When Uganda proposed a draconian anti-gay law that would have permitted the death penalty for mere homosexuality, WorldNetDaily largely ignored it -- except for Molotov Mitchell, who endorsed it while denying that it contains a death penalty for mere homosexuality.
No WND "news" article addressed the law at the time; besides Michell, there were only two mentions of it. One was from anti-gay activist Robert Knight, who simply described the proposed law only as "criminalizing homosexuality" -- in fact, homosexuality is already criminalized -- and is focused on the New York Times for criticizing the proposed law and those who allegedly inspired it, such as anti-gay activist Scott Lively, because the "dare to tell the truth about homosexuality." Knight did concede that the law is "seriously flawed" and "overreaches," but he doesn't admit the death penalty stuff.
The second article was from Lively himself, who ranted about how "lavender Marxists" are "murderers" who "have fixed their malevolent gaze on Christian Uganda." He made no mention whatsoever about the proposed law, let alone the death penalty stuff, which he seems to be justifying by portraying gays in Uganda as "murderers."
It's been nearly two years later. The proposed Uganda law has stalled, though discussion of it has recently been revived in the country. Meanwhile, WND has mounted a defense of Lively, who has worked with legislators and anti-gay activists in Uganda (and is author of the disredited, WND-promoted gay-bashing bnook "The Pink Swastika").
An Oct. 15 WND article by Drew Zahn focused on a brick thrown through a window at a school where the anti-gay group Americans for Truth about Homosexuality was to give an award to Lively.While running to Lively's defense, Zahn also tacitly admits for the first time at WND that the proposed Uganda law would execute gays for being gay:
The press release claiming responsibility for the attack on the Christian Liberty Academy even blamed Lively for murder:
"In 2009, Lively and other American homophobes spoke at a conference in Uganda called 'Exposing the Truth About Homosexuality and the Homosexual Agenda,'" the release asserts. "This conference stirred the anti-gay atmosphere that already exists in Uganda, a country with laws that punish homosexual acts with up to 14 years in prison. As a direct result of this conference, participants have drafted a bill that, if passed, would increase the sentencing for homosexual acts to life sentences and execution and make it a legal responsibility to report homosexuals in the community.
It continues, "On Jan. 26, 2011, Ugandan gay rights activist David Kisule was murdered after being outed in a newspaper ad that listed names and photos of queer people in the community as a part of an anti-gay campaign that is a result of Scott Lively's visit."
The GLN took up a similar complaint about Lively's time in Uganda in a letter to prominent Chicago pastor Erwin Lutzer, urging Lutzer to decline speaking at the AFTAH banquet because Lively and LaBarbera allegedly "support violence [against homosexuals] outright."
Lively, however, made public a letter to LaBarbera in which he countered claims about fomenting "hate" and "violence" in Uganda:
"I am a Bible-believing Christian who abhors violence against anyone, and has never advocated violence or hatred against homosexuals," Lively asserts. "During my 2009 trip [to Uganda] I also addressed members of the Ugandan Parliament in their national assembly hall. My advice to the MPs regarding the law they were contemplating but had not yet drafted was to focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. I urged them to become the first government in the world to develop a state-sponsored recovery system for homosexuality on the model we have in the United States for alcoholism.
"In contradiction to my advice, a few months after the seminar an MP introduced a bill to criminalize homosexuality," he continues. "The terms of the bill were harsh, as is very common in African countries, including capital punishment. … I do not support capital punishment for any sex crimes, let alone simple homosexuality, which I view as a treatable behavioral disorder, and so I opposed the bill. I was nevertheless accused in the international media of not only endorsing the bill, but of advocating for it."
Zahn made no mention of Lively's earlier description of gays in Uganda as "murderers." Plus, Lively is a little biased on the subject, meaning that his claims should be seen as defensive rather than an unbiased account of what he actually did in Uganda. Zahn makes no effort to contact anyone in Uganda for their view of what Lively told them.
Zahn also rehashes Lively's baseless insistence that the murder of Ugandan gay activist David Kato was "unrelated to the passions surrounding the Ugandan bill," repeating his defense that Kato's death was "turned out to be a crime of passion by a male prostitute whom Kato had bailed out of jail and taken to be his houseboy." In fact, as we've noted, Ugandan police have offered no evidence to back up that explanation, and some have noted that police may try to cover up a motive of homophobia in Kato's death to protect the Western aid upon which the country relies.
(A man was convicted and sentenced earlier this month in Kato's death, but one obverver of the trial thinks the killer was set up to murder Kato for being gay and that he thought if he established a homosexual sex demand, he would be treated leniently.)Since then, two WND columnists have directly defended Lively against any association with hostile conditions for gays in Uganda":
- An Oct. 16 column by anti-gay activist Linda Harvey asserted that Lively was "falsely accused of advocating harm to homosexuals in Uganda."
- A Nov. 18 column by professional gay-hater Matt Barber depicted Lively as "a pro-family advocate who, in recent years, has been falsely maligned by leftist groups and media-types like Rachel Maddow, for supposedly supporting the death penalty for homosexual behavior – a patently false charge."
Of course, neither mention Lively's depiction of gays in Uganda as "murderers."