’76 Crimes’ on radio: The latest battles for LGBTI justice

Click on the image to read the article "32 anti-gay African leaders, 32 smiling Obama photos."

Click on the image to read the article “32 anti-gay African leaders, 32 smiling Obama photos.”


Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart

The Erasing 76 Crimes blog and the anti-gay laws of 76-plus countries moved to center stage last weekend during a 15-minute interview of editor/publisher Colin Stewart on the radio show/podcast “State of Belief.”

The show’s host, the Rev. Welton Gaddy, called the blog “an invaluable resource” and then asked about:

Why LGBT rights were not discussed at the recent U.S./African summit. (Gaddy noted the blog’s “rogues gallery” of anti-gay leaders who attended the summit. Stewart said he was disappointed about the summit’s failure to address LGBT issues. But he cited a bit of evidence that the United States is now working behind the scenes — and seeing some results from its more subtle approach — after the experience of African leaders publicly rejecting President Obama’s public call for LGBT rights during his African trip last year.)

The Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of the "State of Belief" radio show and podcast.

The Rev. Welton Gaddy, host of the “State of Belief” radio show and podcast.

The role of Christian and Muslim fundamentalists in supporting anti-gay laws. (Stewart discussed “deeply rooted” African evangelical churches and the additional trouble caused by visits from anti-gay American evangelists. He also noted the combination of anti-gay Christians and Muslims in Uganda’s anti-gay Inter-Religious Council, which just lost its American funding.)

Why much of Africa is so harshly anti-gay. (In many cases, Stewart said, Africa’s anti-gay laws are remnants of the anti-gay laws of the British Empire, and are especially repressive in countries with harshly anti-gay evangelical churches.)

What people can do to help. (Stewart urged support for the locally based organizations in each country that are working for basic human rights for LGBTI people.)

How Stewart became involved with the issue of LGBTI criminalization. (Initially, through personal contact with gay Episcopal priest the Rev. Albert Ogle.)

The full interview is online.


Also discussed during the radio show:

  • Eric Lembembe

    Eric Lembembe

    Zambia’s “gay scare” of last year, which Vice President Guy Scott admitted was motivated by fear of the political power of local evangelical churches.

  • Lebanon’s recent anti-gay raids.
  • Nigeria’s new anti-gay law, which was followed by arrests and reported beatings there.
  • Cameroon’s active repression of LGBTI people and advocacy for change by journalist/activist Eric Lembembe, who was murdered last year.
  • Malawi’s currently suspended anti-gay law.
  • India’s anti-gay, which was suspended, then reinstated.
  • Proposals for new anti-gay laws — so far without much popular support –in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.

The following paragraph is the advance description of the show by “State of Belief”:

“Erasing 76 Crimes”: The Global Struggle to End LGBT Criminalization
Next, Welton invites on journalist and activist Colin Stewart whose website 76crimes.com is an invaluable resource for tracking the criminalization of homosexuality around the world. While the persecution of LGBT people across the globe has become an increasingly important issue for many Americans, faith communities, and the U.S. government, many were disappointed that the President did not push the issue at the White House’s recent summit of African leaders. Welton and Colin will discuss the administration’s work on this issue and whether the summit was a missed opportunity.

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