Daily Monitor: Cabinet split over Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Daily Monitor is doing some digging and reporting what seems to be some conflict over how to proceed with Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality BIll.

Two Cabinet ministers have disagreed over the proposed softening of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that seeks to punish those involved the act.

The Committee, however, agreed that promotion of homosexuality should be criminalised. “The law should provide that all the parties: publishers, printers, distributors of any materials that promote homosexuality should all be liable to have committed an offence,” the minutes read in part.

Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige who chaired the Cabinet Committee tasked with finding possible ways of amending MP David Bahati’s Bill and counterpart James Nsaba Buturo of the Ethics docket failed to agree on the recommendations of the committee.

According to correspondences seen by Sunday Monitor, although the Cabinet Committee was supposed to be attended by seven ministers, only three attended the meeting that took place February 22 in Kampala.

Those who attended are Mr Mwesige and State Minister for Foreign Affair Isaac Musumba together with Education Minister Namirembe Bitamazire.

Missed meeting

Those who are on the committee but did not attend the meeting are Gabriel Opiyo (Gender Minister), Kabakumba Masiko (Information Minister), Fred Ruhindi (Justice State Minister) and Dr Buturo.

In a letter dated March 11, Dr Buturo wrote to Mr Mwesige complaining: “The report of the Cabinet Committee … is not in the spirit of the said assignment. There are other concerns that I personally have which that report has not captured.” Dr Buturo argued that Mr Bahati, “an important player in the Bill” should also be invited for consultations in another meeting.

But Mr Mwesige, who chaired the meeting, wrote back on March 15: “The report is already scheduled on Agenda of Cabinet. I am therefore not in position to hold another meeting of the committee as your letter suggests.”

In their recommendations, the committee argued that the title of the Bill; Anti-Homosexuality, is stigmatising and appears to be targeting a particular group of people. They therefore want the “useful provisions of the proposed law” incorporated into the Sexual Offences Act.

Unfortunately, the desire to criminalize consenting adults remains according to this report. Opponents of the bill need to do more than protest. We need to make the case that criminalization is not an appropriate state action.

Click here to see all my posts on Uganda’s Anti-homosexuality Bill.

Ugandan activist group denounces The Call Uganda

Clearly, homosexual advocates in Uganda are nervous about the upcoming event planned by Lou Engle’s The Call Uganda. This statement was released yesterday by a coalition of groups in Uganda and calls for US opponents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to speak out against The Call Uganda, planned for May 2 in Kampala. Here is their statement:





Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) condemns Lou Engle’s upcoming crusade scheduled for May 2, 2010.  The crusade could cause incalculable damage, as it is designed to label homosexuality as a “vice” in Uganda and to incite people to “fight” against this “vice” in society.  In the context of an already inflamed extremist religious movement against homosexuality in Uganda sparked off by American evangelicals, the inflammatory preaching of Lou Engle and his associates is likely to incite further violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in Uganda.

Sexual Minorities Uganda calls on all human rights defenders, organizations, religious communities and leaders, governments, and civil society, globally to take action to ensure that Lou Engle and his associates do not set foot in Uganda and that the Call Uganda does not proceed with this inflammatory and hate-inducing plan.  While Sexual Minorities Uganda supports freedom of worship, we recognize the need for restriction on any speech that incites hatred and violence against a minority group.  If a prayer event is to be held in Uganda, it should be done in a manner which encourages Christ-like love and acceptance and does not incite hatred and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.


Lou Engle’s extremist and violence-laden preaching is often laced with references to gay people as being possessed by demons.  During a rally for Proposition 8 in California, he called for Christian martyrs.  His inflammatory speech and focus on martyrdom can easily incite people in Uganda to disregard people’s human rights and go to extreme measures to eliminate whatever they characterize as “evil” or a “vice”.  For example, Lou Engle preaches, “The most ‘dangerous terrorist’ is not Islam but God. One of God’s names is the avenger of blood. Have you worshiped that God yet?”

