The following video clip did not take long to go viral. Rightly so, I myself laughed my brains out and watched it a dozen times:

If I was gay and living in Uganda though, I wouldn’t find it that funny. The Evangelical Pastors featured in the clip are not joking. This is actually propaganda to introduce the death penalty for homosexual “repeated offenders”

, the offence being having sex with a same-sex partner. Even more sinister, the proposed bill will also make not-reporting homosexual activity a crime punishable with imprisonment. Even if one of the homosexuals involves happens to be your own son or daughter. (By the time of writing the bill has not been approved, but there is serious risk it will with some minor modifications).

Thankfully in Malta religious leaders don’t indoctrinate their followers that homosexuals eat each other’s shit. However while our local human rights activists are concerned about the rights of Uganda’s homosexuals, an Evangelical Pastor is preaching smaller scale but equally hateful propaganda to his followers – homosexuals can be cured. (Most probably he’s not saying that they “eat the poo poo” here in order not to make himself a laughing stock.)

The Pastor, Gordon Manche was strongly condemned by most Maltese on online media. I am also sure that even most conservative Catholics and Muslims in Malta disagree with Mr Manche, and more so with the Ugandan preachers (though both Catholic and Muslim authorities in Malta have used the rhetoric of “living in sin” when referring to homosexuals).

My fear is however that a group of people are suffering in silence because of Mr Manche. I am referring to those gays and lesbians in the Pastor’s own community. Homosexuals who have no other choice then denying who they really are from others and many times also from themselves.

Homophobia – fear and/or hatred for homosexuals – is mainly caused by such religious zealots. Though they will never admit it, most homophobes are homosexuals themselves who can’t come to terms with their own sexuality. In a way, one can’t blame them. Imagine the psychological harm on these people who have been indoctrinated since young age that “God hates gays” only to grow up and realize they have feeling for people of the same sex. That what they feel is a result of a disease and is disgusting. The truth is so hard that these people enter into an extreme self-denial and go to the other extreme – blame those who are like them but have managed to accept their reality. Sometimes these people resort to violence towards homosexuals, and even murder, the most prominent case of which is that of Matthew Shepard:

Only one thing can end this madness – education, compulsory if need be. Those children attending Pastor Manche’s hate speech need to know the other reality, the truth. Same goes for those coming from conservative Catholic or Muslim families. They need to know that whatever the Pastor, priest or Imam says, they are lovable human beings as they are.

Because no, homosexuals don’t eat the poo poo. Neither can they be cured from a disease that doesn’t exist.