Stop TheCall to Violence in Uganda


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Another preacher from the United States is headed for Uganda to export homophobia through his ministry. Lou Engle of Kansas City, Missouri plans to fill a stadium in Kampala on May 2 to rally Ugandans against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  He calls it ministry - but rather than compassion and love, we feel this event preaches a message of intolerance and spiritual violence. We must do all in our power to stop the spread of hatred, physical and violence and discrimination in the guise of religion.. This so-called ministry is unrecognizable to all good people of faith who believe in love, compassion and acceptance.

You might remember Lou Engle and "TheCall" from the stadium event in San Diego, California just before Proposition 8 came to a vote. At the event, Engle convened masses of people to pray that marriage be taken from same-sex couples. Engle has preached fear, martyrdom and God's blood vengeance to his followers. He called San Francisco a %u201Cdominion of darkness%u201D with "gay demons."

Now, Engle plans to bring "TheCall" to Uganda, where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are already fleeing from house to house to escape escalating persecution and violence triggered by the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. In this environment, %u201CThe Call%u201D is not just controversial %u2013 it could be deadly.

The web site for %u201CTheCall Uganda%u201D stadium rally, in Kampala on May 2, exhorts people to fast and pray for 21 days before coming the mass rally in Kampala. Their goals are to fight against:

%u2022 Witchcraft and human sacrifice;
%u2022 Homosexuality and increased immorality;
%u2022 Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people; and
%u2022 The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala.

%u201CTheCall%u201D rally comes at a time when the bill called %u201Cgenocidal%u201D by a prominent Ugandan priest is still pending in Uganda%u2019s Parliament.  The bill was proposed after a conference in Uganda where three US evangelists preached against gay people. World leaders were appalled by the bill. It was condemned by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the United States Senate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay.

We must do all in our power to send a counter message of hope and the need to respect the dignity of every human being, We must raise up our voices and answer the call to action to stop this blantant spread of homophobia by U.S. evangelists once and for all. We implore Lou Engle to stay out of Uganda when people%u2019s lives are at stake.

Read more below, and sign the petition.

With the Anti-Homosexuality Bill under consideration, %u201CTheCall Uganda%u201D threatens to export homophobia at a time when it could have deadly consequences.  Threats and violence against LGBT people are already increasing.  Many have had their photos in Ugandan newspapers with headlines describing them as %u201CTop Homos.%u201D

Frank Mugisha, Chairperson of Sexual Minorities of Uganda, said, %u201CGay people are already fleeing their homes and have to move from house to house because of threats to their lives. Americans need to stop Lou Engle from coming to Uganda.%u201D

Lou Engle is just the latest American evangelical to go to Uganda.  The most damaging were three American evangelicals from the United States %u2013 Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer %u2013 who held a three-day conference on homosexuality in Kampala, Uganda in March 2009. Video of Lively at this conference shows him saying gay people were behind the Nazi holocaust and labeling all gay people as child molesters.

Later that year, MP David Bahati proposed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 to the Ugandan Parliament.  This Bill would allow for the imprisonment of anyone who %u201Cpromotes%u201D homosexuality, or who fails to report a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender person to the police.  It calls for the death penalty for so called %u201Cserial offenders,%u201D and extradition of Ugandans perceived to be gay%u2014wherever they are in the world.

Hundreds of other religious leaders have signed petitions and sent letters to top officials in Uganda.  President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have publicly challenged the proposed bill and worked behind the scenes to reach the current stalemate. Even evangelicals like Rick Warren and Joyce Meyer have condemned the bill, despite being against LGBT equality.

Now Engle is going to Uganda.  In the past, Engle has encouraged followers to be martyrs for their faith and has spoken of casting out %u201Chomosexual spirits%u201D and called San Francisco their %u201Cdominion of darkness.%u201D He fired up a massive pro-Prop 8 rally by encouraging an audience of 20,000 to prepare for martyrdom.


African letter to Ugandan President to throw out Anti-Homosexual Bill:

Ugandan church leader brands anti-gay bill 'genocide':

Human Rights Impact Assessment of Uganda's Anti-homosexuality Bill By Sylvia Tamale, The Dean of Law at Uganda's Makerere University:

Dear Lou,

At this tense time in Uganda, we ask you to reconsider your plans to have TheCall: Uganda on May 2nd. Filling a stadium of fasting people with fear and hatred of gay people is likely to trigger violence against a community of people who are already in danger. LGBT people want only to live in peace with the freedom to love and be who God has made them to be.

We believe that this message is counterproductive to a gospel of love and compassion toward the most marginalized people. We ask that you cancel TheCall: Uganda and encourage your followers to treat all people with dignity and respect regardless of who they love.

U.S. exportation of homophobia must stop. Lou Enle -- please halt The Call: Uganda at this volatile and dangerous time.

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