Friday, February 4, 2011

Obama Flip-Flops on The Family at National Prayer Breakfast

Today I have a piece up over at Religion Dispatches on the National Prayer Breakfast since Obama seems to have forgotten it's run by the Fellowship Foundation, an organization with shadowy connections to anti-gay legislation in Uganda.
At last year’s National Prayer Breakfast, the President Obama used his platform to slam the event’s organizers, the Fellowship Foundation, or “The Family,” for its alleged involvement in lobbying for virulently anti-gay legislation in Uganda. “We may disagree about gay marriage,” said the president, “but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are—whether it’s here in the United States or, as Hillary [Clinton] mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda.”

At yesterday’s Breakfast, however, Obama’s speech was notable not for what he said, since he focused much on his personal faith journey, a theme of bipartisanship, and reiteration of his faith as a Christian. Instead, the speech was interesting for what he didn’t say. Some pro-LGBT activists were surprised to see that he attended the breakfast again at all after the previous year’s criticism of the organizers; but not only did Obama attend this year’s event but he made no mention of the ongoing controversies surrounding the event’s organizers whose involvement in Uganda has once again entered headlines after the killing of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato.

The assailant admitted to killing Kato with a hammer after he agreed to accept money in exchange for sex. Uganda has been debating a piece of legislation that, if passed, would increase the severity of the punishment for homosexuality to death or life imprisonment, which some say has been introduced by at least one member of the Fellowship.

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