Gay Staffer Says Invisible Children is Not Anti-Gay

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.

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  • Richard Willmer

    Thanks for this clarification, Warren.

    The IC video came up in discussion in my (multi-ethnic) tutorial group today. A student who originated from Uganda was not impressed by the video, although others did see merit in the situation having been publicized, the alleged oversimplifications notwithstanding. Another student, who originated from Sudan, said that he had heard that Kony is currently in South Sudan.

  • Maazi NCO

    Gay Staffer Says Invisible Children is Not Anti-Gay

    Very pathetic !! that you lot are so obssessed with gayism that you are always eager to label organization as being “anti-gay” when in doubt. And all this because the organization does not come out in the open and declare love for another man ramming his manhood into the bottom of another man (with devastating health consequences)

    The IC video came up in discussion in my (multi-ethnic) tutorial group today. A student who originated from Uganda was not impressed by the video

    No sensible Ugandan is pleased with that patronizing trash

    ….although others did see merit in the situation having been publicized, the alleged oversimplifications notwithstanding.

    The “Others” are pathetic lickspittles of the West if they cannot see that the campaign by the Western do-gooders are more about them wanting to use Africa and African suffering as a vessel for resolving their own internal morality issues. Helping Africans is a secondary concern of the do-gooders.

    …..said that he had heard that Kony is currently in South Sudan.

    The terrorist Kony is in Central African Republic not South Sudan

  • Jayhuck

    Maazi,

    I am sorry, and I know the issue is very serious, but I cannot read Maazi’s posting anymore without chuckling. His rantings seem almost humorous now.

  • Richard Willmer

    I did wonder about my Sudanese student’s claim concerning Kony’s whereabouts. I too thought CAR or DRC …

    The reaction (which was pretty negative) of my Ugandan student interested me the most. The topic (and associated matters) made for an interesting discussion.

    (Yes, Jayhuck – ‘Maazi’ completely misses the point yet again – he is so obessed with gay-bashing, you see! Warren’s piece was a good response to rumours about links between IC and Martin Ssempa.)

  • Richard Willmer

    BTW, I’ll tell my (African, Arab and Iranian) students that a small-time, fifth-rate Ugandan politico with nothing better to do than scream hatred at gays has discribed them as “pathetic lickspittles of the West”. They’ll be thrilled! (Actually, they’ll just laugh – it’ll make a good joke in next week’s tutorial session.)

    (I must also point out that the UG student to whom I referred isn’t particularly enamoured of ‘his’ country’s parliament, especially after that rather large outlay on luxury cars. The same goes for my UG colleagues.)

  • Maazi NCO

    I must also point out that the UG student to whom I referred isn’t particularly enamoured of ‘his’ country’s parliament,

    Of course, majority of Ugandans are disappointed with parliament (and that includes a considerable number of serving MPs who are not in the majority and therefore cannot effect change to the corrupt system any time soon).

    I am sorry, and I know the issue is very serious, but I cannot read Maazi’s posting anymore without chuckling. His rantings seem almost humorous now.

    I am glad I make you chuckle. I hear from some MPs who have done further investigations on gayism that gay sex practitioners find it hard to chuckle,laugh or smile because they know deep down within themselves that their behaviour is abhorrent and can NEVER be fully accepted by decent society even in the Western world. So it is great that I am able to provide you with the odd escapist laugh every now and then. Laugh as much as you want before the depression sets in again !!!

    BTW, I’ll tell my (African, Arab and Iranian) students that a small-time, fifth-rate Ugandan politico with nothing better to do than scream hatred at gays has discribed them as “pathetic lickspittles of the West”. They’ll be thrilled! (Actually, they’ll just laugh – it’ll make a good joke in next week’s tutorial session.)

    I am happy for you to make the students laugh. Laughter is good for the soul, mind and body. But remember while you laugh with those students from Iran, Africa and the Arab world that if you were to visit any Arab nation, most African nations or Iran, you will be arrested if you exhibit deviant sexual behaviour in public or in private and many of those students laughing with you (if they are in their native countries at the time of your arrest) will chuckle as you are being led away to prison for the abominable crime of gayism.

