John Oliver: Calling Uganda’s anti-LGBT laws ‘harsh’ is like calling Stalin ‘a bit of a grump’

By Tom Boggioni
Monday, June 30, 2014 7:48 EDT
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For Pride weekend, Last Week Tonight’s host John Oliver trained his eye on Uganda, pointing out that the country’s anti-gay laws have become more extreme with the help of anti-gay crusaders like Scott Lively of the United States.

Uganda recently passed a law that imposes life sentences on those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.”

“Calling Uganda’s laws ‘harsh’ doesn’t really do them justice. That’s like calling Stalin ‘a bit of a grump,’ ” Oliver explained. “Or the Triangle Shirtwaist fire a ‘whoopsie-doo’. Or the Titanic a ‘disappointing vacation.’”

Pointing out that, since the anti-gay legislation went into effect in Uganda, actual attacks on gays in the country have increased between 750 to 1900 percent from previous years, Oliver said, “It’s gotten to the point where people from the dark ages could build a time machine, travel to 2014 Uganda, step outside and go ‘ah shit, it didn’t work.’”

Asking how Uganda’s laws had become so extreme, Oliver notes that the country has the support of American anti-gay evangelicals like Scott Lively.

Saying “you may know Lively as that crazy guy … attempting to take back the rainbow as a symbol from the gays,” Oliver added, “Scott Lively is clearly an idiot, and luckily, over here we just get to laugh at him.”

In Uganda, however, Lively is held in such esteem, that he was allowed to address the Ugandan Parliament for five hours.

“I don’t know what is more shocking here. That he addressed the parliament at all or that he did it for five hours,” Oliver said. “Because, listen, if your hard-on for homophobia lasts five hours, you need to seek medical attention.”

Oliver shared clips of Lively telling Ugandan audiences that it is common in America for “lesbians to be molested by other women,” equating homosexuality with pedophilia, and calling gays “monsters” and “Nazis.”

“It’s like he ate the most offensive package of magnetic poetry and then vomited it all over his audience, ” Oliver said.

Noting that Uganda’s extreme anti-gay legislation passed following his appearances there, Oliver shared a clip of Lively disavowing any responsibility.

“Oh no, no, of course not. You were simply saying ‘look guys, gay people are dangerous insidious Nazis… do with that information what you will. Lively out. Lively out.’”

Watch the video below from Last Week Tonight:

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
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