May 31, 2010

Padre Alberto Cutié: As an Episcopalian, he's speaking freely about his support of openly gay clergy, of birth control, and...

... when a woman's life is in danger, even abortion.

¨God's not all that interested in you falling down. God is interested in you getting up again,¨

Cutié told Episcopal bishops and hundreds of parishioners gathered Saturday at Church of the Resurrection in Biscayne Park for the ceremony marking his return to the priesthood. He spent the past year at Resurrection, studying Episcopal traditions as a lay minister.

It's a denomination, he proclaims, ¨that is welcoming of all,¨ including himself, a once invincible priest who has seen many Catholics ¨act as if I dropped dead, as if I don't exist.¨ HERE

· Thanks to The Miami Herald
· Thanks to Jaweed Kaleem
· Thanks to El Nuevo Herald
· Thanks to Melissa Sanchez
· Thanks to The Episcopal Cafe

May 30, 2010

THE DEMONIZING of LGBT ANGLICANS/others: "The real problem is ignorance," Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, Uganda

Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, at a San Francisco stop on his U.S./Europe speaking tour

"The real problem is ignorance," says retired Bishop Senyonjo, who was stripped of his pension for standing up for the spiritual dignity of LGBT people.

¨Pension Stripper¨ and anti-LGBT grandstanding opportunist, Henry Orombi, The Anglican Archbishop of Uganda HERE

Bishop Christopher Visits the LGBT Community Center in San Francisco

¨The distinguished cleric with gold wire-rimmed glasses, a dark suit and crimson bishop’s shirt spoke with an African accent and a twinkle in his eye, “We all know about my friend, Dr. Kinsey. Although I think I am straight, who knows? Maybe I am not as straight as I think.” His shoulder swiveled, slightly vampy with this last line, and the audience laughed.

Retired Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, 78, was playing to a sympathetic crowd at the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center on Tuesday night, May 25. The delight of the audience and the esteem in which they held him is not the typical reaction Senyonjo has received since he began ministering to LGBT people nine years ago in his home country of Uganda...¨ HERE

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa HERE

Bishop Christopher Senyonjo the Desmond Tutu of Uganda

¨Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, often referred to as the Desmond Tutu of Uganda, is an outspoken advocate for human rights. He has taken great risks in defense of LGBT people in his country, a nation where lawmakers recently considered imposing a death penalty on homosexuals. He will travel to the U.S. to address worldwide homophobia and the draconian antigay movement and legislation pending in Uganda.¨ HERE

· Thanks to The San Francisco LGBT Community Center
· Thanks to Ugandan Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo
· Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
· Thanks to Walking With Integrity, sidebar
· Thanks to Richard A. Lindsay
· Thanks to The Center For American Progress

TAKE ACTION AGAINST BIGOTRY, IGNORANCE and OUTCASTING/SOCIAL ISOLATION: The ANGLICAN UN, United Nations, HUMAN RIGHTS Observer, Mrs Hellen Grace Wangusa from Uganda, has an office and staff provided by the Episcopal Church (USA) at the Church Center 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017. The direct office line is (001) 212-716- 6263 and the email address

Lionel Deimel, Anglican HERO, click HERE,¨No Anglican Covenant¨

May 29, 2010

LGBT Americans have enriched and strengthened the fabric of our national life. From business leaders and professors to athletes and first responders

...LGBT individuals have achieved success and prominence in every discipline. They are our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, and our friends and neighbors. Across my Administration, openly LGBT employees are serving at every level. Thanks to those who came before us the brave men and women who marched, stood up to injustice, and brought change through acts of compassion or defiance we have made enormous progress and continue to strive for a more perfect union...¨

¨...As Americans, it is our birthright that all people are created equal and deserve the same rights, privileges, and opportunities. Since our earliest days of independence, our Nation has striven to fulfill that promise. An important chapter in our great, unfinished story is the movement for fairness and equality on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This month, as we recognize the immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans, we renew our commitment to the struggle for equal rights for LGBT Americans and to ending prejudice and injustice wherever it exists.¨ President Barack Obama, The White House HERE

· Thanks to President Barack Obama
· Thanks to LGBT Americans
· Thanks to Presidential Proclamation
· Thanks to Gay Agenda, sidebar
· Thanks to Wikipedia

May 27, 2010

Major General Vance Coleman: ¨I know what it is like to be thought of as second-class, and I know what it is like to have your hard work dismissed...¨

Major General Vance Coleman
May 27, 2010

President Barack H. ObamaThe White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I served my country for over 30 years. I enlisted in the Army as a private and retired as a Major General. During that time, I saw a great deal of change in the Armed Forces. Racial segregation was ended in the ranks, women were recognized as equals and we moved to an all volunteer force.

My father was a laborer, my mother a domestic worker. I knew that there was no way I was headed for college. As a young Black Man I enlisted in the army long before President Truman desegregated the armed forces.

I served in segregated units (all Black) before being selected for Officers Candidate School. I then attended an integrated Leadership Academy and then Officers Candidate School which was also integrated. After graduation from OCS I was assigned to a combat arms unit for which I had been trained. I was reassigned to a service unit (Graves Registration) that was all Black.

The message was clear: It did not matter that I was qualified to serve in a combat arms unit that happen to be all white. It only mattered that I was Black.

Mr. President, I know what it is like to be thought of as second-class, and I know what it is like to have your hard work dismissed because of who you are or what you look like. I also know what a difference it made to me and others when President Truman eliminated segregation in the Armed Forces and placed qualification ahead of discrimination.

As a retired Army Commander, I also know how disruptive it is to remove a trained skilled member from a unit. In Korea, I had a Sergeant First Class in my unit who was gay. it was no secret. He was in charge of the unit’s communication. He was essential to our performance and our survival and he was dam good at his job. If I had to remove him, our unit’s effectiveness, as well as morale, most certainly would have been harmed.

Military leadership is about being able to constantly adapt to change, and I have seen the Army implement significant change and react to new directives since I enlisted. Perhaps the greatest military change is that we are now an all volunteer force. I cannot believe that we could have made that transition successfully if the services were still segregated or if the roles of women in the ranks had not been greatly expanded.

