Just a bit ago, I talked to Andy Laney of the U.S. Department of State who contradicted a report in the Uganda Observer that David Bahati was asked to leave the country.
Mr. Laney said, “We did not ask David Bahati to leave the country,” adding that the State Department did not have that authority.
However, Mr. Laney confirmed that State Department officials met with Mr. Bahati while he was in the United States and told him
…that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is a major violation of human rights and that we strongly oppose it.
Mr. Laney’s statement about Bahati’s departure from the country is in sharp contrast to what I reported earlier today based on the Observer article:
Reports from the US state that Bahati, who was taped for Thursday’s Rachel Maddow TV Show, was told to get out of the USA by the authorities Thursday.
Bahati who had planned on staying in the USA and to leave over the weekend, was asked to leave right away by department of State officials.
The US authorities informed Bahati that he was no longer welcome and nor was he legally entitled to remain in the USA. He was put on a plane for Paris and is probably on his way back home.
The Observer article adds that protests were planned in DC.
A large group of activists were planning to protest today – Friday. But now that Bahati has left , the protests have been called off and the activists assert they are happy he is gone.
This may be more the real reason he left – to avoid protests.
Mr. Laney did not know whether Mr. Bahati had indeed left the U.S.
UPDATE: Bahati confirms that he was not asked to leave the country. The article incorrectly attributes Mr. Laney’s quote above to the Lez Get Real website.