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How Deep Is the Republican Christian Right's Connection to the Anti-Gay Bills Sweeping Sub-Saharan Africa?

As the horrific "kill-the-gays" bill resurfaces in Uganda, Republican politicians deny connections, but their rhetoric is frighteningly similar.

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If you’d like to help out, there are several Ugandan organizations working for justice for the LGBT community in the country. You can find a few of them listed at the Icebreakers Uganda Web site. Icebreakers provides familial support and solidarity to LGBT people who have been ostracized by their communities. Sexual Minorities Uganda, led by human rights advocate Frank Mugisha, is probably the best-known organization operating within Uganda. Alternatively, check out the  200 LGBT advocacy groups based in various African countries and listed at the  International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

In the meantime, keep pressure on the Obama administration to stop LGBT deportations to Uganda and help put an end to the country’s dangerous Kill-the-Gays bill. A move back into Parliament’s committee is not good enough. The threat of death cannot be permitted to hang over LGBT communities in Uganda indefinitely. But, as with any diplomatic endeavor, the US government must tread carefully. Rescinding food and development aid, for example, could be dangerous for LGBT Ugandans, who would likely be scapegoated. In order to help, any US diplomatic efforts should put the immediate safety of LGBT Ugandans first, and steer clear of heavy handed policies likely to increase backlash. International pressure can prevent this bill from becoming the law of the land.

Kristin Rawls' work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Religion Dispatches, Bitch Magazine, Global Comment, and elsewhere online.

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