The services have, for the most part, kept pace with changes in American society as to matters of race and gender. Likewise, they must now keep pace with the changed attitude among the American people, especially younger generations, concerning sexual orientation. If they do not, military service will become a less viable option for more and more young people, and the quality of our forces will suffer. I suggest that the warriors of tomorrow will not want to become a part of an institution that does not respect their peers.

The men and women who volunteer to serve, especially in dangerous times, are the most important resource of our armed services. This includes the lesbian and gay troops who have served – and – are serving honorably. Just like their heterosexual service members, they risk their lives to defend our country. Our country owes it to them, and to all our troops to treat all who serve with respect and gratitude.

Our armed services believe in, and promote, the idea that one person can make a real difference. To commanders on the ground in Iraq, an Arabic linguist can make a difference. To a parent, whose son is bleeding on the battlefield, one lesbian nurse can make a difference.

You, too, Mr. President, can and will make a real difference here. You can make a difference in whether “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed this year, and whether implementation comes shortly thereafter.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Mr. President, do all you can; stand with us and work with us to end this denigration of our American values. HERE

Major General Vance Coleman
United States Army (Ret.)

“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes! We ask that you forward and post these personal stories. ATTENTION PLEASE: More Military Stories HERE


· Thanks to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
· Thanks to Army Major General Vance Coleman

May 26, 2010

A Letter from Corporal Juan C. Perezortiz:¨As an 18-year-old, first generation immigrant from Mexico and a newly sworn in American citizen...

...military service seemed the best way to repay my fellow citizens¨

May 26, 2010

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As an 18-year-old, first generation immigrant from Mexico and a newly sworn in American citizen, military service seemed the best way to repay my fellow citizens for giving my family and me a shot at a better life.

I enlisted in the Marine Corps as an Aircraft Ordnance Man. USMC Boot Camp was physically and mentally challenging, but it didn’t compare to the persecution I would encounter later in the Marines.

As a new PFC in an Aircraft Ordnance (AO) Shop in California, I developed a reputation for being a hard worker, always looking for extra duties and opportunities to expand my skills. As a result, my work ethic and excellent evaluations, I was promoted to an E3, a lance corporal. These were my best days in the military. Unfortunately, they were short numbered. With the arrival of a new gunnery sergeant, my career in the Marines soon became a struggle to survive.

The gunnery sergeant enjoyed socializing with the junior Marines in the shop, frequently taking them out drinking and to the strip clubs. I was expected to participate. I tried to be a team player so I would not be singled out. The shop soon became the squadron’s “frat pad.” Most conversation revolved around girls and hookups, often described by my comrades as “bitches and hoes.”

This behavior, beyond being tolerated, was often sponsored and enjoyed by my superiors. “Gunny” usually joined in, bragging about cheating on his wife. This environment was repulsive and contradictory to the core values of the Marine Corps: honor, courage, commitment — values I tried to live by. I was miserable, but felt powerless to do anything about it.

I still went out drinking with the guys, but tried to avoid going to strip bars or swapping stories about sexual experiences. But then Gunny became suspicious. He told me he suspected I was a “faggot” and that we should see what the rest of the guys thought about it.

Everything changed that day. My evaluation scores began to drop dramatically — from the 4.9 out of 5 average I had for three years to a 1.0. After obtaining copies of my evaluations, I learned that my direct supervisors’ scores had been crossed out and lowered by the gunnery sergeant. I had never failed at anything in life before and I was not going to let anyone tell me I was not a good Marine.

My only way out, I believed, was to transfer out of my unit. At first my requests were repeatedly denied. Eventually though, after numerous letters of recommendations from other military officers, I was transferred.

I was promoted and, when I left my new unit, I had numerous letters of recommendation. The detachment’s commanding officer wrote accolades such as, “You are a Marine with exceptional core values… a great asset to the Armed Services” and “You are a Marine of great caliber and will go far in your military career.”

Unfortunately, I was required to return to my former training squadron just months before my six year contract was up. I was back under Gunny’s command. Those last few months were a living nightmare. I constantly dreaded going to work and was afraid for my physical safety.

With the support of friends, I managed to serve eight years. I love the Marines and, under different command circumstances, I would have continued my service. In three weeks, I’ll graduate from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in structural engineering. With the your help and with open service in place at the Pentagon, I’d signup and serve my country again.

Mr. President, thank you for supporting repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” I hope that, with your leadership, no other service member will have to go through the persecution I endured in order to serve our country. HERE

Former Corporal Juan C. Perezortiz
United States Marine Corps

“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes! We ask that you forward and post these personal stories. ATTENTION PLEASE: More Military Stories HERE


· Thanks to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
· Thanks to Corporal Juan C. Perezortiz, United States Marine Corps

May 25, 2010

ATTN ARCHBISHOP DREXEL GOMEZ: ¨It is time the citizens of Jamaica clean up their act before getting on their moral high horse¨

Last year while activists were BOYCOTTING JAMAICA because of the chronic abusing and murdering of LGBT citizens, the Anglican Consultative Council knowingly ignored the BOYCOTT and met at Kingston. The ACC then attempted to get approved a draft Anglican Covenant which included the planned punishing/excluding of LGBT INCLUSIVE ANGLICAN PROVINCES at the Anglican Communion! They failed in this two faced religious hypocrisy that was enthusiastically driven by Bishop Drexel Gomez...not a word mentioned/preached or compassionately ¨listened to¨ in regard to the real life ¨Gay¨HATE CRIMES in JAMAICA that rank number one in the Western Hemisphere. ¨Troubled Island¨ HERE

The ACC delegates showed no recognition, no mercy, nor any basic interest/concern, for the abused, damned and murdered LGBT victims in Jamaica or anywhere else. Unthinkable acts of hate and bigotry were IGNORED by the many Bishops, Clergy and Laity. Ugly ¨plots¨for outcasting and demonization were ¨covered¨ with purposefilled holylike amnesia/pretend and desperate DENIAL. Delegates such as Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop John Sentamu, Lord of York had come to Jamaica from amongst the 30+ Provinces of worldwide Anglican Communion. One half of the visitors gathered had the intention of excluding LGBT Christians from full participation at all levels of Churchlife at The Body of Christ. These are some of the religious folks who would/do harm LGBT Anglicans at Church, in Politics and everyday life...some openly, some secretly, some for $$$, some ignorantly, some pompously but many with blind rage and personal resentments hidden deep down in fearfilled/selfrighteous hearts.