The crusade is organized by TheCall Uganda and ten Ugandan Pentecostal pastors. According to www.thecalluganda.com, the crusade is ‘intended to awaken and revive the young and the old, men and women, church and family, government and the public to fight vices eating away our society’. TheCall intends to address homosexuality in Uganda as a what they label a “vice”.  The crusade is preceded by a 21 day fast. 

Lou Engle is a core founder of TheCALL in the U.S. but has expanded chapters to different countries.  Last year, TheCALL sent an American Evangelical, JoAnna Watson of Touching Hearts International, to be based in Uganda full-time to orchestrate this crusade to fight vices like homosexuality.

This crusade could have the same kind of impact that the March 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge and Don Schmierer reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in the Parliament of Uganda by MP’s David Bahati and Benson Obua.

Lou Engle’s crusade will be the second major American evangelist event with an anti-homosexuality agenda after the trio to set foot in Uganda and will definitely incite our people into more hatred of homosexuals that may lead to further violence. This is very evident with the nature of preaching that he does in the US. He claims that homosexuals have demons and has mobilized Americans on several occasions for anti –gay rallies. Since the Bill was tabled, the rate of violence and homophobia has increased drastically in Uganda. Lou Engle’s inflammatory preaching is likely to exacerbate an already worrying situation.


  • Call and/or write Letters of Protest to TheCall Ministries and ask them stop exporting homophobia to Uganda. The event they are organizing is dangerous to LGBTI people in Uganda.
  • Contact:

JoAnna Watson, Coordinator of The Call Uganda

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +256 779 864 985

Lou Engle

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +1 816 285 9351

  • Hold demonstrations and/or marches in Kansas City where Lou Engle’s church is located and protest against TheCALL Uganda



For further information, contact;

Valentine Kalende Email: [email protected] Tel: +256752324249

Frank Mugisha Email:[email protected] Tel:+256772616062

One does not need to agree with every aspect of this statement to understand the fear these folks experience. One does not need to affirm homosexual behavior to see the potential for renewed stigmatization of homosexuals in light of an event which places the blame for societal decline on them.

The Call Uganda: Can a nation be changed in a day?

In December, 2009 I did a series of posts on the relationship between supporters of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality bill and the teaching that Christians should control governments by reclaiming the “seven mountains of culture.” Examining the teachings of Extreme Prophetic (Caleb Brundidge), Uganda’s Julius Oyet, C. Peter Wagner and Johnny Enlow, I proposed that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill is consistent with the seven mountains teaching as one way to take back the culture for Christ.

The first thing one reads upon opening the website for The Call Uganda is the question, “Can a nation be changed in a day?” Although I have not found where Lou Engle uses the phrase “seven mountains of culture,” the objective of Christian nation-building seems to be high on his list of priorities. The “About Us” page promises, “prayer, fasting and repentence changes nations.” On the “Solemn Assembly” page, various Old Testament scriptures directed to Israel are offered as evidence that any nation can claim covenant with God and gain favor via national change.

There was always a promise of great blessing if the nation returned to the Lord with wholehearted devotion and the renewal of their covenant vows of love to the Lord. [Leviticus 23:36, Numbers 29:35, Deuteronomy 16:8, 2 Chronicles 7:9, 2 Chronicles 20:3-4, Joel 1:14, 2:15]

I personally believe this is a misguided teaching which seems to assume that covenants with God can be made by Christians in a nation declaring it so. As I understand it, the covenant God made with Israel was at His initiative and with His participation. My view is that God has not made such covenants with nations in the modern era and in fact seeks a relationship with individuals. Although I see nothing inherently wrong with people corporately asking for repentence in the Church, I do not see that the promises in Chronicles can be claimed in this manner.

