Exodus adds disclaimer to their website

Most recently, Exodus removed a link to Scott Lively’s article on the Pink Swastika. The article attempts to support the idea that homosexuality was integral to the the Nazi uprising. As a consequence of Lively’s appearance in Uganda, Exodus leadership removed the article.
Now, in a move to make sure information on their website is consistent with their mission, Exodus has added a disclaimer and request.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that many articles have been added to this website since its creation in 1995. Exodus does not necessarily ascribe to the views expressed in these articles or the views of the authors. If you find an article in error biblically or factually, please bring it to our attention for review. We are in the process of updating this site and your help is greatly appreciated.

Aftermath of the Uganda conference on homosexuality

Much has happened in Uganda since the Family Life Network’s conference on homosexuality was conducted March 5-7 (All of my posts are linked at the end of this post). This post provides links to the stories and some commentary on the matter.
In short, it appears that the intent of the organizers of the conference is being realized. The conference organizers wanted to fight homosexuality and use the conference as a means of awareness for that purpose. In the days since the conference, a series of news conferences and meetings have provided a steady stream of provocative revelations involving recruiting children. As near as I can tell, none of these revelations are relevant to relationships between consenting adults. And yet, the Family Life Network is apparently calling for “urgent steps” to be taken regarding homosexuality in general.
Here is a chronology:
March 7 – The day the conference ended, this report briefly noted the formation of a group which had a goal to “one day “wipe out” gay practices in the African state.”
March 15 – A follow up meeting was held in Kampala to plan strategy in the anti-homosexuality campaign. The narrative indicates that follow up meetings would be held and that legislative strategies against homosexuality would be pursued. Read the post for a more complete view from the perspective of someone who claims to have been present.
March 23 – At the second follow up meeting (3/22), George Oundo, a former gay activist, was quoted as admitting to recruiting children into sexual activity or at least into supporting homosexuality.
March 25 – Family Life Network organizes parents to complain about homosexuality.

The parents said they are going to write to the President Museveni showing their discontent at what they call the increasing immorality levels in the county so that the government can reverse the trend.

March 25 – Eight more people came forward to say that they had given up homosexuality. The reports are very similar…

“We have been involved in recruiting homosexuals, spreading the gospel of homosexuality, and we know the operations of homosexuals,” said 27-year-old Emma Matovu, who took to homosexuality 13 years ago. “We shall do all it takes to eliminate the practice in Uganda.”
Matovu, who said he abandoned the practice two weeks ago, asserted: “Homosexuality is dangerous and dehumanising but is growing fast in Uganda.”
Langa said his group would move around the country convincing parents to sign a petition to be handed to the President and Parliament on April 7. He said the petition will demand urgent steps to be taken against homosexuality in Uganda.

Given that the high court of Uganda ruled in 2008 that gays and lesbians have the same rights as others, it is not clear what “urgent steps” will be taken. I continue to believe it was a mistake for the Americans to support what could turn into a violent situation there. No word of clarification or explanation has come from the International Healing Foundation, Extreme Prophetic and Caleb Brundidge about his calls for criminalizing homosexual relationships.
Additional links:
Uganda’s strange ex-gay conference
More on the Ugandan ex-gay conference
Ugandan ex-gay conference goes political: Presenter suggests law to force gays into therapy
Reparative therapy takes center stage at Ugandan homosexuality conference
Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK: EU group condemns Ugandan ex-gay conference
Open forum: Report from the Ugandan conference on homosexuality
Christian Post article on the Ugandan ex-gay conference
Scott Lively on criminalization and forced therapy of homosexuality
Christianity, homosexuality and the law
Uganda anti-gay group holds first meeting
Follow the money: Pro-family Charitable Trust
NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from their website
Aftermath of the Ugandan conference on homosexuality

Follow the money: Pro-Family Charitable Trust

This post is mostly about information without much commentary. Recently, I noted that NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) had removed references to Scott Lively from their website. In that post, I reported that Mr. Lively’s foundation, the Pro-Family Charitable Trust chose NARTH as one of the first recipients of grant funds.
While the amounts are not large, Lively’s organization has funded other groups, including Paul Cameron’s Family Research Institute. Here is the list.
According to Lively’s website, NARTH has received $2000 total. PFOX, Exodus, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, JONAH, Mission America and Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation have all been recipients.
Discuss…

Uganda antigay group holds first meeting

The South African Independent Online reported recently that a new group opposed to homosexuality had been formed as a consequence of a March 5-8 conference held in Kampala. The article in full stated:

Kampala – Anti-gay activists in Uganda on Saturday formed a pressure group to discourage homosexuality, following a two-day conference of religious leaders, teachers and social workers in the capital Kampala.
The group, to be called the Anti-Gay Task Force, is intended to “fight against the spread of homosexuality and lesbianism in the country,” spokesperson for the group Stephen Langa told reporters.
Same sex-relationships and marriages are illegal in Uganda, and human rights groups have criticised the government for harassing homosexuals.
The task-force said that it would one day “wipe out” gay practices in the African state.