¨Last year, Truth Wins Out joined a small coalition of activists to boycott Jamaica because of the island’s rampant homophobia. During the campaign, I appeared on Jamaican talk radio shows where people called in and berated me for promoting immorality. The callers insisted that Jamaica a purified Christian nation with bedrock values and pristine morals. The indignant citizens claimed that it was gay rights activists, such as myself, who were corrupting the good citizens of Jamaica.¨

¨Family Values¨ super-enthusiast and anti-LGBT Anglican campaigner, Bishop Drexel Gomez, chair of the Anglican Covenant Design Group

¨This wonderful culture condemns homosexuality, yet its political leaders protect drug dealing gang leaders. Not just any gang leader, but one in charge of a lethal cartel, the Shower Posse, that American prosecutors say is accused of hundreds of drug-related killings in the United States in the 1980s.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Jamaica

My question is: Where are all those moralistic gay-hating Christians now? Like cowardly bullies, they attack defenseless LGBT people, often in mobs, to supposedly protect family values. But, they are MIA when it comes to standing up to drug gang violence – which truly affects their families. They elect a Prime Minister tied directly to this illegal operation, yet they want to preach against gay people? They want to portray themselves as a Christian nation?

While our official boycott has ended, I personally would not go to Jamaica and I still boycott their products. Not only is Jamaica a homophobic island, it is also filled with phony hypocrites who slander gays but tolerate — even celebrate — violent criminal behavior at the highest levels of government.¨ HERE


¨Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights in Jamaica are dominated by the prohibition of sexual acts between men. Sexual acts between women are legal, by virtue of the absence of any reference to them in law. Sexual acts between men are punishable with up to ten years jail. Jamaica has been called by human-rights groups as the most homophobic place on earth.¨

Christian values were summed up by Christ in Matthew 22: 37-39,

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

¨Social leaders in Jamaica accuse international groups of meddling in domestic affairs. They defend laws against homosexuality as upholding Christian values


¨...the Sunday Herald ran a front page headline "No homos!" in which then opposition leader and current Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding vowed that "homosexuals would find no solace in any cabinet formed by him". The statement was supported by several clergymen and a trade union leader. During the 2001 elections Golding's party used as its theme song "Chi Chi Man" by T.O.K., which celebrates the burning and killing of gay men


"Gay men and lesbian women have been beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality";and gays and lesbians constitute one of the "most marginalized and persecuted communities in Jamaica". Amnesty gave an example of a recent incident reported in a national newspaper, where a father encouraged a mob to beat up his son, who he suspected was gay, while he looked on smiling. No charges were laid.

While police do not compile statistics on attacks against homosexuals, J-FLAG, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, report that they know of 30 gay men who have been murdered in Jamaica between 1997 and 2004.

The violence has prompted hundreds of LGBT Jamaicans to seek asylum in nations such as Great Britain, Canada and the United States, and several have been successful. In 2005, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Jamaica to repeal their sodomy laws and to actively combat widespread homophobia HERE


Archbishop Drexel Gomez, not-retired-enough, of The Anglican Church of Jamaica/West Indies Province. Countries that make up the ¨West Indies¨ Anglican Province are the ONLY Nations in Latin America/Western Hemisphere where it is against the law to be a LGBT citizen. Currently Bishop Gomez is chairperson of ´The Anglican Covenant´ design group which he viciously helped author in order to castigate individual, self-governing, Anglican Provinces that allow LGBT Anglicans/Christians to participate at all levels of Churchlife...Gomez and his accomplices display ¨ignorance and mendacity¨ and cause ¨untold suffering.¨ HERE


¨Perhaps the most striking thing about the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Jamaica is the deliberate fear mongering engaged in by men like Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop Gregory Cameron, the deputy general secretary of the Anglican Communion. At one news conference after another they suggest that the Communion will rupture if the anti-gay measures embedded in the proposed Anglican Covenant and the report of the Windsor Continuation Group are not embraced and enforced. While they might dispute the characterization, the choice these religious leaders are putting before the Communion is a simple one: bigotry or death. Either the Communion embraces open-ended moratoria on the blessing of same-sex relationships and the consecration of gay bishops and a set of disciplinary procedures to punish wayward provinces and individual bishops or the sky falls..¨ HERE


· Thanks to Truth Wins Out, sidebar
· Thanks to Wayne Besen
· Thanks to Wikipedia
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing
· Thanks to Jamaican Holy Safe House
· Thanks to The Sunshine Cathedral, Jamaica
· Thanks to Episcopal Cafe, sidebar
· Thanks to John B. Chilton
· Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin, Blooddrenched Flag
· Thanks to The Guardian, U.K.
· Thanks to Gary Younge

TAKE ACTION AGAINST BIGOTRY, IGNORANCE, SPIRITUAL and SOCIAL ISOLATION: The ANGLICAN UN, United Nations, HUMAN RIGHTS Observer, Mrs Hellen Grace Wangusa from Uganda, has an office and staff provided by the Episcopal Church (USA) at the Church Center 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017. The direct office line is (001) 212-716- 6263 and the email address

Lionel Deimel, Anglican HERO, click HERE,¨No Anglican Covenant¨

UPDATE: Dr Tony Fitchett - a member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion - has told New Zealand's General Synod that Section 4.2 of the Covenant:

“ ... contains provisions that are punitive, controlling, and completely un-Anglican, and reflect the movement towards centralized, Curia-like control that was rejected by the Lambeth conference… over a century ago…” HERE

May 24, 2010

WHERE EVANGELICALS ARE DANGEROUS: Divine sanctioned/solemnly devoted or crude, evil, vengeful, murderous/demented hate-mongers?

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed" Genesis 9.6

Nairobi, Kenya

AN American extremist Christian group has been threatening people it claims are promoting abortion and homosexuality.

ProjectSEE, an acronym for Project Stop Exporting Evil HERE
based in the American mid-West, has recruited local operatives and registered a website featuring pictures, addresses and contact details of those perceived as supporters of abortion and gay rights in Kenya.

Among those threatened was Walter Odhiambo, the deputy country director of Marie Stopes International, a UK based organization providing reproductive health services in 38 countries including Kenya.

