In a post dated March 19, Vice-President for Business Operations at Invisible Children, Chris Sarette, says IC is not an anti-gay organization. Sarette has some credibility on this statement since he came out as gay in 2007. In the post, Sarette wrote:
Invisible Children has attracted supporters, employees and board members who otherwise might sit on opposite sides of the aisle. The Invisible Children community’s common conviction that people are people, and the actions that back it up, are one of the reasons that I finally came out as a gay man in 2007.
Invisible Children’s Kony2012 campaign brought international scrutiny recently when they helped make Uganda and Kony trends on Twitter. Just last week, Right Wing Watch wondered aloud about a possible link between Martin Ssempa, infamous anti-gay minister in Uganda, and the Invisible Children organization because of a video posted in 2005 by students at Grove City College (where I teach). As I understand it the visits were not coordinated and there was no connection between IC and Ssempa. However, the RWW piece speculated that such a link might be possible because of the visits.Without specifically mentioned the false attribution of a connection, Sarette pays tribute to inclusive nature of the IC organization.
Personally, it’s difficult for me to see Invisible Children maligned as anti-gay because it’s simply untrue. This is the group of people that encouraged me to embrace my sexual identity and I have experienced the acceptance, not just tolerance, of everyone in the organization. And having just celebrated my fourth anniversary with my partner, I’m so happy that I did.
I have spoken with the current student leadership of Project Okello here and I am confident that there has never been coordination between Ssempa and IC. Furthermore, when the Project Okello leaders learned of Ssempa’s anti-gay advocacy, they ceased all contact with him.
I see that RWW has posted an update from IC which is a good start. I do hope that the RWW author will take steps to get that word out to the other bloggers who posted on the subject.