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U.S. LGBT Rights Envoy Randy Berry Plans July Trip To Uganda: VIDEO

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The U.S. State Department’s special envoy for LGBT rights is scheduled to visit Uganda in July, reports Buzzfeed.

Openly gay Randy Berry was appointed to the post in February.

The State Department has not provided any details of what Berry hopes to achieve in Uganda.  The draconian "kill the gays" law was struck down in August. However, in March members of the Ugandan Parliament announced plans to reintroduce a similar bill.

Speaking at an event at the Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday, Berry said that he plans to visit more than 15 countries in the next month.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Berry will today visit Jamaica.

Watch a USA Today profile of Berry, AFTER THE JUMP...

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As Uganda's 'Kill The Gays' Bill Returns, Pro-Gay Activists Step Forward

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In 2009 David Bahati made a name for himself by introducing an early version of what would eventually become Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law. Colloquially known as the “Kill The Gays” Bill, Bahati’s proposal argued in favor of punishing those thought to be “recruiting” children into the “homosexual lifestyle” with death. By the time the law was passed in 2013 the penalty of death had been reduced to life in prison, but the sentiment became emblematic of Uganda’s social climate in regards to its gay population.

The law was repealed as a result of a procedural technicality, but Bahati and other members of the Ugandan Parliament have made clear their plans of reintroducing a similar bill. This past weekend Bahati reaffirmed his resolve to a new anti-gay bill and confirmed that the planning process is moving forward.

This time around, however, Bahati and Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni are likely to be faced by increased opposition from pro-gay Ugandan activists. Writing for The Daily Beast, Janson Wu, the executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defender, explains that despite the country’s hostility toward queer people, those on the front lines are mobilizing much in the same way LGBT activists organized in the US.

Rather than attacking the law individually, Wu explains, Ugandan activists are turning their sights towards the manifestations of institutional homophobia that paved the way for the law’s creation:

“On a recent trip to Uganda, I met with local LGBT activists – and one lesson consistently emerged as key to their strategy: the fight for LGBT rights must be situated within a broader campaign for human rights and civil liberties.

This is how the early American LGBT movement began as well. It focused not solely on the equal rights of LGBT people, but on the constitutional liberties that all U.S. citizens – including LGBT people – are supposed to enjoy.

As the LGBT movement developed, the focus shifted to equal rights for LGBT people specifically.  This was justified in its time: equal treatment and protection of LGBT people under the law (removing all “gay exceptions” from the books) is essential to equal citizenship and dignity. However, as we begin to move beyond formal equality in the law in some areas of the country, we must also broaden our sights if we truly are to achieve equal justice for the LGBTQ community.”

Read the full piece here.


Out Composers Raise Money For Ugandan Students With Gay-Themed Video 'Invisible Thread' - WATCH

Uganda

Singing-songwriting duo Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews have shared a new music video for their song "Invisible Thread", directed by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Tuck Everlasting, Newsies), telling the true story of their experiences as aid workers in Africa. The real life couple share their struggles in the video as they attempt to keep their lives connected across space and time. The song originally comes from their musical, Witness Uganda.

The video is also being used to raise funds for students in Uganda, a country that has been anything but friendly to the LGBT community as of late. From Gould and Matthews' crowdfunding page:

In light of political developments regarding the outlawing of homosexuality in Uganda over the last year, we decided not to put our students at risk by featuring them in videos with us.  Rather, we shot a music video of our song, Invisible Thread, and use it as a way to celebrate people all over the world who are fighting for their right to love whom they choose. 

We believe that education is the greatest deterrent to intolerance and hatred.  With your help, we can send four of our students through their final semester of college and help them to become the next generation of enlightened leaders in Uganda.

Watch the video for "Invisible Thread", AFTER THE JUMP...

And you can check out Gould and Matthews' crowdfunding page HERE.

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Anti-Gay Activist Scott Lively Considers Run For Congress in Massachusetts: VIDEO

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Vile homophobic activist Scott Lively, who has been accused of inciting anti-gay hatred in Uganda, is considering running for Congress in a challenge to Democratic Representative Richard Neal, reports Right Wing Watch.

Lively, who was profiled in last year’s Human Rights Campaign report The Export of Hate, made the announcement on BarbWire, the nasty website belonging to Peter LaBarbera, one of the more dangerous anti-gay activists in the U.S.