His photo is posted on the website with the headline 'Not Wanted' and 'Babykiller' and the personal details that he lives in Nairobi and was brought up in Mombasa.

Medical Services minister Anyang' Nyong'o is directly menaced. "Minister Nyong'o Has No Personality: Abort Him", the website declares. The website was upset that the minister argued that life begins at birth.

The website is also calling for personal details and photos of Jane Onyango, formerly the executive director of the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya; David Kuria Mbote, director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition in Kenya; Cyprian Otieno Awiti, regional director of Marie Stopes International; Dr. Joseph Karanja consultant gynaecologist, Kenyatta Hospital; Anne Mulinge of Kasarani Maternity Hospital; and Dr. Elizabeth Muli of Moi University The website scarily quotes Genesis 9.6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed".

The site advises Kenyan gay activist David Kuria to meditate on the fate of King Edward II of England who was murdered for being gay by having a red-hot poker thrust up his anus.¨

The group's coordinator is Jonathan O'Toole from Kansas City in Missouri, who spills venom towards those he believes are promoting abortion and homosexuality on the ProjectSee website. O'Toole is apparently married to a Kenyan woman Esther Njenga.

In Kenya, the coordinators are Patrick Kingori in Nairobi and Robert Wakhu in Eldoret. Please read it all: HERE

Kenya: Abortion Activists Threaten Citizens HERE

· Thanks to All Africa, sidebar
· Thanks to Francis Mureithi
· Thanks to The African Seer

May 23, 2010

WHERE EVANGELICALS ARE DANGEROUS: Evangelical Mega Churches are spreading extremist creed, especially among the poor/uneducated, the most vulnerable

¨When he arrived at Kampala’s Hotel Triangle for a three-day conference, the Rev Kapya Kaoma* knew that he would not like what he heard... A protestor mocks dangerous/irrational religious ignorance in Uganda.

...The clue was in the event’s title — “Exposing the truth behind homosexuality and the homosexual agenda” — and in the line-up of guest speakers arranged by Stephen Langa, head of the Ugandan-based Family Life Network (FLN), and an outspoken advocate for the criminalisation of homosexuality in Uganda.

Given top billing at the event hosted by the FLN was Scott Lively, president of Abiding Truth Ministries, an American conservative Christian group from California, and a Holocaust revisionist whose controversial book The Pink Swastika names homosexuals as “the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.” Please Note: THE PINK SWASTIKA AND HOLOCAUST REVISIONIST HISTORY, by Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., HERE

Weeks after the Kampala conference in March last year — which followed a meeting between the speakers and members of the Ugandan Parliament — a clause appeared in the country’s draft Anti-Homosexuality Bill recommending life imprisonment for certain homosexual “crimes” or, for “serial offenders”, the death sentence.

To Mr Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who is project director of Political Research Associates — a Massachusetts-based progressive think-tank — it was further evidence of how America’s Christian Right has stoked intolerance to homosexuality in Africa.

Persecution, Demonizing, Outcasting and initiating Crimes of Hate are in part MADE IN AMERICA

After a 16-month investigation, during which he interviewed scores of witnesses in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, Mr Kaoma concluded that Africa’s anti-gay crackdowns are, at least in part, “made in the USA”.

“Through their extensive communications networks in Africa, social welfare projects, Bible schools and educational materials, US religious conservatives warn of the dangers of homosexuals, and present themselves as the true representatives of US evangelicalism,” he wrote in Globalising the Culture Wars: US Conservatives, African Churches and Homophobia, a damning report on the issue.

He told The Times: “We are not dismissing the fact that some of the money they send for Africa is going to good use. What we are concerned about is that the people who receive it are being trained in a conservative ideology. It will be like, ‘If I give you this, you must dance to my tune’.”

The results are becoming clear. In Malawi, where this week an openly gay couple were sentenced to 14 years in prison with hard labour, and across the continent, gays and lesbians face lives of increasing dread.* It is hard to underplay the depth of anti-gay sentiment expressed in Africa. “Everyone is looking over their shoulders,” said Mwangi, a gay man from Nairobi, who did not want his family name published. “People don’t even want to come to this bar now because they know it has a reputation as a meeting place for gays. Before, no one gave a damn. Everyone came here, prostitutes, straights, the lot,” he said.

It wasn’t always like this. A decade ago Uganda seemed at the forefront of a liberal renaissance sweeping Africa. Then, Angela, a Ugandan transvestite, led a dance troupe that regularly played to packed audiences. Now she fears for her life. “This is the worst it has ever been; they say we are evil and blame us for everything,” she said.

A large tear trickled down her cheek and splattered on the concrete floor of her modest home, its walls plastered with photographs of her in dancing costumes — souvenirs of happier days. “It is bad, my brother, it is bad,” she whispered. “They want to kill us.”

Fomenting this hatred are politicians. When President Mugabe of Zimbabwe famously proclaimed that “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam”, most people in Africa nodded in agreement — along with preachers like Mr Lively.“Homosexuality is ... equivalent to paedophilia, sadomasochism, bestiality and many other forms of deviant behaviour,” he told his audience in Kampala.

Referring to gay people as sinners who pose a “danger” to society and represent an “evil institution” hell-bent on seizing power, he added: “Nobody has been able to stop them so far. I’m hoping Uganda can.”

Mr Lively said he had subsequently sent a letter to the Ugandan MP promoting the proposed anti-homosexual legislation “saying that the death penalty is overly harsh”. But he added: “I think there’s far, far, far greater violence against Christians around the world today than there is against homosexuals, and for some reason that doesn’t make the news. Just the fact that someone is a victim of that kind of activity doesn’t validate what the victims do . ... [The] gay agenda is to re-create society on a different moral foundation that brings harm to everyone”.

Also on the speakers’ list at the conference were Don Schmierer of Exodus International — an organisation that argues that same-sex attraction can be “cured” — and Caleb Lee Brundidge, a counsellor who claims that he was healed of his homosexuality and promotes others to do the same through “healing seminars”.

Richard Cohen, founder of the International Healing Foundation — which seeks to help people with “unwanted same-sex attraction” through counselling — was behind the decision to despatch Mr Brundidge to the conference, but now he says that they were “blindsided”.