Lou Engle has expressed that the rule and reign of Jesus is for the present day. This has given rise to the criticism that the The Call teaches a theology that seeks for Christians to rule in government via Christian principles. The criticism apparently led to a disclaimer on The Call’s website which reads:

Dominion Theology

WE AFFIRM that God’s purpose is for Jesus to come back to fully establish His kingdom rule over all the earth. After the second coming, the saints will rule the earth under the leadership of Jesus Christ when He sets up His government on earth in the millennial kingdom (1 Cor. 6:2; Rev. 5:10; 20:3–6). We believe that believers in this age are called to serve Jesus in politics and to help establish righteousness and justice in legislation. We do not have the assurance that all laws and governments will be changed until after the second coming of Jesus to establish His millennial kingdom.

WE REFUTE that the Church will take over all the governments of the earth before the return of Christ.

Explanation: Some believe and teach that all governments on earth will be transformed by the Church before the second coming of Jesus.

All this statement says is that there is no assurance that “all governments on earth will be transformed by the Church before the second coming of Jesus” but does not rule out the possibility. The teaching is that all governments may not be transformed by the Church before the second coming of Christ, but the implication seems clear that some will be.

Is Uganda such a government?

As an evangelical, I am sympathetic to Engles’ calls for righteousness and the protection of unborn life.  And I do believe that laws should protect such life. My votes will go to people who pledge to protect life. And I think young people should care more about issues other than the material. For the Church, however, I believe my faith teaches a different role than direct efforts at statecraft. I believe the Church has a message of individual redemption that is life-giving. Sadly, in my view, the Church here is having a hard time getting that message out.

I feel sure we are not called to bring in Mosaic law as a way to prevent God’s judgment on a nation. The Call’s regular appeal to Old Testament references and promises to Israel raises real concerns about any government that takes those calls seriously. The results will surely be dramatic limitations of individual freedom, as fallible humans put their interpretations of righteousness in place. As the New Testament books of Colossians and Galatians, in particular, stress, the Mosaic law was a means to make us aware of our natures and need for redemption. As history teaches, implementing it by fiat in a culture is no guarantee of righteousness, and most likely a path to self-righteousness.

Daily Monitor: Ugandan government softens Anti-Homosexuality Bill

The Ugandan paper, The Daily Monitor dated 4/22, is reporting that a government committee has made recommendations which will stall the Anti-Homosexuality Bill indefinitely. Here are the details:

A Cabinet committee has recommended changes to Ndorwa West MP David Bahati’s anti-gay legislation that preclude the possibility of discarding it, Daily Monitor has learnt.

Daily Monitor, citing a report in the UK’s Guardian, yesterday reported that British authorities had started a process that could leave Mr Bahati banned from visiting the UK if his anti-gay legislation becomes law.

But the report, which is yet to be discussed by Cabinet, indicts Mr Bahati for not applying the kind of sophistication that would have anticipated the international condemnation that came after the draft legislation was tabled in Parliament last year.

The recommendations mean that the legislation may never be passed in its current shape, if at all, and that it may be long before it is discussed with seriousness.

Disagreeable proposal

“It is far from being a law,” a source on the committee said, requesting anonymity so as to preserve his credibility. “It is a [good] principle, but the approach of the mover has stigmatised his mission.”

It was, however, suggested that some of the proposals in the draft law, such as the death penalty for some homosexual acts, may be disagreeable.

The 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill is currently before the Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee, which has not indicated when it would begin scrutinising it.

In early 2010, as some foreign governments criticised Uganda over the proposed law, Cabinet established a committee whose report would guide it on the way forward.

Around that time, President Museveni told a meeting of National Resistance Movement officials to be cautious with legislation that had the potential to disrupt Uganda’s foreign policy. Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, who chaired the committee, yesterday said they completed their work about a month ago, but he could not say exactly when the report would be up for discussion. “It will be [discussed] in a few weeks,” Mr Mwesige said, declining to offer details.

Read the rest at the Daily Monitor. Looks like opponents will need to remain vigilant since the bill is clearly now on the back burner but not off the stove.

