Comment: Can you help raise awareness of homophobia in Uganda?
Daniel Law writes of why he wants to make a documentary profiling the role of anti-gay western evangelicals who are seeking to gain influence in Uganda.
Homophobic western evangelicals from the UK and US have been preaching hate in Uganda over the past decade which has led directly to anti-gay legislation and extreme persecution of the LGBT community in the form of evictions, mob violence, rape and murder.
It has also led to a dramatic rise in HIV infection rates due to difficulty getting access to proper health care.
The vast majority of MPs signed a petition to bring it back and a draft of a new bill was recently leaked. This new legislation promised as a “Christmas present” to the people of Uganda makes it illegal to provide employment, housing, transport and even health care to members of the LGBT community.
The new bill includes harsher clauses than the original bill and even equates homosexuality to bestiality.
I became involved in the situation in Uganda when Paul Shinners, an evangelical a preacher and charity owner from my town in Cambridgeshire was quoted in a Ugandan newspaper speaking in favour of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was then known as the “Kill the Gays” Bill as at that time it still included the death penalty.
I was able after much effort to track down a copy of Shinners speaking in Uganda which confirmed that the quotes in the Ugandan paper were accurate.
Despite detailed correspondence with the Charity Commission, Passion of Souls Ministries still retains it’s charity status despite a clear breach of the “charitable purpose” mandate.
I decided to make a documentary about the situation in Uganda and travelled there in November to conduct some initial interviews including one with Frank Mugisha the head of SMUG and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
During my visit to Uganda I met a number of members of the LGBT community including the heads of main LGBT organisations, grassroot activists, people living with HIV and even those arrested under the anti-gay laws.
I heard many harrowing stories of how the growing culture of homophobia has affected many in the LGBT community, but also heard stories of courage and strength from those fighting against the prejudice that has infected their country.
In my project I will show the direct causal links between the western evangelicals and the anti-gay legislation and rise in homophobia in Uganda.
I will highlight the plight of the Ugandan LGBT community and the brave work the activists do there to fight the extreme prejudice, persecution and lies being spread by western trained and funded evangelicals.
I also aim to raise the issue of how effective the Charity Commission is at regulating and investigating charities that operate in countries like Uganda where there are serious human rights abuses taking place.
To donate to my project please visit the following website: www.gofundme.com/dblaw
Daniel Law runs the blog Stop Uganda Homosexuality Bill.