not forget that the bill also calls for HIV-positive gay people to be put to death.

All of that and a bag of chips, and it's all courtesy of American evangelicals.

Wayne Besen, a leading LGBT rights activist who monitors "ex-gay" religious groups, nails a description of the shady stuff going on in Uganda.

read the rest here

Quote of the Day

Customer “Waiter do you have any soup on that menu?”

Waiter, “Yes but I wiped it off”.

RC Weekly Update from Joe Solmonese Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign President []

Dear Daniel,

As we note the historic passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, we remember the lives of these and countless other victims of hate violence:

Angie Zapata, beaten to death because she was transgender. Her murderer referred to her as "it." She was twenty years old.

Balbir Singh Sodhi, age 52. A Sikh American, he was shot to death by a man who, thinking that he was of Arab descent, took private revenge for the attacks of 9/11.

Jose Sucuzhanay, murdered at age 31 by men who saw him walking arm in arm with his brother and assumed that he was gay. The assailants added anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs to the violence they inflicted on him.

Matthew Shepard, age 21, was taken to a remote area by two men and was severely beaten, then tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay.

James Byrd, Jr. was chained to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged for three miles. His killers left evidence inscribed with "KKK" to show their intent. Byrd was 49 years old.

We mourn their loss, celebrate their lives, and share their friends' and families' grief.

Passing this legislation honors the lives of these good people whom we lost too soon. But we must not mistake it for a monument to them, or a plaque commemorating distant history. The hate crimes law is necessary because the scourge of hate violence that took these lives has not ended.

Dr. King often quoted the Book of Amos, saying that we must not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream."

In passing this bill, Congress has unleashed the power of justice to combat hate. And it has done more.

Senator Edward Kennedy once said that this legislation sends "a message about freedom and equality that will resonate around the world." This marks the first time that we have as a nation expressed—explicitly, and with teeth—that LGBT people are to be protected. And this law sends a loud message that perpetrators of hate violence against anyone will be brought to justice.

This message, and this powerful tool in combating hate crimes, will erode the very foundations of the hatred that has taken so many lives already. From the justice that this Act provides—the righteousness, and the end of violence, will necessarily flow.


Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Visit to learn more about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Anderson Cooper & Panel Discuss Obama's Gay Rights Record & Hate Crimes Act

Soupy Sales Dead At 83

Legendary 60's comic and children's show host Soupy Sales has died at the age of 83.

As the star of "The Soupy Sales Show," he performed live on television for 13 years in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York before the program went into syndication in the United States and abroad. Ostensibly for children, the show had broad appeal among adults who found Sales' puns, gags and pratfalls deliciously corny and camp. His cast consisted of goofy puppets with names like White Fang, Black Tooth and Pookie, and a host of off-camera characters, including the infamous naked girl. The high point of every show came when a sidekick launched a pie into Sales' face. Sales once estimated that he was hit by more than 25,000 pies in his lifetime. The gag became more than hilarious; it evolved into a hip badge of honor. Frank Sinatra was first in a long line of celebrities who clamored for the privilege to be cream-faced, including Tony Curtis, Mickey Rooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Martin and Burt Lancaster.

Soupy's show was a big part of my childhood, partly because I could only watch it at my grandparent's house in Newark as we didn't get it in North Carolina. Watching Soupy was a big holiday tradition for us whenever we were in town. My dad thought he was the funniest man alive - until Flip Wilson came along.

thanks to JMG for this...