The Call Uganda and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

I reported here April 7 that The Call Uganda is planned for May 1, 2010. According to The Call Uganda website, the date has been changed to May 2 but all else seems to be the same.

I am quite concerned that this event could have the same kind of impact that the March,, 2009 anti-gay conference had in Uganda. At that event, Scott Lively told his Ugandan audience that gays were behind Nazi Germany and possibly involved in the Rwandan atrocities. In general the conference reinforced the desire of some religious leaders to persuade the government to create laws which would eliminate homosexuality from the nation. Eventually, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was tabled by David Bahati and Benson Obua.

After months of rallies and protests in Uganda in favor of the bill, nothing much has happened the last month. The bill has not been heard in the appointed committee and one committee member said the bill was useless. Sources in Uganda say the bill could stay bottled up in committee indefinitely unless some event rouses public support.

Enter The Call Uganda.

The website asks, “Can a nation be changed in a day?” On another page of the website, The Call hopes to address:

The heightened political tensions and wrangles in the country, especially as we go towards the 2011 general elections

The increasing level of social evils in our society, some which are threatening our values and lifestyles e.g.

o Witchcraft and human sacrifice

o Homosexuality and increased immorality

o Disasters and the resultant suffering of the people

o The decay of morals and infrastructure of our city Kampala

There are political and religious purposes to The Call. Personal views of homosexuality aside, it is not on par with human sacrifice or disasters. Taking this message of political change through prayer and Christian dedication could be the event that revives the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

I wrote The Call International and The Call Uganda to find out their stance on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. My first email was forwarded by Jo Anna Watson, director of The Call Uganda, to Bishop David Kigande. Bishop Kiganda sent copies of letters sent by the Uganda Joint Christian Counsel to President Obama and Pastor Rick Warren, both in support of the bill. In the email, Jo Anna Watson said she supported the bill with the changes suggested by the pastors task force, although she could not speak for The Call International or The Call US. The changes Watson referred to were included in the letter to Rick Warren:

a. We suggested reduction of the sentence to 20 years instead of the death penalty for the offense of aggravated homosexuality.

b. We suggested the inclusion of regulations in the law to govern provision of counseling and rehabilitation to persons experiencing homosexual temptations. The churches are willing to provide the necessary help for those seeking counseling and rehabilitation.

c. Even with the provision for counseling and rehabilitation in the law, homosexuality should remain a punishable offense to control its spread.

To date, I have heard nothing from the Stacey Campbell or Lou Engle’s office regarding their stance. I hoped that The Call might follow the lead of fellow charismatic leader, Joyce Meyer, and denounce the bill. In any event, the leader on the ground supports the bill and referred me via email to ardent supporter David Kiganda.

Given the inclusion of homosexuality on The Call Uganda’s website, it seems very likely that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill will also be a focus. The silence of The Call outside Uganda is pretty loud and promises to get louder on May 2.

More globally, The Call seeks both political and religious outcomes. I hope to post additional information regarding the organization leading up to the event in Uganda on May 2, and an event in Washington DC on May 1. The May 1 event will be attended by The Call board members, Dutch Sheets and Harry Jackson and features a convergence of the religious right and dominion theology leaders. Stay tuned…

UPDATE: According to Jo Anna Watson, The Call Uganda coordinator, Lou Engle will be in Uganda for the May 2 meeting.

Uganda has heard the sound of the Trumpet and has answered “TheCall” to humble herself before the Lord! Lou Engle and a small team are coming to Uganda for “such a time as this!” We believe the Lord is bringing TheCall to Uganda as a mighty weapon to come against the enemy in these times of crisis in Uganda.

TheCall is a divinely initiated cross-denominational “Solemn Assembly” gathering the people to corporate worship, prayer, fasting and repentance and to return to the Lord with all our hearts.

We believe we can see Uganda changed as the Lord pours out His Spirit and brings refreshing to the broken, destitute and the weary across the land. For more information or to Donate, please see TheCall Uganda website by clicking the link www.thecalluganda.com.