NPR interviews Bob Hunter; repeats the Fellowship Foundation’s (aka The Family) opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Today, NPR’s Fresh Air featured an interview with former Ford and Carter administration official, Bob Hunter.聽An interview with Mr. Hunter was recently featured on this blog via a guest post by Jeff Sharlet.

The transcript is here聽and is interesting reading to say the least. Here is a little bit:

GROSS: Uganda now has anti-gay legislation before parliament that is really draconian. It would call for the death penalty for anyone who is gay who had HIV-AIDS, the death penalty for adults who have gay sex with minors, jail for anyone who fails to report a gay person within 24 hours if there’s been gay activity, life sentences for people in same-sex marriages, and this bill also calls for extraditing gay Ugandans living abroad so that they can be brought back to Uganda and be prosecuted.

What’s your opinion of that bill, being so close to the country of Uganda?

Mr. HUNTER: Well, my opinion is it’s a terrible bill and shouldn’t be adopted, and I believe no one that I know, in America particularly, and my close friends in Uganda, I know of no one who supports it in the Fellowship.

GROSS: Since you have so many connections in Uganda and since you know President Museveni and helped bring him to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1997, which is organized by the Fellowship – the Family – did you – have you spoken out to your connections in Uganda?

Mr. HUNTER: Oh yes. Definitely. In fact, when I first called them, and well, first was an email contact, they said, look, the guy who introduced the bill came to one of our prayer breakfasts and afterwards, in a private meeting he told us about the bill and we told him it was a bad idea. So even before the bill was introduced, members of the Fellowship had said you should reach out to other people before you do this. It’s, you know, be cautious. This is not a good idea. They did it in a very polite Ugandan way but the fact is they spoke out even before it was introduced.

Mr. Hunter then mentions Jeff Sharlet’s guest post and seems very keen to emphasize the Fellowship’s position on Uganda.

GROSS: Now, so these are statements that have been made in the United States. What about statements to Ugandans like calling up connections or calling up people who they have prayed with?

Mr. HUNTER: My understanding is there has been some connections. I know I have done it personally and talked to people who would be close to people in the decision-making process about our concerns, which is very unusual. You know, we never involve ourselves in these political things. That’s not our role. But this one became so, you know, hot that we decided – I decided that I should speak out, and then I found out they were already speaking out in Uganda.

I would say that, one other thing…

GROSS: Mm-hmm.

Mr. HUNTER: …and that is that Mr. Sharlet now recognizes that we had nothing to do with the anti-homosexual bill and has so said so in post by Warren Throckmorton.

You can listen to the entire interview here.