US evangelicals helped 'radicalize' anti-LGBTQ hate in Uganda
Uganda draws up new Draconian anti-LGBT law: activists

Uganda has passed one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ laws in the world, and U.S. evangelical groups had their hands all over it.

The East African nation has long pursued criminalizing homosexuality, and a draft version calls for the death penalty for "serial offenders" and other cases involving gay sex, and American religious organizations have invested millions of dollars to deepen homophobic views commonly held in the region, reported the Washington Post.

"In 2020, London-based OpenDemocracy found that more than 20 American religious organizations advocating against LGBTQ rights, safe abortion, access to contraceptives and comprehensive sex education had spent at least $54 million furthering their agendas in Africa since 2007," wrote foreign affairs columnist Ishaan Tharoor. "Close to half that figure was spent in conservative, predominantly Christian Uganda alone, where religious advocates advocate for gay 'conversion therapy' and tout supposed success stories of 'ex-gay' people."

Evangelical pastor Scott Lively and other Americans delivered a series of lectures in Uganda almost 15 years ago that inflamed homophobia in the country, according to local LGBTQ rights activists, and his address to parliament promoted the idea that homosexuality was a Western-imported “disease” that could be spread to the country’s children.

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“This recasting of homosexuality as akin to pedophilia, alongside the widespread use of similar language, is meant to legitimize the response and crackdown by governments and institutions,” said Caleb Okereke, a Nigerian journalist.

Those same tactics are spreading back in the U.S., where Republican lawmakers have been targeting LGBTQ rights under the guise of protecting children from sex abuse, and Uganda serves as a warning.

“Ugandans have been radicalized into hatred for LGBTQ persons,” said Frank Mugisha, director of the LGBTQ rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda.