Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) suggested in a radio interview Monday that American lawmakers have seized on Uganda as an outlet for promoting homophobic legislation like that country’s law against “aggravated homosexuality,” Buzzfeed reported.
“The hate-mongers in America who have been repudiated here have found a place where they can bring their message, totally and consistently being welcomed, when those who talk about human rights are told, ‘Don’t interfere,’” Frank said.
Frank explained that Ugandan legislators have accepted economic help advocated by himself and lawmakers like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), only to be told to mind their business when raising concerns over anti-LGBT statutes.
“They owed over $1 billion dollars that had been incurred by Idi Amin, the dictator,” Frank said. “We said, ‘That’s unfair to the poor working people of Uganda.’”
The growing acceptance of marriage equality in the U.S., Frank said, had forced opponents to look elsewhere for support.
“These people have been repudiated in America, they’re very unhappy,” Frank said. “The American people have moved and are moving, every day toward the position that, if two people want to show attention to each other, two adults, that’s their business.”
In 2009, journalist Jeff Sharlet wrote a book reporting on the activities of “The Family,” a secret group of conservative Christian U.S. lawmakers who have counted Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as its “key man” in Africa. Legislators linked to the group included Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).
Listen to Frank’s remarks, as published on Monday, below.