A meeting of this task force was held on March 15. An anonymous source provided a narrative of that meeting. I am putting excerpts here. Keep in mind that this is one eyewitness account and may not be completely accurate. I have asked Stephen Langa for confirmation and for comment on any discrepancies he believes are here. However, over the last several days all emails to Family Life Network are bouncing back as undeliverable.
Here are some excerpts…

Family Life Network – FLN Comes out Strong on Homosexuality in Uganda
To follow up the anti – gay training in Uganda from 5th to 7th March 2009 — Family Life Net work – FLN, organized a follow up meeting on Sunday 15th March 2009.
The meeting attracted an audience of over 60 people, mostly parents but who included civil servants, government workers, researchers, journalists, activists and students.
The assistant director FLN gave a brief back ground of Family Life Network that FLN deals with restoration of family values. Participants who attended the the previous anti – gay seminar were asked to give a recap.
After that, the audience gave testimonies of their encounter with homosexuals in Uganda and that the movement is strong hence the need for strong forces to deal with the gay movement in Uganda.
The assistant director FLN then introduced the director family Life Network Stephan Langa as the main facilitator of the day.
In his opening remarks, Stephan Langa said the Gay Agenda is controlling the debate, so it is time for the family to take over and start controlling the debate. He also emphasized terms like “Sexual Orientation and told participants not to allow such terms in our vocabulary, that these are terms or words introduced by homosexuals to fulfill their agenda. He warned participants that homosexuals in Uganda want the constitution to include no discrimination based on “sexual orientation”, he urged participants not to allow it.

If accurate, this demonstrates the mixed paradigm of this effort. This coalition is not dedicated to ministry but political engagement.

Presentation “Homosexuality in Uganda.” By Stephen Langa
What cause homosexuality.
In his presentation Stephan Langa said homosexuality is not about sex, it is about the search for a fatherly or motherly figure. Children with bad parenting end up becoming homosexuals as they search for mother’s or father’s love.

I wonder where he heard that?

He also mentioned another cause of homosexuality as child abuse; he said that the homosexuals he has counseled have been abused as children. He cited broken families as another cause of homosexuality.
He mentioned domineering mothers and abusive fathers as another cause of homosexuality, as well as negligent father who are emotionally off (away from?) with children.
Exposure to pornography as another cause of homosexuality.
He said some people are lured into homosexuality by money and other social favors. Rebellion, he said some children become homosexuals because they want to be rebellious, noting that homosexuality is some kind of rebellion.
He also said same sex attraction is a disorder and quoted: Richard Cohen MA. He emphasized the point that all homosexuals can change since all disorders can be changed. Homosexuality is not genetical, it is a learned behavior and what is learned can be unlearned. (Richard Cohen MA.)

Without no obvious awareness of the disconnect, the talk goes from describing homosexuality as a pathology to criticizing it as a political movement.

HISTORY OF THE MODERN GAY MOVEMENT
He talked about Henry Garber, who was a German American soldier in 1924, that Henry Garber sodomized Champ Simmons and Champ Simmons sodomized Harry Hay. Then Harry Hay started the whole gay movement that gays follow to date. Source: The PINK SWASTIKA – Dr. Scott Lively.
GAY AGENDA.
Utopia meaning, the gay agenda has no sexual restrictions and they want the entire world to adapt to this trend of life — that homosexuals want total acceptance, that homosexuals want to over throw the marriage, family values and the moral base of society.
GAY STRATEGY
Homosexuals have redefined homosexuality as in- born and that it is gender irreversible.They focus on who they are and what they want. They are after your children…

According to the person attending the training, there were many more points presented that came from Scott Lively’s books and talks.
After the presentations, the participants brainstormed what could be done. Here are just some…

The laws on homosexuality are weak, hence the need to strengthen these laws.
Parents were encouraged to participant in law making decisions in Uganda so that to strengthen the laws on homosexuality.
To establish a unit at Police to deal with homosexuality.
Homosexuality is an abomination; it is evil and should be dealt with
strongly.
During the reactions a prominent pastor also said that they have been talking with an ex-gay activist who has given them a five year plan for dealing with the gay agenda in Uganda. And they have submitted this plan to the ministry concerned, that they await reactions.
Another participant told the audience that parliament is drafting a new law that will be tough on homosexuals.