“The purpose of the conference, as we understood it, was to inform people about the causes and potential healing of unwanted same-sex attraction. We had absolutely no idea that the teachings at the conference would be misused to contribute in any way to the persecution and criminalisation of homosexuals ... If we had had any inkling of such an outcome, we never would have considered participating,” he wrote to President Museveni.

He added in an interview with The Times: “We found this Bill reprehensible. As we are both former homosexuals, under such a Bill, we could have been incarcerated for life ... It came out of left field, and [my reaction] was ‘What . . . ?’ ”

Ugandan human rights advocates say that, informed or not, the American evangelists who attended the conference took part in a dangerous process of human rights erosion.

“Just as the United States and other northern societies routinely dump our outlawed or expired chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and cultural detritus on African and other Third World countries, we now export a political discourse and public policies our own society has discarded as outdated and dangerous,” said Tarso Luis Ramos, executive director of Political Research Associates.

Mr Kaoma said: “It’s a political agenda being driven by so-called evangelism in the US and being pushed on to Africa.

Unless the world moves fast, we should expect a lot of killings of gays, not by state sanction but through mob violence. This will continue unless the international community can start talking about gay and lesbians having human rights that need to be protected and defended.” HERE

*The Reverend Kapya Kaoma is a Project Director at Political Research Associates, and an Anglican priest from Zambia now leading churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. A doctoral candidate at Boston University School of Theology, he has studied in evangelical schools in Zambia and the United Kingdom. From 1998 to 2001, he served as dean of St. John’s Cathedral in Mutare, Zimbabwe and lecturer at Africa University, where he coauthored a text in ethics, Unity in Diversity. From 2001 to 2002, he was academic dean of St. John’s Anglican Seminary in Kitwe, Zambia, where he launched its women’s studies and church school training programs.¨ HERE

*ACTION: Support Tiwonge and Steven in prison in Malawi

Three things you can do to support our heroes

London - 21 May 2010

Big thanks to everyone who has shown their concern and anger at the outrageous 14-year jail term handed down to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi.

Here are three ways you can help:


Send a letter or postcard of support to Steven and Tiwonge. In this difficult time, they need to know that people around the world love and support them. Get all your friends to do the same. Write to:

Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, Prisoners, Chichiri Prison,
P.O.Box 30117, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi


Write a letter to your elected political representative. Urge him or her to write a letter of protest to Malawian President and to the Malawian Ambassador in your country.

If you live in the UK:
Email your MP and all your MEPs via this website:

Ask your MP and MEPs to protest to the Malawian President and to the Malawi High Commission in London.

Ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 564, which protests against the prosecution of Tiwonge and Steven. HERE


Make a donation by post or BACS electronic transfer to the Malawi Defence Campaign, organised the UK-based LGBT organisation OutRage!
OutRage! will use all money donated to support Tiwonge and Steven with food parcels, medicine, clothes, blankets etc. and to help fund the campaign for their release.

By BACS electronic transfer:
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Solidarity! Peter Tatchell, OutRage!

· Thanks to Times Online, U.K., sidebar
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TAKE ACTION AGAINST BIGOTRY, IGNORANCE, HATE CRIMES and SPIRITUAL/SOCIAL ISOLATION: The ANGLICAN UN, United Nations, HUMAN RIGHTS Observer, Mrs Hellen Grace Wangusa from Uganda, has an office and staff provided by the Episcopal Church (USA) at the Church Center 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017. The direct office line is (001) 212-716- 6263 and the email address

May 22, 2010

WHERE EVANGELICALS ARE DANGEROUS: Not as individuals but as a bloc, voting for the wrong people for the wrong reasons!

Pat Robertson, Christian Coalition, at the height of his power

Best-selling novelist Frank Schaeffer* grew up in the shadow of his father in L'Abri, a Christian community in Switzerland that drew thousands of young seekers from around the world.

His father's fame brought him into contact with top Christian and political leaders, and he went on to become a poster child for the evangelical movement.

Francis Schaeffer, The Last Great Modern Theologian

The son of Francis Schaeffer, one of the most influential evangelical theologians of the last century, is now a sharp critic of the evangelical world in which he was raised.

¨Most theology, to be perfectly honest, is just people making excuses for a God they don't fully understand and trying to figure out how things work. Which is fine, but let's not mistake our words about God for actually knowing about God.¨

Do you still agree with your father's theology?

¨People think that I've shifted my opinion, and in some ways I have, but in other ways, I'm still very much my dad's son.

I find his cultural analysis very pertinent. For example, the bankruptcy of the extreme left he saw very clearly, with people like Pol Pot and Mao Zedong and others.

Pol Pot in 1977 at the height of his power

He was a better man than his theology. For example, on the issue of homosexuality, he had a right-wing position. In practice, gay people were completely welcomed in L'Abri. He treated them with tremendous compassion and openness.

Southern Baptist Jerry Falwell, at the height of his power

He could never be identified with the Jerry Falwells and the Pat Robertsons and the Anita Bryants.

Anita Bryant , at the height of her power

When Anita Bryant came to his house for lunch to enlist his help in her campaign to ban gays from teaching in schools, he actually threw her out of the house because he thought she was so uncompassionate and un-Christ-like.

Only on the issue of abortion did his views overlap with the religious right. On every other issue, he was a progressive...¨

You've called today's religious right dangerous. More than half of Oklahomans self-identify as evangelicals. Are you calling them dangerous?

¨No, not at all. Where evangelicals are dangerous is not as individuals but as a bloc, voting for the wrong people for the wrong reasons.

They're dangerous because they simplify politics down to a couple issues.

I think the evangelical community, in terms of politics, has really painted itself into a corner. It's very dangerous to have a series of moralistic litmus tests that you apply to people on the basis of voting.

For instance, having had a son in the Marine Corps getting shot at in Afghanistan, I look at who the commander in chief is, and I have a lot more at stake than how he votes on gay rights and abortion. I'd like to know, is he competent? Is he intelligent? Is he decent? Is he honest? Will he govern well? Is he going to make a good commander in chief?

James Dobson, Focus on Family, at the height of his power

I fault the evangelical leaders like James Dobson, who so narrow their focus to a few moral issues that we have consistently voted for some very mediocre or worse leadership.

