A three-day antigay conference starting today in Kampala, Uganda, will promote magic, life-imprisonment, and parental blame-games as methods of “curing” people of their sexual orientation. Exodus International board member Don Schmierer of the United States will help keynote the conference.
Schmierer was scheduled to join Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Caleb Lee Brundidge as speakers for the event, organized by Uganda’s so-called Family Life Network. Brundidge is a therapist within ex-gay Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation who also co-leads Extreme Prophetic, a movement of pentecostal extremists who anticipate that God shall empower them to raise corpses from the dead — right out of cemetery graves.
The decision of Exodus leadership, Lively, and a prominent therapist at Cohen’s foundation to endorse Uganda as ex-gay conference locale is appalling:
Uganda has an atrocious human-rights record. Security forces commonly inflict torture and illegal detention; the nation remains wracked by civil war; more than 1.2 million Ugandans have been driven from their homes; an estimated 20,000 children have been kidnapped by the LRA for use as child soldiers and slaves; and the country is led by president-for-life Yoweri Museveni.
The conference objective is to defend Uganda’s criminalization of homosexuality, which remains punishable by life in prison — or by extrajudicial execution, which also is common. FLN leader and conference organizer Stephen Langa justifies this brutality by falsely accusing gay people of recruiting children. (Langa offers no evidence of such recruitment.)
The conference is not intended for the people who actually struggle with their sexual orientation; it is targeted instead at antigay parents, politicians, violently antigay preachers, and vigilantes. Langa says the conference will (falsely) inform these audiences that sexual orientation can be suppressed and destroyed through changes in parenting, through brutal law enforcement, and through concerted campaigns of ostracism by organizations and communities.
Thus far, only one ex-gay pundit has spoken out against Exodus’ participation in the conference: Warren Throckmorton.
According to UGPulse.com:
… Throckmorton says that he believes it is a big mistake for these US people to go to Uganda and discuss prevention of homosexuality when they are not scientists and have no training to discuss these matters in a reliable or factual manner.
He says people who are involved are not qualified to speak about the causes or change of homosexuality.
“None of them have any research on the topic or scientific qualifications to understand the research on the subject. They will be spreading old ideas about homosexuality which even Christian psychologists in the US and Europe have dismissed as without support,” he says.
He says that one of the presenters has a significant problem with credibility.
“Caleb Brundidge is affiliated with Extreme Prophetic here in the US. He leads groups to mortuaries to attempt to raise the dead!
“He believes God drops jewels and gold dust on worshippers but refuses to gain verification of these claims. He also claims he was gay and changed. Given his other claims, it is difficult to take any of his claims seriously.
“I also believe it is dangerous for those who might struggle to admit their struggle in Uganda when it might land them in trouble with the authorities,” he says in a commentary sent to our reporter after we broke the story of the Conference.
“Mr. Schmierer is a board member for Exodus International and he should not be promoting questionable theories of prevention in a country where just admitting being gay can lead to serious consequences,” he adds.
Exodus International and Exodus Global Alliance support criminalization and long prison terms for gay people in many countries in the world. Despite numerous requests, Exodus International has refused to disavow its membership in EGA or its role in EGA opposition to human rights. [And since 2002, despite my own personal appeals to Exodus executive vice president Randy Thomas, Exodus International has refused to establish and publish a clear and official policy opposing the criminalization and prosecution of homosexual orientation and behavior.]
Why, then, is it a surprise to Prof. Throckmorton when Exodus board member Schmierer acts in support of imprisonment and forcible brainwashing in Uganda?
Addendum: A commenter at Ex-Gay Watch points out that it is effectively illegal to be ex-gay in Uganda. To admit past or present sexual activities with the same sex, immediately exposes oneself to imprisonment, torture, or extrajudicial execution.
Perhaps the entire leadership of Exodus International should fly to Uganda, stay there for a year or two, and enjoy life under the laws and vigilantism that they defend. To advocate for laws that one refuses to live under is both sadistic and cowardly.