I wonder who the ex-gay activist is?
Here is a chilling claim:

A participant asked a liberal question on issues of sexuality: You have associated homosexuality with all evils, defiles, child molesters, etc. Don’t you think that also heterosexuals defile or molest our children why don’t you address this issue as well. He was answered: We are here to talk about homosexuality, do not divert us. After this question he was intimated, almost thrown out of the meeting.

And then plans were made:

Way Forward
-Formation of a task force to deal with homosexuality
-Volunteers to educate children on the dangers of homosexuality
-Fund raising to facilitate the volunteers
-Collect signatures from Ugandans door to door to request parliament to tighten the law on homosexuality.
-Get information and knowledge about homosexuality
-Government should note gay funders, and scrutinize the funding or stop the funding for gay movements in Uganda.
-Rehabilitation of gays, we were told that a curriculum on rehabilitation is being developed and will be out in the next 3 months.
-To deal with homosexuality at local level and involve local councils
-Full up meeting on Sunday: 22nd March, 2009. People pledged to fund raise funds for follow-up meetings.

Let me repeat: I tried to reach Stephen Langa to verify this information but no one answered the phone and the emails have come back undeliverable. This seems plausible given the participants in the earlier ex-gay meeting and what they have suggested they discussed then. If anyone else who was there or Mr. Langa would like to offer a different view, I welcome the contact.
UPDATE: The GayUganda blog has the entire narrative. Short on details, this article reports on another group.

NARTH removes references to Scott Lively from website

Recently, Scott Lively, Director of Abiding Truth Ministries clarified his opinions presented in Uganda regarding criminalization of homosexuality and compulsory therapy, saying:

I did promote therapy as an option to imprisonment, citing my own experience benefitting from optional therapy after an arrest for drunk driving many years ago. In fact, it was during that period I accepted Christ and was spontaneously healed of alcoholism and drug addiction.
I don’t think under the circumstances homosexuality should be decriminalized in Uganda since it seems to be the only thing stopping the international “gay” juggernaut from turning Uganda into another Brazil.

These views are consistent with his public statements elsewhere, including this statement to the Russian people made in 2007.

Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses. This combination of factors causes homosexuals to have an intense loyalty to each other and a common goal to change any society in which they live in organized “gay and lesbian” communities. They have no acceptance in a society that restricts sex to heterosexual marriage, so they work to eliminate sexual morality and remove all limitations on sexual conduct. Importantly, their initial strategy is not promote homosexuality, but to spread sexual immorality among heterosexuals, especially the young people. Only later, when the culture has become sexually corrupt, do they openly step forward to take power as the natural leaders of such a society.

In response to the “personality disorder,” Lively recommends a number of things. One is a limitation on free speech:

Third, criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality. My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don’t want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted. The easiest way to discourage “gay pride” parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality.

In that same letter, Lively recommends therapy for gays and pointed people to NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) as a referral source consistent with his ideas.

The homosexual movement tries to win public sympathy by claiming that homosexuals are “born that way” and cannot change. This is not true. There is a large association of doctors and therapists in the United States who help homosexuals to recover (see www.narth.com) and many thousands of former homosexuals who now live normal lives.

Lively’s referral to NARTH made me wonder if NARTH incorporated his views in a similar manner.
Until yesterday, the answer was yes. There were six references to Mr. Lively on the NARTH website. I asked Dave Pruden if NARTH supported the positions Mr. Lively stated above (criminalization, therapy as an option to jail and limits on free speech), and he reacted quickly to remove all but one reference to his past involvement with NARTH. According to Mr. Pruden, Mr. Lively asked to address the convention luncheon in order to make a donation. The 2005 conference report says:

Also during the luncheon, attorney Scott Lively noted that NARTH’s critics are supported by tens of millions of dollars from foundations on the left, which effectively permits them to “steer the culture through grants.” In an effort to begin reversing that trend, he recently created the Pro-Family Endowment, with one of its initial grants being made to NARTH.