I'm not saying the left doesn't do the same thing. Both have their litmus tests. But evangelicals give it that religious fervor, which has really hurt our country. It's just crazy.¨

· Thanks to The Tulsa World
· Thanks to Bill Sherman, Religion Writer
· Thanks to Francis Schaeffer
· Thanks to Frank Schaeffer
· Thanks to Associated Press, Susan Walsh
· Thanks to The Huffington Post, sidebar

*Books by Frank Schaeffer Fiction (The Calvin Becker Trilogy) PORTOFINO ZERMATT SAVING GRANDMA BABY JACK Nonfiction KEEPING FAITH—A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps (Co-authored with Sgt. John Schaeffer USMC) FAITH OF OUR SONS—A Father’s Wartime Diary VOICES FROM THE FRONT—Letters Home From America’s Military Family AWOL—The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes From Military Service—And How It Hurts Our Country (Co-authored with Kathy Roth-Douquet) CRAZY FOR GOD—How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back PATIENCE WITH GOD—Faith for People who Don’t Like religion (Or Atheism)

May 21, 2010

Demonization of LGBT people by self-described "conservative" forces appeals to an electorate inundated with ¨purported¨ conservative ideas...

...are pure naked hatred dressed in the drag of "conservatism."
By The Reverend Jerry Maneker

¨I really believe that the bombardment of anti-Gay messages throughout our lives in assorted venues, not the least of which is most of the organized Church, has taken hold on many LGBT people's lives and psyches and, even though many are "out," they still harbor a visceral self-loathing that manifests itself by many identifying with their oppressors. This phenomenon is quite common in a variety of arenas, and it's called "the Stockholm Syndrome", where the oppressed become emotionally attached to their oppressors.¨ J.M.+

...To "conserve" in the political sense, means to adhere to traditions of fiscal responsibility and seek to minimizie the government's intrusion or encroachment on individual rights! If that is what we meant in today's U.S. by "conservative," that would be a perfectly understandable political position for a rational Gay person to take.

However, the unfortunate reality is that what passes for "conservatism" today is diametrically opposed to those very traditional principles! President Bush inherited an economic surplus and in just a few short years we have come to the point where we have the largest debt that this nation has ever seen. We invaded a sovereign country based on lies and deceit, having 9/11 cynically used as a pretext to enter a war that I believe was planned before Bush even took office.

Moreover, with the initiation of the Patriot Act, suspension of habeus corpus for those viewed as "enemy combatants," and a whole host of other encroachments on our civil liberties, this Administration is anything but "conservative," and has done a great deal to encroach upon our individual liberties, more than ably and willingly abetted by most of the mainstream media that has both uncritically accepted the sound bytes emanating from the self-serving White House, acting as mere stenographers of the political spin of the day, and airing hitherto unthinkable hateful rhetoric from assorted talk show hosts.

However, one of the consequences of all of this relatively rapid change in our society is the demonization of LGBT people by the self-described "conservative" forces in this country, and the cowardly capitulation to those forces of the opposing, the Democratic, party that has to appeal to an electorate inundated with what is purported to be "conservative" ideas that are really pure naked hatred dressed in the drag of "conservatism." So we even have political opponents adopting many of the "ideas" of those who garner votes and market share of audience by frequently hateful rhetoric and the playing of the politics of exclusion, and who feel the need to intrude on others' private lives, deny them dignity and full and equal civil rights, and frame our political sport as one where one can't tell the players without a scorecard and, unfortunately, when it comes to LGBT rights, the scorecard doesn't show either side in a very favorable light. So, the reality becomes that every decent person who wants to partake of the political process in the U.S. has to support/choose the least of two evils, go into the voting booth, hold his/her nose, and vote!" HERE

· Thanks to The Reverend Jerry Maneker
· Thanks to Christian Gay Lesbian Bi-Sexual Transgender, sidebar
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

May 20, 2010

The Rt. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda: Expelled due to the virulent homophobia of Archbishop Henry Orombi/others at Anglican Church

SAN DIEGO -- The Right Rev. Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda has risked his own life and the lives of his family, for speaking out against the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda’s Parliament. HERE

Dangerous tabloid sensationalism/LGBT Pogrom, Uganda (The Newspaper is owned by family of President Yoweri Musevene) HERE

¨The highly respected Anglican bishop is visiting Southern California this month and will be one of the featured speakers at San Diego’s annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast on Friday, May 21.

Senyonjo will also attend a reception in his honor, hosted by HRC San Diego and Integrity USA, from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 19, at Top of the Park, 525 Spruce St.

The reception is part of an American and European tour by the bishop to raise awareness of the "Kill the Gays" bill being contemplated by the Ugandan legislature. That bill has been universally condemned, including by the U.S. Congress and the European Union. HERE

Senyonjo is also speaking out about the connection between the "ex-gay" movement in the U.S. that is being exported to Africa and the rise of virulent homophobia in African nations that many blame on American evangelical missionaries.¨ HERE

Archbishop Henry Orombi, Uganda, Anglican Provincial Border Crossing Pirate, Demonizer of LGBT Anglicans, GAFCON schismatic, GLOBAL SOUTH exclusionist, OVERSEAS fear/hate-monger and disruptive anti-LGBT-OPPORTUNIST while being in DENIAL of the REAL corruption/sin running rampant at HOME in UGANDA HERE

¨For speaking out in Uganda in support of the LGBT community and human rights, Senyonjo was expelled in 2006 from the Church of Uganda by Archbishop Henry Orombi....Senyonjo remains chaplain to Uganda’s chapter of Integrity. HERE (Bishop Ssenyonjo was never the less invited to The Lambeth Conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 06 July 2008- Kampala, Uganda- Excommunicated pro-gay bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo of the Church of Uganda has been invited to the Lambeth Conference, scheduled for Canterbury, England from July 20 to August 4, 2008)

If Uganda’s controversial bill passes, Senyonjo’s ministry with Integrity would be outlawed and he could be imprisoned for lending support to gays and lesbians.

Senyonjo, 78, was ordained to the diaconate in Uganda in 1963 and to the priesthood in 1964 in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. HERE

He studied at Union Theological Seminary HERE in 1963 and received honorary degrees from Yale Divinity School HERE and Hartford Seminary Connecticut HERE . He became a bishop in 1974 and served in the West Buganda Diocese HERE until his retirement in 1998.

