“Architect of homophobic hate”: Henry Orombi
An American cleric has asked Secretary of State John Kerry why he’s backed gay Pride month in a recent video message even as his government continues to provide funding to anti-gay groups in Uganda.
In an open letter published by the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, the Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle – President of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation – says he welcomes Kerry’s recent public support for the LGBT community but suggests that he is being hypocritical.
Ogle notes that on a recent visit to Uganda he learned that retired anti-gay Anglican Archbishop of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi is being allowed to travel to the US to raise money for his multi-million dollar foundation.
The openly homophobic Orombi has actively campaigned against the LGBT community in Uganda and backed the county’s still pending Anti Homosexuality Bill, which may impose the death penalty against people repeatedly found guilty of homosexual conduct.
Ogle also states that while LGBT groups around the world struggle to find financing, US funds such as PEPFAR and USAID are providing money to “Christian fundamentalist organizations that are often in the front lines of encouraging the further criminalization of homosexuality”.
Ogle then asks Kerry two questions:
“Why is the US government making a very public stand on LGBT human rights (epitomized in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s speech in Geneva in December 2011 and your own Gay Pride correspondence) while it sends millions of dollars to organizations who work daily to undermine this policy?” and;
“Why are we giving a visa to someone like Henry Luke Orombi who has been described as the architect of homophobic hate in Africa which allows his access to fund a leading anti-gay organization subsidized by the American taxpayer?”
Ogle goes on to say: “While it is good to hear and see the symbolic gestures of support of the LGBT movement from the US State Department during Pride celebrations, these tokens of convivial solidarity fail to impress anyone reading this litany of complicity by the US government in supporting one of Africa’s most accomplished agents of deception and misinformation.
“With the recent public release of two documentaries on the effects of American evangelicals on the LGBT community in Uganda, Orombi’s connection to this suffering can no longer be hidden from the American people,” writes Ogle.
In addition to actively supporting the further criminalisation of gays and lesbians in Uganda (where there is already a life sentence penalty in place), Orombi has claimed that he fears for his life when he travels in the West.
“I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals. I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them,” he has been quoted as saying.
Watch Secretary of State John Kerry’s message of support for Pride month below.