Jeff Sharlet on Rachel Maddow: The Family and the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
On December 1, I addressed the issue of the Family’s influence on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. At that time, I reported the following information:
To explore these issues, I spoke via email with the Director of Cornerstone Development, Tim Kreutter. Mr. Kreutter has lived in Africa most of his life and oversees a staff of about 150 people.
When asked about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009, he told me that Cornerstone “had zero input on that bill.” Furthermore, Mr. Kreutter pointed out that Cornerstone has intervened in death penalty situations, saying:
“In particular, we are opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and have played a part in working to stay all executions here for the last 10 years or so.”
Kreutter also explained that the sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, David Bahati and the outspoken government minister who supports it, Nsaba Buturo, currently have no involvement in Cornerstone programs. As noted, a review of their website confirms this statement.
Regarding Bahati’s involvement in the Africa Youth Leadership Forum, Mr. Kreutter pointed out that the forum that day included three Ugandan politicians: Cecilia Ogwal, Mugisha Muntu and David Bahati. Ogwal is involved in the Uganda People’s Congress Party of former Pres. Milton Obote, Muntu is a major opposition leader of the Forum for Democratic Change Party and a likely Presidential candidate in the next elections and then Bahati is a loyal ruling party member. I should also point out that the Deputy Secretary for International and Regional Affairs of the Forum for Democratic Change, Anne Mugisha (no relation to Muntu), opposes the bill.
As noted, I was correct that at least some of the Family opposes the bill. More specifically, Jeff Sharlet reports below that there is potential for the Ugandan lawmakers to be disinvited to the American prayer breakfast in February if they do not take positive steps regarding the bill. As best as I can tell, David Bahati, Nsaba Buturo and Julius Oyet are slated to in the US during the week of Feb, 2-6. I suspect their visit will be an eventful one in any case, but especially if the “Kill the gays bill” is not itself dead.