As a bishop, Senyonjo was considered controversial because his teachings on matters of sexual ethics over the place of gays and lesbians within church and society.

In 1998, at the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of all bishops and archbishops throughout the Anglican Communion, Resolution 1.10 was passed that called for a genuine listening process to voices of gays and lesbians throughout the Communion.("It’s possible to construct a perfectly coherent argument that the last 10 years have been preoccupied with undoing the damage Lambeth 1.10 caused to the Communion.¨ Andrew Goddard) HERE

Anti-LGBT Human Rights/Religious/Military Powerforce, President Musevene, Uganda

Yet at the same time, then Ugandan Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyonjo supported Uganda President Musevene’s call for greater criminalization against homosexuality. Bishop Christopher was the only bishop who took the full text of the Lambeth Resolution to heart when it said: “We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all the baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” HERE

He not only provided a safe place for LGBT Ugandans to come to listen, be counseled and to share in the sacramental life of the church, but he also opened a therapy practice as a marriage and family counselor to support his family. (Bishop Orombi: DO YOU REMEMBER THE LGBT ANGLICAN KITEMU COMMUNITY CENTER?) HERE

The bishop’s respect for the full interpretation of the resolution brought him censure from his own denomination. This has caused him great personal hardship and persecution in the past five years as increasing hostility towards homosexuals and progressive human rights organizations has been noticeable. Recently, local politicians and church leaders were encouraged to increase criminal penalties against known homosexuals and their supporters, including organizations like Integrity.

The bishop has remained consistently critical of this legislation and is calling upon the international community and faith communities to oppose its passage and implementation. HERE

“I want to assure you that there is no turning back on this road to full inclusion and pastoral sensitivity to all God's people in our church and therefore, I call upon the good leadership of my Church in Uganda to respond pastorally and quickly to all these unfortunate and open-ended forms of anarchy, which only serve to dent the good image of the church,” said Senyonjo, who is married and has 11 grandchildren.

The Rt. Reverend Mary Douglas Glasspool

On Saturday, Senyonjo attended the ordination of the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool as assistant bishop of the Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church during an elaborate ceremony attended by 3,000 people at Long Beach Arena. Glasspool became only the second openly gay or lesbian bishop in the Episcopal Church in the U.S. HERE

The bishop will be visiting these communities after departing from San Diego:

• Orange County, May 15-16 and May 21
• San Francisco, May 22-26
• Minneapolis, Minn., and Kalamazoo, Mich., May 27- 31
• New York, June 6-8 and June 13-17
• Belfast and Dublin, Ireland, June 18-21

GRACE CATHEDRAL/SAN FRANCISCO: Interview with Bishop Christopher Senyonjo

¨In recognition of the "sexual pluralism" that exists in his homeland, and in spite of intimidation by church and state, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Senyonjo, former Bishop of the Diocese of West Buganda, has been compelled to take a stand in support of gays and lesbians in Uganda. On a recent visit to Grace Cathedral he spoke about his life and family, and his pioneering work with Integrity-Uganda.

You have received both praise and ostracism for your work in ministering to gays and lesbians in Uganda. How did you come to that calling?

I started as a counselor. In effect, when I retired as Bishop in 1998 I started a consultation and counseling services office. So there were many people coming to me. And among those who came were homosexuals, so I knew about their perplexities and their rejection by the church and the community. Later on, a young priest came to me and said there was a group of homosexuals, Integrity-Uganda, who wanted to meet me. And I was ready to give them support. I said, "Okay -- I will." But then a lot of opposition ensued because when the Bishops heard that I was associated with this homosexual group, they really attacked me. They wanted me to stop, really, being associated with them -- which I couldn't.

You couldn't?

I said, "I will not abandon this group" because I was convinced that the Lord who gazes on me didn't envisage any kind of discrimination.

(Archbishop Orombi Wanted Pro-Gay Bishops to Apologise. June 5, 2008- Kampala, Uganda- Pro-gay bishops must apologise and renounce their support for sexual perversion in order to reunite the Church. The Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, made the appeal on Wednesday, while addressing journalists at the provincial headquarters in Namirembe, Kampala.) HERE

Could you talk about some of the difficulties encountered by lesbians and gays in Uganda?

They are experiencing a lot of rejection because in our society homosexuality is regarded almost like a taboo. So people wouldn't even like to come out to say they are homosexuals or they are lesbians or they are gays. So when I started really working with them and some of them started to say they were [homosexual], it was not very easy for them. Many of them are really hiding -- just a small group. Almost secretly, we'd meet with them.

What form does that rejection take?

When somebody is a homosexual in a family he's almost rejected. In fact, when I started working with this group my children were very worried because they are working, and their friends were saying, "You're also gay." And it would be very difficult for them. So they were really threatened, and they told me that there would be trouble.

Could you give me an example of a gay person and the situation he or she was in and why that person came to you for counseling?

One person came to me because he was being told that the Bible was against homosexuals, and so you could not really be regarded as a believer, a Christian, if one was a homosexual. But I tried to show this person that the main thing is [a person's] relationship with God.

What about the problems that you personally have faced?

When you retire you continue working in different parishes at the invitation of different Bishops. And I've been doing this. And you get some kind of remuneration. But after I said I'm not going to abandon this group [Integrity-Uganda], one great friend of mine -- a Bishop -- said, "You will not continue to work in my church." And I stopped. And he went on in a kind of campaign, telling other Bishops that homosexuality was wrong and definitely I shouldn't be helping their churches.

Did that surprise you?

Oh, in a way, I didn't know it was going to be so harsh. It did -- definitely. But I had made up my mind I didn't like to be threatened by that or intimidated. It was very hard on me because it stopped some of this income which I needed. And what is more, when I came [to the United States] in March I came here representing a non-governmental organization called WAYS -- that is, Women and Youth Services -- for which I've been a patron. And I was also trying to raise some funds for that group, which is helping with HIV and AIDS in Uganda. By that time, in Uganda, they had started to oppose what I was doing. Things became worse because they started saying that organizations which were utilizing my services should stop it, because I'm going to promote homosexuality. And that organization that is working even still with women and youth -- they said I'm going to promote homosexuality in this group and if they allowed me to continue working with them, others are going to boycott that organization [WAYS].

