Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin is following the March 5-7 antigay conference in Uganda, and he has posted updates:

  • Uganda Family Life Network leader and conference organizer Stephen Langa has declared that Uganda’s gay people are child molesters, and that Uganda’s life-imprisonment sentence and extrajudicial torture and execution for homosexuality are too lenient.
  • Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, co-founder of the European hate group Watchmen on the Walls, has advocated that persons convicted of homosexual orientation be detained permanently for ex-gay brainwashing. If the brainwashing fails, then the convicts — it seems — would remain subject to Uganda’s life-imprisonment statutes as well as extrajudicial execution.
  • Exodus International board member Don Schmierer has given a silent nod to the above conference proposals: Exodus was warned in advance of these policies, and Schmierer continues to take no action whatsoever to protest them. Instead, Schmierer used his March 5 conference speech to blame African parents for sexual orientation, and declared that parents should raise their children according to U.S. evangelical Christian ideology — or else.

The appropriate opportunity for Exodus to retract its conference involvement passed some time ago. Both the Exodus Global Alliance and Exodus International board member Phil Burress have persistently sought to criminalize homosexuality. Exodus’ flagship Love In Action program has previously been caught allowing parents to force youths into involuntary ex-gay detention and brainwashing. The time for Exodus to act against any renegade board members and programs was before, not after, these pre-planned and persistent attacks upon human dignity and human rights.

In recent years, Exodus International chose to renew its membership in the Exodus Global Alliance, knowing that the EGA was acting to condemn gay people in Jamaica, Barbados, Uganda and elsewhere to years of imprisonment, torture, and vigilante violence. Exodus leaders have chosen to re-associate with Lively through illicit promotion of his Holocaust revisionism; and Exodus has chosen to re-associate not only with same-sex sexual-cuddle and tennis-racket therapy advocate Richard Cohen, but now with Cohen’s ex-gay foundation witchdoctor, Caleb Lee Brundidge, who is said to perform tribal magic rituals — dressed in a veneer of pentecostal language — upon would-be ex-gays.

Given Exodus’ deliberate choices to allow and affirm its leaders’ extremist activities, no after-the-fact cosmetic statement from Exodus (to the effect that its board members and flagship program act autonomously even when they use Exodus’ name in their activities, or that its leaders have a right to engage in public policy no matter how immoral their personal policies are) is acceptable.

Ex-gay movement pundit Warren Throckmorton called on Alan Chambers and Richard Cohen to have their representatives make public statements distancing themselves from the conference proposal for forced ex-gay brainwashing.

Ex-Gay Watch, meanwhile, warns that Exodus has a “very short window in which to soundly renounce the entire conference, the idea of forced therapy and, as we suggested earlier, call for the decriminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and the rest of the world.”

These calls against Exodus are noble, but insufficient.

Exodus was told in advance of the conference’s likely policies by representatives of Box Turtle Bulletin and Ex-Gay Watch. Exodus’ failure to pre-empt a leader’s role in extremist incitement to violence and affirmations of police-state activity is negligent and indefensible. That negligence, unfortunately, has long been Exodus’ intentional modus operandi: Exodus encourages its leaders’ and allies’ extremism, then repeatedly invokes a right-to-ignorance of its leaders’ ongoing immorality, incompetence, and incitements to violence. Executive vice president Randy Thomas is especially guilty of this abdication of basic morality and responsibility.

With its latest blank check allowing yet another organization official to affirm and collaborate with human rights violations, involuntary detention and brainwashing, and police-state activity, Exodus falls within the definition of a hate group — and a cult.

Until Exodus’ entire board and executive director resign, Exodus should be treated as a hate group by public schools, local governments, and community organizations.