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Training seminar for Ugandans fighting against ‘promotion’ of homosexuality

PinkNews Staff Writer February 23, 2009

American fundamentalist Christians who advocate “ex-gay” treatments will speak at a three-day conference in Uganda next month.

The event has been organised by a Kampala-based “moral watchdog,” Family Life Network.

Stephen Langa, the group’s director, said that Uganda “is now under extreme pressure from homosexual groups to de-criminalise homosexuality,” according to

“He says homosexuals in the country were boosted by a December 2008 court victory which declared that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against homosexuals and that they should enjoy the same rights as enjoyed by other Ugandans.

“Langa in a statement today said several homosexual groups are active in Uganda and are busy recruiting school boys and girls at an alarming rate using a variety of methods.”

The seminars from March 5th to 7th cost 25,000 (£8.66) Ugandan shillings per day and will provide “insight on the causes and treatment of homosexuality; provide practical tips on how to prevent homosexuality behaviour in youth; expose the homosexual agenda, their tactics, strategy and methods of recruitment; and provide information and guidelines on how to respond to the homosexual agenda in an organisation, community or nation.”

American guests include Dr. Scott Lively, who runs the California-based Abiding Truth Ministries, Don Schmierer from International Healing Ministries and Caleb Lee Brundidge, “a dreadlocked ‘former’ homosexual who claims he is cured and now works as a mentor of homosexuals looking for a cure.”

All are proponents of “praying away the gay,” and believe that gay people can be “turned” straight through their interventions.

In 2005 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce laws banning same-sex marriage.

Section 140 of Uganda’s penal code carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for homosexual conduct, while Section 141 punishes ‘attempts’ at carnal knowledge with a maximum of seven years of imprisonment.

Section 143 punishes acts of “gross indecency” with up to five years in prison, while a sodomy conviction carries a penalty of 14 years to life imprisonment.

President of Uganda Kaguta Yoweri Museveni and other officials have spoken out against homosexuals on numerous occasions.

During his time in office LGBT Ugandans have been repeatedly threatened, harassed or attacked. Many have fled the country.

In Decemebr the Uganda Hight Court issued a ruling in favour of LGBT activists in their suit against the Attorney General of Uganda, citing constitutional violations of the rights to privacy, property and the fundamental rights of women.

It was the first time a gay or lesbian person had brought the authorities to court.

In July 2005 the house of Victor Juliet Mukasa, of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was raided in the middle of the night by local government officials who seized documents and other material.

Another lesbian activist, Yvonne Oyoo, a Kenyan student who was in Ms Mukasa’s house on the night of the raid, was arrested and detained by local government officials and then taken to a police station.

There she was stripped, supposedly in order to confirm she was a woman, and fondled and sexually harassed by police officers.

After the Ugandan government failed to investigate or take any action to remedy the wrongs that had occurred, Ms Mukasa and Ms Oyo filed a private suit against the Attorney General.

In her ruling Justice Stella Arach acknowledged that the government was not directly responsible for the actions of the local official, an elected town councilor, but nevertheless held the Attorney General’s office responsible for the actions of the police.

Justice Arach cited the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and key human rights treaties that had been violated by the police’s actions.

She ordered that Ms Oyoo and Ms Mukasa be paid £4,700 in damages.

More: Africa

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