The Christian Right’s Heart for Africa

I’ll be joining African gay activists on Canada’s morning affairs show, “The Current,” tomorrow morning at 8:30 am eastern to discuss Uganda’s soon-to-be-law “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009,” which will impose the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” — queer sex with disabled people or anyone under 18, or any sex a queer HIV-positive person engages in. Anyone who says anything good about homosexuality — including foreign NGO workers — faces seven years prison time. This is international news not just because it’s horrific, but because Uganda is a key player in Central Africa, a close U.S. ally, and often held up as a model nation by American Christian conservatives — especially those in the Family. The Family recruited Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni as soon as he came to power in 1986, and has rewarded him for his faithfulness with U.S. aid and big business connections ever since. Other Christian Right organizations have followed in the Family’s wake; Ugandan queer activists say the legislation is the work of American fundamentalists. That may explain the bill’s fourth objective: “(d) To establish progressive legislation protective of the traditional family that can serve as a model for other countries.”

Tune in online tomorrow to learn more about the Christian Right connection and the African activists who are fighing back.

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).