If you search on the NARTH website for “Scott Lively,” you can see the links to articles which are either not there anymore or have the reference to Mr. Lively removed. In addition to the reference above, there was a reference to a book authored by Mr. Lively, another article on gays in schools which referred readers to Mr. Lively’s website and an interview with Brian Camenker which included a favorable reference to Lively’s books.
Mr. Pruden explained that Mr. Lively was not invited by NARTH to speak at the 2005 luncheon but instead asked for time to make the presentation and was granted permission. However, he indicated that this did not indicate NARTH’s agreement with Lively’s views as outlined above. Mr. Pruden said that after some investigation, he determined that Mr. Lively’s views are not consistent with the policies and views of NARTH. Consequenty, the articles and references were removed.
Exodus International also took a similar step recently….

Brief post: Scott Lively on criminalization of homosexuality and compulsory therapy

I have posted several times on the Ugandan conference on homosexuality last weekend. In researching this, I wrote to Exodus International, International Healing Foundation and Scott Lively to ask if they were quoted accurately regarding calls for criminalization of homosexuals and forced therapy as an option to jail. Exodus International issued a statement for today’s Christian Post article on the subject. Neither Richard Cohen nor Caleb Brundidge have issued statements; Extreme Prophetic – Mr. Brundidge’s other affiliation has not issued a statement. However, Scott Lively did answer my request for a statement. I asked him if he favored criminal penalties for homosexuality in Uganda and if he favored compulsory therapy as an option. He requested that I present it exactly as written so here goes:

I did promote therapy as an option to imprisonment, citing my own experience benefitting from optional therapy after an arrest for drunk driving many years ago. In fact, it was during that period I accepted Christ and was spontaneously healed of alcoholism and drug addiction.
I don’t think under the circumstances homosexuality should be decriminalized in Uganda since it seems to be the only thing stopping the international “gay” juggernaut from turning Uganda into another Brazil.

It is hard to know where to start here. The assumptions are that an analogy to drunk driving is reasonable (nope) and that disagreement with homosexuality should be enforced via the coercive power of the state (we can’t go there – what other ideas and beliefs might states want to coerce?).
For now, how about readers taking over…

Christian Post article on the Ugandan homosexuality conference

Michelle Vu, reporter for the Christian Post, penned an article regarding the Ugandan anti-gay conference.
Exodus International is quoted in this article, I think for the first time since the controversy began:

In response, Exodus International said it applauds its board member Don Schmierer, who attended the Uganda conference, for his effort to convey an “alternative message that encompasses a compassionate, biblical view of homosexuality,” according to a statement by Exodus International president Alan Chambers to The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Exodus says neither Schmierer nor the ministry agrees or endorses Uganda’s criminalization of homosexuality law, imprisonment of homosexuals or compulsory therapy. Rather, the ministry says it “unequivocally denounces” the positions the government of Uganda has towards homosexuality.

The full statement is here:

Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, responded to reports about an Exodus board member’s participation at a conference in Uganda on homosexuality:
“Unfortunately, Uganda as a country has demonstrated severe hostility towards homosexuals supporting criminalization of homosexual behavior and proposing compulsory therapy – positions that Exodus International unequivocally denounces. It is our sincere desire to offer an alternative message that encompasses a compassionate, biblical view of homosexuality not just here in America, but around the world. We applaud our board member’s attempt to convey these truths to a country in need.”
###

There is nothing in this statement that changes my view of this conference. It was ill-advised for several reasons, some of which were described in this Christian Post article. Another issue, largely undiscussed, is the collaboration of Exodus with Richard Cohen’s associate, Caleb Brundidge. Mr. Brundidge believes he can raise people from the dead by God’s power but he can’t heal gays without beating pillows with a tennis raquet and getting in touch with the inner child. Is this the kind of compulsory therapy Ugandan gays might have in their future?
On this subject, I highly recommend thoughtful posts by Wendy Gritter at Bridging the Gap and Karen Keen on her Pursue God blog
Also, Scott Lively provides a quote regarding his views on the Ugandan conference here…

Gay Ugandan man seeks asylum in UK; EU group condemns Ugandan homosexuality conference

Gay Without Borders is reporting that John Bosco Nyombi is back in the UK after being returned to Uganda against his will. While there, he was beaten and had to hide from police to avoid detention, according to GWB.
Nyombi’s case made headlines in September of 2008 but little has been reported since. I post this case in light of the recent ex-gay conference in Kampala, Uganda involving Exodus International board member, Don Schmeirer, International Healing Foundation’s Caleb Brundidge and Scott Lively. During this series of meetings, a new anti-gay group was formed, and Scott Lively called for tougher criminal laws and forced therapy of homosexuals.
Bosco claims he was beaten and lived under threat.