  • Jayhuck

    I am glad I make you chuckle. I hear from some MPs who have done further investigations on gayism that gay sex practitioners find it hard to chuckle,laugh or smile because they know deep down within

    Well, I’m a “gay sex practitioner” as you call it and I’m laughing pretty hard right now ;)

  • Patrocles

    “BTW, I’ll tell my (African, Arab and Iranian) students that a small-time, fifth-rate Ugandan politico with nothing better to do than scream hatred at gays has discribed them as “pathetic lickspittles of the West”. ”

    I’m just wondering what kind of students are really studying with Richard Willmer and what kind of training they really get. In an age of neo-colonialism, there’s a demand for puppet politicians which can be implemented in a country to give neo-colonial rule a native face. It would be nice to know if Richard Willmer works at an institution which specializes in the training of “friendly” elites (or “Quislings”)to be established after a country is taken over by the United States.

  • David M.

    The more Maazi talks about gays, the more it is clear that his impressions come from Western anti-gay propaganda. It makes one wonder just who is the “lickspittle” of the West.

  • stephen

    Don’t feed the troll.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ David M

    Absolutely! (Bahati has pretty much admitted that he is really just a marionette – with ‘western’ anti-gay extremists pulling his strings.)

  • Maazi NCO

    Just read that Slovenians (smart Europeans for once !!!) voted down an attempt to make it legal for gay sex practitioners to collect innocent babies as trophies in the name of “child adoption rights”. Commonsense seems to be prevailing in certain parts of Europe while “crazy hedonism” has taken over the rest !!!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/slovenian-referendum-rejects-law-allowing-same-sex-couples-to-adopt-children-in-some-cases/2012/03/25/gIQAXuPBaS_story.html

    Don’t be depressed Stephen and Jayhuck. All is not lost yet !!! You can still buy a “trophy baby” in the more hedonistic parts of the Western world

    It makes one wonder just who is the “lickspittle” of the West.

    When Parliament sticks it Obama, Harper, Cameron and the rest of the pro-gay sex imperialist gang then we will know who is the lick-spittle then.

  • Pretty

    I really pity Richard Willmer for choosing, and defending his deadly lifestyle. When you got yourself stuck enjoying the gruesome act – did you ever considered the health consequences that accompany it? It is short lived and you’ll sure regret it when it will be too late for you. ACT NOW otherwise you’ll end up with an ostomy bag, so before you continue to bash Maazi NCO please take a moment and reflect on your acts. It’s not too late for you to change bro!

    Regarding the famous “Ugandan Anti-gay Bill” it is an excellent bill which currently has a 95% change of passing. Anyhow, if it’s passed or not (formality! lol) the whole country is against this practice. The Bill will deter people who otherwise will cause major health consequences in future just as what AIDS did. Given the economy of the country, UGANDA CAN NOT AFFORD ANOTHER FOREIGN INVENTED DISEASE LIKE HIV/AIDS. If you’re not in denial then you know what health problems gay sex causes. AIDS has been innoculated in a lab that’s why nobody has ever gotten a single cure for it. Lets be real!

    Thus said, Richard Willmer, Jayhuck and the likes, don’t be selfish to yourselves and others. STOP PROMOTING THIS NEW DISEASE or AT LEAST KEEP IT IN THE WEST NOT MOTHERLAND AFRICA!

  • David M.

    Well, Richard “and the likes,” it seems you are frustrating Maazi enough that he has complained about you to someone, who has felt it necessary to share her (?) ignorance with us.

    I do think we need to set a groundrule here that it is inappropriate to talk about anyone’s personal sexual activities, real or imagined, unless that person brings up the topic.

  • Richard Willmer

    I see ‘Pretty’ is missing the point of this post; furthermore, I am not ‘promoting’ anything – merely responding to points made in this thread.

