A new law in Uganda targeting LGBTQ+ people has rightfully drawn international condemnation. As covered in a recent article, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 (AHA 2023) criminalizes same-sex relations and promotes the dangerous, discredited practice of “conversion therapy.”

While Ugandan officials claim the law reflects local values, the article exposes how American anti-LGBTQ+ groups have actively shaped and promoted it over many years. Organizations like Family Watch International, Abiding Truth Ministries, and Exodus International (now disbanded) have provided the ideological framework, messaging, and pseudoscience used to justify AHA 2023.

The involvement of these American extremists undercuts arguments that the law represents an authentic African response to colonialism. As the article states, “the very language and pseudoscience of this law is adopted from U.S.-based anti-LGBTQ+ groups and figures.” It’s the toxic export of Western homophobia, not the preservation of tradition.

AHA 2023 has already unleashed a wave of violence and discrimination against Uganda’s LGBTQ+ community. With six people charged so far, we can expect worse human rights abuses if the law is not repealed. The Constitutional Court of Uganda now has a duty to strike it down.

Beyond the court case, the article suggests economic actions like aid cuts may pressure Uganda to reverse course. But policymakers should learn a larger lesson – that the spread of anti-LGBTQ+ hatred often has American (and Evangelical) roots. Restricting extremist U.S. groups from spreading their agenda abroad is overdue. More work also needs to be done to counter their messaging where it has already taken hold.

As the article concludes, LGBTQ+ Ugandans are being used as “a scapegoat to move people away from what is really happening in the country.” The American extremists fueling AHA 2023 rely on distortion, fear and hate. Ugandans deserve to know the full truth about the foreign forces putting their fellow citizens at risk.

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