Ugandan 'Kill the Gays' Bill Becoming an Issue in Kansas
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue May 04, 2010 at 05:01:36 PM EST
The Kansas Democratic Party is calling on gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) to denounce Kansas City based religious right leader Lou Engle for his apparent support for the infamous proposed 'kill the gays' legislation in Uganda.  Engle addressed several hundred followers at a rally organized by The Call, an organization he heads.  The rally was covered by covered by The New York Times.

Religion Dispatches today also published a first hand account of the rally, which reported that Engle tried to position himself as not endorsing the death penalty and police state provisions of the bill, but not quite opposing the bill either.

Responding to criticism that Sunday's The Call Uganda would push the bill and incite further violence and hatred against homosexuals in Uganda, Engle issued a press statement on April 28th professing a lack of previous knowledge about Bahati's bill and pledging a message of love to those "struggling" with homosexuality. "We do not see the character of Christ reflected in some key aspects of the language of the current bill," the statement says, "therefore The Call, though continuing to be held in Uganda, will not promote this bill."

Despite Engle's pledge, though, he was sandwiched between two speakers who openly supported the bill.

 

Engle is trying to have it both ways. And the Kansas Democratic Party wants to know what Sen. Brownback has to say about Engle's involvement.

Here is the full text of their press release (see original for links to source material):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2010

Kansas Democratic Party Calls on Brownback to Denounce Close Advisor and Former Roommate for Supporting Execution of Gays

Controversial Kansas City Minister close to Sam Brownback

TOPEKA- Controversial evangelical leader Lou Engle arrived in Uganda from Kansas City last week.  His trip coincides with a rally in support of a bill that suggests life imprisonment, and the death penalty in some cases, for homosexuals and prohibits the advocacy of gay rights.[1]

Before departing for Uganda, Engle released a statement suggesting the timing of his trip and the rally were coincidence and he would not support the bill[2].  However, on Sunday, standing on a stage before Uganda politicians he praised their "courage" and "righteousness" for supporting a bill that targets homosexuals with the death penalty.[3]

In 2007 Sam Brownback contacted Lou Engle and asked to live in his Washington DC condo.  According to Engle, the two shared space in the condo for seven months.[4]

 "This is the type of despicable stunt one would expect from Fred Phelps -  not from someone who has the ear of Kansas' most ambitious politician. We are calling on Senator Brownback to denounce Lou Engle for his hateful rhetoric and extreme agenda," said Kenny Johnston, Executive Director of the Kansas Democratic Party, "If this is the sort of company Brownback keeps, it speaks volumes about the kind of Governor he would be."

-###-

Paid for by the Kansas Democratic Party, www.ksdp.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

[1] Anti Homosexual Bill: Memorandum.

[2] Kansas City Star: Evangelist is criticized for attending rally in Uganda, which is considering death penalty for homosexuals

[3] New York Times: In Uganda, Push to Curb Gays Draws U.S. Guest

[4] YouTube:  Roommates: Lou Engle and Sam Brownback




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