AFD 73 – Michael Sam, Uganda legislation

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AFD 73 – Michael Sam, Uganda
New episode: Nate and Greg join Bill to discuss Michael Sam as well as Uganda’s anti-gay push from US evangelicals.


Note: This is the full 43 minute version of this episode. The air version this week only included the first segment. We’ll be returning to full-length episodes on air next week.

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Kony 2012: Never forget (the damage you did)

Remember when Invisible Children, a young American group with barely-concealed ties to U.S. evangelical organizations, tried to get everyone to lobby Congress to provide more support to the (undemocratic) Ugandan government, including increased military aid?

Not much policy action came of it, in part because the U.S. already provides the regime with a lot of weapons and military advisers anyway (and because Joseph Kony is nowhere near Uganda anymore).

But it was definitely great anyway to rally a bunch of American students to support the violent and regressive agenda of the U.S. evangelical-backed dictatorship in Uganda and its evangelical Christian president, Yoweri Musevini, who took power in January 1986. Nice boost of moral support for their agenda, which included seeking gay executions several years before the Kony 2012 campaign.

Oddly, that agenda of criminalizing homosexuality (along with a much more extensive multi-decade campaign of general repression supported by Westerners) didn’t disappear. And because I’m the Secretary of the Department of Told-You-So, I’ll just drop the latest on that here:

The anti-gay legislation cruised through Uganda’s parliament in December after its architects dropped an extremely controversial death penalty clause.

The measure, which has been greeted with international condemnation, would criminalize the promotion or recognition of homosexual relations.

Obama suggested that the Ugandan president — a key regional ally for both the United States and the European Union — risks damaging his country’s ties with Washington if he signs the bill into law.

“As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda,” Obama said.

Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice wrote in a series of tweets on Sunday that enacting the law “will put many at risk and stain Uganda’s reputation.”

She added that on Saturday, she “spoke at length with President Museveni… to urge him not to sign anti-LGBT bill.”

Museveni, a devout evangelical Christian, has expressed the view that gays are “sick” and “abnormal.” He suggested in a letter to parliament that homosexuality was caused by a genetic flaw, or a need to make money.

So on the one hand, the pressure campaign advocated increasing support for this monstrous pseudo-democracy and provided visuals of thousands of young Americans rallying behind the regime and its agenda. On the other hand, they shook a strong finger at a coked-up self-styled prophet who hasn’t been in Uganda in years.

But, of course, that was probably the point.