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A series of essays in the Episcopal Church

Letter from Professor John Poynter to Secretary of State Hon. Hillary Rodham Clinton

(Prof.) John D. Poynter, Emeritus
(Claremont McKenna College)
1256 Primavera Dr W
Palm Springs, CA 92264-5110


February 6, 2011

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Re: David Kato


Dear Madame Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,


This letter addresses the issue of evangelicals from the United States who traveled to Uganda to spread fear of homosexuals among Ugandans, much as they have done here in this country, spreading lies and superstition among Ugandans. They are responsible for encouraging laws that condemn gay men and encourage their persecution and murder, claiming against all scientific knowledge and psychiatric insight that homosexuality is a disease amenable to cure. Scott Lively and his cohorts have the blood of David Kato on their hands. In my mind, the results of this homophobia are no different on the gay people affected from the anti-Semitism on Jews, Turkish genocide against the Armenians, and the today’s xenophobia on Hispanic immigrants. It is deadly.


What I would like: 1) A warning in writing to these evangelicals that spread violence and murder against gay people abroad; when they are abroad, they represent America, and they should not be advocating violence against anyone, or oppression of any people anywhere in the world. It is unconscionable to criminalize the natural and inborn expression of love toward one’s own gender. In Uganda this criminalization seeks safety behind the mask of religion; religion that foments violence should not enjoy any protection. We should not hesitate to raise our voices in protest against those who spread violence and mayhem in other parts of the world, and undermine your fine work and mission as the Secretary of State. 2) An embargo on all charitable money going to Uganda until that country formally foregoes the threat of violence against gay and lesbian people.


John D. Poynter, Emeritus

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