US preachers lit homophobia fuse

American evangelists were responsible for fostering a turning point in Uganda's attitudes towards LGBTI people.


Ugandan gay rights ­activist Dennis Wamala (28) can pinpoint when “the war went from ­rhetoric to action”.

It was in early March 2009. Ugandan Pentecostal pastors such as Martin Ssempa and Solomon Moses Male had begun to make a noise a few years earlier about gays allegedly recruiting children at schools with Western help, according to Wamala.

Later, three American evangelical Christians jetted into Kampala to be keynote speakers at the Seminar on Exploring the International Homosexual Agenda.

They were Scott Lively, the co-founder of the international anti-gay extremist group Watchmen on the Walls, and the co-author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party; Don Schmierer, who has worked with “homosexual recovery groups” and has penned five books relating to “ex-gay therapy”; and Caleb Lee Brundidge, an “ex-gay” who is said to lead groups to mortuaries in an attempt to raise the dead and who has experience working as a “sexual reorientation coach”.