Recent investigations have found that a man working on Michele Bachmann’s campaign for president has ties to the harsh antigay movement in Uganda, possibly including its horrific “Kill the Gays” bill.
Peter E. Waldron, an evangelical pastor, has been running outreach to faith-based communities for Bachmann’s campaign. A journalist recently discovered that he was once imprisoned in Uganda for a supposed terrorist plot. This inspired a little more digging on the part of the media.
It turns out Waldron was also spotted visiting the church of pastor Martin Ssempa, an extremely antigay evangelical known for provoking violence against gays and lesbians. From the Advocate:
Ssempa is well known for inflaming violence against gay people in Uganda, even screening gay porn to incite backlash. While no one is reporting that Waldron actively helped push for the “Kill the Gays” bill that is even now still being considered by the country’s parliament, Rice says that Waldron regaled Ssempa’s congregation with stories and seemed like a minor celebrity. Waldron spoke about his time in the military (which Waldron strongly implied was CIA-related), his visit to the White House, and he bragged about being cozy with the Ugandan president.
Michele Bachmann, of course, does plenty of her own antigay spewing and her husband has become infamous for his ex-gay conversion therapy clinic.
This is not a joke. This is actually terrifying and could even be dangerous. She’s working with someone who allegedly worships an advocate of gay genocide? And she’s somehow one of the leading Republican candidates? Legitimately one of the scariest things I’ve read lately.
In Jewish law, gay marriage is still not considered a true marriage. So a rabbi from the West Bank has figured out his own way to help out gays and lesbians who want children and families.
For six years, Orthodox rabbi Areleh Harel has been officiating marriages between gay men and lesbians. He says it’s the most moral way to give LGBT people the families they want without breaking Jewish law, and he’s working on an online matchmaking service to expedite the process for some people.
Some believe this is a good thing, that gay men and lesbians can live “normal” lives without breaking any rules. Others say it’s harmful, that marriages aren’t based on love and that parents are essentially lying to their children.
The condemnation of homosexuality in Orthodox communities in Israel has historically been so strong that many gay Orthodox Jews have felt they had two choices: remain in the closet or stop being religious. That mind-set has changed in recent years as leaders of Jewish Queer Youth, an “Ortho-gay” organization based in Manhattan, began connecting with burgeoning gay-rights groups in Israel, offering support and advice.
Orthodox rabbis continue to point to Leviticus 18: 22 as proof that God does not accept homosexuality. The verse reads, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.” Harel concurs, saying, “You can’t change the laws of the Torah. This is what God wants. If God wanted gay people to live together, he would come down and tell us.”
This is a really interesting piece of journalism and it’s a story you don’t hear very often. Give it a read if you’ve got a few minutes. When you’re done, what did you think?