His run at congress appears to have come about following a “huge victory” in last year’s run for Massachusetts governor - Lively polled 19,000 votes, less than 1% of those cast.

Lively explains he is hoping to serve in Congress in order to fight the “homosexual agenda” and "anti-Russian propaganda" that is "robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today.”

He also makes clear that god is on the side of the bigots in their fight to implement the “goals of Biblical Christianity” around the world.

It is not clear how the news that Lively is to stand trial for crimes against humanity for his “work” spreading anti-gay hatred around the globe will affect his run for congress.

“There are a number of reasons why I would pursue Congress rather than a state office, but one of them is my interest in foreign policy and concern about the disastrous actions of the Obama administration around the world.   

“I am especially concerned that the Neoconservatives (read Republican liberals) have aligned with the Obama administration re Russia and are jointly waging a campaign of anti-Russian propaganda designed to deceive conservatives into supporting a hot war with Russia.

“This is a not only very dangerous game geopolitically, it is robbing social conservatives of their most valuable potential alliance in the world today.  American and Russian conservatives could today be cooperating together to roll back liberalism around the world.  Instead, the cultural Marxists of both major US political parties are trying to drive a wedge between us with the absurd lie that Russia is trying to revive the Soviet Union.

“Neither Russia nor its president are without flaws, and it is as impossible to defend them against a campaign of relentless criticism as is anyone else but Jesus Christ.     

“But if  we ask the simple question ‘Which countries of the world and their current leadership align most closely to the goals of Biblical Christianity and of ideological conservatism?’ it’s a whole different ballgame.

“If we rank the current leaders and countries of the world by that standard Putin and Russia rank high on the list — certainly much higher than Obama and his version of America.  Indeed, is there any world leader speaking in defense of persecuted Christians in the Middle East like Putin has?  Is there any other ‘first world’ nation standing up against the homosexual agenda like Russia is doing?"

Watch Lively explain his bizarre theory on the different types of homosexuality, AFTER THE JUMP... (hint - you're a dysfunctional bully)

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Nine Ugandan Men Detained And Sexually Abused By Police For Suspected Homosexuality

Uganda

Nine Ugandan gay men were accosted by a homophobic mob as they departed from the Rainbow Health Foundation’s STI health clinic in the rural western part of the country.

Police purportedly took the men into custody for their own protection, but upon arrival at police headquarters, the men were immediately charged under Ugandan sodomy laws. The men were subjected in invasive anal examinations to prove that the detained men were gay.

VIllage officials like the local council chairman have acknowledged that the men were detained, but have expressed that they have no sympathy for them.

The Rainbow Health Foundation has stepped forward and is now trying to raise funds to move the men to a safer location nearer to a city where they may be safe from further persecution. Funds can be directed to the organization through their PayPal e-mail address donate2rhfm@gmail.com.

“The young men are living in fear for their lives,” said Denis LeBlanc, editor of the 76Crimes blog. “Some are house hopping, others are hiding in fields; these young men are in real danger should they be found.”


UN General Assembly President Takes Swipe at Gay Activists Upon Return to Uganda

Kutesa

Sam Kutesa, the President of the United Nations General Assembly whose election was protested internationally by LGBT rights groups because of his hand in Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality law and comments referring to gay people as "disgusting", returned to his home country this week and immediately engaged in some braggadocio with regard to that controversy, Uganda's Daily Monitor reports:

Mr Kutesa, who is in the country on an official visit since his election last June as president of UNGA, said he has not been mistreated nor has Uganda been depicted in bad light over the Anti-Homosexuality Law, which was struck down by the Constitutional Court.

“It is not a problem. I had been nominated by my country Uganda and the African continent had endorsed me,” Mr Kutesa said.

To drive the point home that the pro-gay could not succeed in blocking his candidature, Mr Kutesa used an adage: “No matter how much noise the frogs make, they cannot stop a cow from drinking water.”

Commenters on the Monitor aren't too pleased with Kutesa's behavior.

Writes one:

"When will NRM ministers learn to show some magnanimity? Kutesa has better things to talk to the press about than dwelling on the past and noisy frogs and a cow drinking water for he is acutely aware that his government is milking the cow without feeding it."


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