    ‘Pretty’ is, of course, entirely ‘off topic’ with her violent pro-murder ranting.

    (BTW, I have no plans to have ‘anal sex’ with anyone … just for the record!)

  • Richard Willmer

    But more seriously: the recent rise – since 2008 – in ‘anti-gay screaming’ seems to be heralding a rise in HIV transmission rates. A vote for Bahati’s Bill is not just a vote for more repression, more violence, more injustice and more murder, it is, arguably, a vote for more HIV*.

    (* Two very ‘HIV-helping’ effects of incoherent ‘gay bashing’ of the kind seemingly espoused by ‘Maazi’ and ‘Pretty’ are

    1. that dishonesty, hypocrisy and sexual secrecy are encouraged, and

    2. the straight majority is less inclined to see HIV as also actually / potentially being ‘their’ problem. )

  • Richard Willmer

    Just seen an interesting comment by ‘Patrocles’ (what a lot of silly pseudonyms there are in the anti-gay mob!).

    My students and I were discussing how to construct arguments, and one of them brought up the matter of the IC video, so we looked at arguments both for and against the proposition that it is relevant, effective and appropriate. It’s called ‘education’, in case ‘Patrocles’ was wondering. As for the students themselves: it would be highly inappropriate for me to say anything about their personal circumstances or histories, and I am not going to do that. ‘Patrocles’ is clearly not an educator; if he were, he would not expect me to respond in any ‘substantive’ manner to such idle speculation.

    As for ‘neo-colonialism’ (alleged or otherwise): perhaps the group would like to look at this issue in more detail. We might, for example, discuss the alleged neo-colonial impulses that drive Bahati’s (former) western backers. Could be interesting …

  • Richard Willmer

    @ David M.

    I entirely agree with you on the matter of ‘ground rules’ regarding people’s private lives. Any ‘attacks’ (and, as you may have noticed, I am not averse to mounting ‘attacks’ from time to time!) should be directed at what people say (or appear to say) on this blog, and not on what they might or might not do in the privacy of their homes.

  • Richard Willmer

    (I might just reveal to those who are interested that I work in a large ethnically- and socially-diverse inner-city ‘junior college’, with around 70% of the student cohort coming from what the UK Government deems to be ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds. But my students are as entitled as is anybody else to hold and discuss, without being insulted or ridiculed, views on political issues, and they often do so with great intelligence and insight.)

  • Richard Willmer

    Seems like the IC-Fellowship link story won’t go away: http://www.truthwinsout.org/feature/2012/04/23938/

  • Richard Willmer
  • Richard Willmer

    The report contains a couple of interesting asides: (1) it mentions the recent rise in HIV transmission rates, a rise which it says is coincidental with the increasing influence of ‘abstinence only’ (and anti-gay) campaigns; (2) it cites David Bahati’s recently reported contention that the Fellowship ‘inspired’ his ‘Hang-the-Gays’ Bill.

  • Richard Willmer
  • Richard Willmer

    More from Wayne Besen on the alleged links between IC and US right-wing extremist (and pro-Museveni) elements: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/invisible-children-scream_b_1421537.html?ref=impact

  • Richard Willmer

    I gather that Josh Kron (the NY Times’ man in Kampala) takes a rather different view of IC: his ‘take’ is that, while IC does have backing from some fundamentalist christian groups, it is (and I quote) “perhaps the most successful manifestation of, a little-known, ultra-LIBERAL (my emphasis), and highly controversial post-Evangelical Christian movement known as the Emerging Church.”

    One Tony Jones, cited as having “been one of the leaders of the Emergent Church Village”, described “the supposed connection between [IC] and the emergent church movement” as “ludicrous”.

    Confused? I certainly am!

  • Richard Willmer

    (I wonder if it is in fact the case that IC received funding from, and collaborated with, various different ‘christian’ groups, and that too much is being made of this, and that IC is not in fact ‘affiliated’ to any of them. I can see that the cause that IC seeks to advance might be one that has support and/or sympathy across ‘theological divides’.)


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