So it's guilt by association.

Yeah -- so the director told me I should stop working with them, which was right. I stopped.

Because you didn't want to damage that organization?

No -- and the work is good work. So I had to stop, you see? And that was when things became worse, and they said that they were even going to arrest me if I went back. That's why I didn't go back [to Uganda] after that time.

So that was really a threat from the government, then?

No -- mostly from the church.

But the threat of arrest came from the government?

Yeah -- because the church and the government work very closely together. Many of the people in the government are Christians. And if the church is against you, definitely they have a lot of influence. And they brought out a certain law, which we didn't know was there, that homosexuality was illegal in Uganda.

What do you see for the future of Integrity-Uganda?

What is really needed is education. I find that there is a lot of misunderstanding about human sexuality. And I've started writing about it -- because many people regard human sexuality as for procreation and if you think of why we have so much opposition against homosexuality, it is because it is not regarded as productive.

The idea of love didn't come out very easily -- whereas when you read the very beginning in Genesis, Chapter 2, Verse 18 the reason why Adam -- to me, I don't say it was a male, but it was Adam, a being -- the reason why God made a helpmate fit for that being was to heal a loneliness. It does not say, "to have children." Children are okay, but really healing loneliness or aloneness was so important. I think this is the major point. There is a need for education.

So you would like to see that happen on a larger scale?

Yeah -- in fact, I have even written to some of the Bishops that we need this in our seminaries because a wide understanding of human sexuality is really missing.

You've been traveling around the United States and you've been raising money for Integrity-Uganda. How would you like to see that money used?

One thing is, as I've said, education. We need a lot of publications to bring out a number of writings so people really get sensitized about human sexuality. And to have these programs on TV -- the good thing in Uganda now is we have got a kind of freedom of speech, right? So something can come out on TV, some articles in newspapers, and some discussions. That is one way.

What is your impression of lesbians and gays in this country?

I feel that people here have got more freedom [in the United States], and they can talk about who they are without real fear. That's why we need this kind of solidarity. We get encouragement when we meet people who are free to say who they are.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Anglican Hero and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu HERE

And what is more, I've been given encouragement by people talking about what I'm doing and giving me support. I've had real encouragement from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. He wrote to me: "Dear Bishop Christopher: I write to assure you of my support for your position and to assure you of my prayers in the very difficult situation you find yourself in as a result of your principled stand. Please feel free to make public the fact that I support you. God bless you and your family now and always.

What personally sustains you in what is obviously a difficult time?

What has sustained me is to believe that this call is from God -- that's all, in fact.

It seems that you have become a pioneer for the rights of sexual minorities in your country. Did you anticipate that when you first made the decision to become involved?

No -- I didn't know I was a pioneer as such, because I didn't really sit down and say I was going to be involved.

Charges have been leveled by the Church of Uganda's Bishops that Integrity-Uganda is an alien influence from the West. Would you respond to that?

I would have said probably the same if I hadn't met [gay] people, real people, coming to me who are not alien -- who are Ugandans who have these problems. I call it that because in Uganda they still say problems. And, as we've been talking about it now, people have started writing in the papers -- Ugandans -- saying, "No -- we must respect these people. They are among us." Even long ago, before we even had many Westerners in Uganda, this was there. HERE

What do you hold out in terms of hope for reconciliation and transformation?

I've been trying -- trying. In fact, recently I wrote this Bishop who has been really the head of the campaign against me. I said, "I regard you still as my really great friend." He is. And I said, "I hope when I come back -- I would like to continue talking." We should be talking.

To keep the dialogue open?

Yeah -- and I even said to him, "We need to have a course in our seminaries on human sexuality, and this will reduce the conflict." I don't say we could agree 100%, but I think the gap would be narrowed.

So do you feel hopeful that some change can happen in the future?

Yeah -- I have hope. I don't believe that all Bishops really are against me -- not all. But they are still afraid. HERE

It is very interesting, because [before I came out from Uganda] one of the clergy, a very senior clergyman, was sent to talk to me. But before [this official meeting] I met him and we talked. He said, "Bishop, I believe that if God has shown you to do this you can't do otherwise. I think you should do it." It was wonderful.

Where are you headed next and when will you be going back to Uganda?

I'm heading back to my friends in Maryland. As to when I'm going back to Uganda, I just don't usually like to talk about it -- but as soon as possible.

The people I have been staying with [in the United States] are also my family and my friends. I said to them, "When I was thrown overboard, you took me in." We have a family in Christ. I think this is very, very important. I've been very much appreciative of this.

What is your view of how the church has dealt with human sexuality in general?

I would say that the church generally has not dealt with human sexuality. People have been afraid of human sexuality as such, so there's a lot of taboo connected with it. There's a verse which really helps me a lot, in the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 16, Verse 12 -- "And our Lord said, 'There are still many, many things I would like to tell you but you cannot bear them now.' The only problem is if you're not willing to listen to what the spirit is saying now. HERE

Retired bishop criticizes anti-gay policies, calls for networking, developing Ugandan LGBT community

Senyonjo: 'God is not only for heterosexuals'

By Pat McCaughan, May 20, 2010

[Episcopal News Service] Retired Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Buganda has a simple, if dangerous message: "God is not only for heterosexuals … [if you are gay] accept yourself, love yourself."

Senyonjo, 78, recently kicked off a six-week speaking tour at St. Paul's Church, Pomona, in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to raise awareness about repressive anti-gay policies in Uganda, where lawmakers recently considered imposing a death penalty on gays.

He also called upon advocacy groups to network to help develop the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and other under-served communities in Uganda and to promote understanding and education.

The married grandfather of 11 has been compared to Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King Jr. because of his outspoken gay rights activism. His advocacy was born of listening to the struggles of others, he said recently.

"The church should be on the side of those who suffer, who are persecuted and who have been misunderstood," he told about 75 people gathered at the May 11 forum in Pomona. "To me it is sad. Very often, people go to the Bible and read it the way they want to and say if you don't read the Bible this way you are out, an outcast. I know; because I've been there."

Read it all from ¨Walking With Integrity¨, HERE

Read it all from Episcopal News Service HERE

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