He fled to the UK from Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and carries a punishment of life in prison.
His case has attracted publicity in Uganda.
Mr Bosco said in a statement seen by the court that, on his return to his homeland, his circumstances had become “quite desperate”.
He had been beaten up during a period in detention and he had now gone into hiding to avoid being interviewed by the police about his homosexuality.
The judge said the evidence before him made it perfectly plain that Mr Bosco had come to the notice of the authorities, and this had added to the risk of his human rights being breached by reason of his homosexuality.
In rejecting the Home Office’s argument that it was safe to return Mr Bosco to Uganda, the judge said: “I find it impossible to conclude, on the basis of the evidence as it now is, that there is not the real possibility that a judge might find that he is at risk if he is returned (to his homeland) by reason of his homosexuality.”

Elsewhere, a LGBT group affiliated with the European Union blasted the Uganda conference and the American participants by name:

European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights strongly condemns the meeting of 5 March between several Ugandan parliamentarians and Scott Lively, Don Schmierer, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Stephen Langa of the USA and Uganda-based groups working to diminish human rights of LGBT persons.

In my view, American groups should be condemning the situation in Uganda and not enabling it.

Reparative theory takes center stage at Uganda conference

Yesterday morning I reported that Ugandan officials were considering stronger penalties for homosexuality. In the same meeting, Family Life Network seminar leader Scott Lively promoted further criminalization of homosexuality but added an outrageous consequence — forced therapy. If reports from the conference are accurate, we don’t have to wonder what kind of therapy would be imposed.
Gay Uganda has a description as does IGLHRC. Both accounts feature prominently the theory that homosexuality is father related.
As an example:

An LGBTI activist told me that Caleb was contradicting himself. “First he testified that he didn’t have a good relationship with his father. Later, when a participant noted that there are a lot of homosexuals that she knows that come from great families and have good relationships with their parents, Caleb interjected and said that he had a great relationship with his father. That was contradictory!”

Given the description, I wonder if Mr. Schmierer showed Homosexuality 101.
Here is another meeting report from “a fly on the wall.”

Ugandan ex-gay conference goes political: US presenter suggests law to force gays into therapy

The Ugandan anti-gay seminar now is coming into sharper focus. In this disturbing article from UGPulse, Scott Lively, invited by Family Life Network to speak at a church-based conference on homosexuality, spoke to a government conference and called for the forced therapy of homosexuals.
Here is the article in full:

The Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo has today told a conference organized to discuss the ways to fight Homosexuality that he will soon submit a bill on pornography and homosexuality for discussion in Parliament.
The conference that took place at Parliament was organized by Defend the Family International, an organization in the United States of America that was formed to fight homosexuality.
Buturo says the he will present the bill against pornography first before presenting that against homosexuality though he declines to mention exactly when these bills will be presented to Parliament.
He says pornography is partly a cause of homosexuality since it negatively affects the morals of the victims of pornography and makes them easily susceptible to the vice of homosexuality.
He says the provision in the penal code on homosexuality is too small to cover all concerns in homosexuality.
Buturo says the government will not only end at making laws against homosexuality but will also engage in sensitizing schools and churches in the fight against this vice.
The President of Defend the Family International, Scott Lively says it is good for the government of Uganda to criminalize homosexuality but the government should subject the criminals of homosexuality to a therapy rather than imprisoning them.
Lively says this is aimed at the criminals recovering from homosexuality which is the main objective of those fighting homosexuality and not to punish homosexuals through imprisonment. He says even schools should borrow this idea of therapy in dealing with gay students.

Exodus International and the International Healing Foundation must now come out clearly and make a statement condemning this proposal. This is a chilling development and one which must be addressed. The presence of these ex-gay organizations in this environment most likely sends a message to the Ugandan people and government that such forced “therapy” is plausible and humane. Cell phones and other modern forms of communication exist. If I were Alan Chambers and Richard Cohen, I would be on the phone yesterday to insist that their representatives make public statements distancing themselves from Mr. Lively’s views. And they should come home early.