Not a big surprise given his recent statements, but Lou Engle made it (more or less) explicit in an interview with Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches. Here is some of the money:
I [Posner] pressed him [Engle] about which penalties in the bill he didn’t support — and he did say that although he could see someone supporting the death penalty, he did not, and he did not support “hard labor” as punishment or the requirement that churches report LGBT people to the authorities. But when I asked him if he would support a bill with less harsh penalties, he added:
My main thing is to keep — is to not allow it to be legalized, so to speak, so then it just spreads through the legal system of the nation. So I’m not — I’m not making a statement as to what I think the penalties should be. It’s not my job to do that. I do think, I do think that these leaders are trying to make at least some kind of statement that you’re not just going to spread the agenda without some kind of restraint, a legal restraint and punishment. And I don’t know what the line is on those, but I can’t go that far as I understand that bill already said. [emphasis mine]
Engle also discusses his time with David Bahati and Julius Oyet and says he did not know the men well.
Engle claimed to not specifically remember meeting with Bahati and Oyet while in Kampala, telling me:
I don’t even remember their names, I guess who they were. I met with the leader of the — with the bishop of the Assemblies of God of the nation. I understood as one of his key guys, one of his key leaders. I did not support the bill. I talked to them, whoever these two guys were about the lessening of the penalties, we even challenged them to make provisions so that the church would not have to report anything of homosexuality being exposed. But we appreciated the two guys whose hearts were to bring forth a principled bill. [emphasis mine]
Engle told me he didn’t know who Bahati was, but when I told him he was the author of the bill, Engle added:
David Bahati may have been in a meeting that I had with the minister of ethics [Buturo]. But in that, I did not come out and support that bill. It was a meeting of about 25 people, and really was a prayer meeting and I was there to mobilize The Call and to pray with them.
No wonder Bahati and Oyet were happy.
I don’t understand why it is Lou Engle’s job to say that a “legal restraint” is needed for homosexuality but then it is not his job to say what the penalties should be. For those who favor recriminalization, the Ugandan supporters of the AHB have called you out. If it is not to be what they propose then what should it be? Scott Lively wants the state to require gays to go through state paid reorientation. Forget government health care but Uganda should pay for what would be, in essence, forced re-education programs. While Mr. Engle doesn’t offer that solution, he doesn’t offer anything else of substance. Among other places, the devil truly is in the details.