By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK, 12 June 2023 (IDN) — An American evangelical lobby group has been coaching high-ranking African politicians and religious and civic leaders to oppose comprehensive sex education (CSE) across the continent.
According to openDemocracy, an independent news website, African ambassadors to the UN have gone to the Arizona home of Sharon Slater and her husband, Greg Slater, to learn how best to block LGBT rights and sex ed and how to negotiate at the UN.
The Slaters are the heads of Family Watch International, a Christian conservative organization described by civil rights activists as a “hate group.”
Zambia’s ambassador to the African Union, Emmanuel Mwamba, confirmed to openDemocracy that he attended two diplomat training sessions hosted by FWI in the US and, earlier this year, he gave one of the program’s keynote speeches.
Zambia is among the African countries with the lowest levels of acceptance for LGBTQ people, alongside Uganda, The Gambia and Senegal, according to one survey by Afrobarometer.
Now, however, after negative publicity worldwide, FWI has been trying to convince President Yoweri Museveni to soften the new law he signed that imposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and carries a 20 year sentence for “promoting homosexuality.”
“We are disappointed that the president signed the harsh bill into law,” said FWI director Lynn Allred. “We believe there are individuals who will not be able to obtain help to align their sexual behavior with their personal values.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury also took the Ugandan church to task its support for the harsh law enacted last month.
Justin Welby said there was no justification for supporting the legislation, in a move that highlights deep divisions within the global Anglican church on LGBTQ+ issues.
In a statement, Welby said: “I am deeply aware of the history of colonial rule in Uganda, so heroically resisted by its people. But this is not about imposing western values on our Ugandan Anglican sisters and brothers. It is about reminding them of the commitments we have made as Anglicans to treat every person with the care and respect they deserve as children of God.
“Within the Anglican community we continue to disagree over matters of sexuality, but there is no justification for any province of the Anglican communion to support such laws… There is nothing un-African about being gay. Museveni’s bigotry will cost lives.” [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: Kenyan LGBT activist Edwin Chiloba was smothered to death. Friends described him as an “iconic fashion designer”. Credit: The Whiteley London.
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