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RGOD2: Mentoring, LGBT people’s highest calling

There are sacred moments when, as young people, we chose our mentors. It is as powerful as sexual attraction and falling in love, but true mentorship transcends both. There is something else that will flow between us and this mystery will last an eternity.

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RGOD2: Confessions of a naive gay cleric – “I fed and schooled Bahati”

I watched the video of the passage of Uganda’s now infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill and particularly of its author, David Bahati, bouncing on his seat and slapping his hands in glee when it passed.

Poor David, in that very public moment, reverted to being a 7-year-old in school once again! When he found out his little bill had the votes it needed to pass, it was as if the chamber of the parliament (which appeared remarkably sparse of fellow members that day) became a scene from a school playground where the children danced with glee.

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RGOD2: A mother’s love

I am writing today’s column from Belfast, Northern Ireland, where our family are gathering to prepare for our mother’s funeral on Monday. As a very active 81-year-old, able to be in California and New Zealand this time last year, Thelma Ogle’s sudden death has hit us all like a bullet train. Though we are grateful for her long active life and the fact that she did not suffer, it is difficult to process such news and the gathering of the family is a bittersweet experience as we prepare for Christmas.

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RGOD2: The gay man who drove with Mandela

I heard the news of Nelson Mandela’s death in the Monterey Institute of International Studies just before the school showed the film “God Loves Uganda.” Roger Ross Williams’ controversial documentary on the negative impact of exported American evangelical homophobia is one of 15 documentary films shortlisted this week for a potential Oscar nomination.

We will know Jan. 16 if the film will get a nomination. These films are important to our understanding of both what makes the world go round and our participation in the positive and negative forces we bring to the story.

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RGOD2: Celebrating another breakthrough for Roman Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Uganda was in Rome the week before Maxensia Nakibuuka arrived to attend the Catholic lay community of Sant Egidio annual conference in October. When he returned from Rome, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga invited Maxensia (who is also Secretary to the Council of the Laity) to coordinate this year’s World AIDS Day commemoration on Sunday, Dec. 1.

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RGOD2: “You must be barricades against exclusion”

Every seven years, the World Council of Churches meets to discuss issues affecting its 600 million member network. This year’s meeting in Basan in the Republic of Korea saw a brave attempt by some South African religious leaders to raise the contentious issue of LGBT inclusion in churches and the relationship between criminalization in 76 countries and its impact on major health issues like HIV.

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RGOD2: Nature red in tooth and claw

The title comes from Alfred Lord Tennyson's “In Memoriam A. H. H.,” written in 1850. The quotation refers to humanity:

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed

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RGOD2: The Freedom Tree remains a somber symbol even today

Imagine being handcuffed and having your feet shackled with the agreement that if you can make your way to a particular tree and touch it, you can be a free slave. The catch? You had to move rapidly to avoid the bullets fired by your owner and his friends!

This was a horrible blood sport and the Freedom Tree is a real symbol of this horrific chapter in human-rights abuses on a global scale.

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RGOD2: Important conversations on LGBT rights in Africa come to an end

As the public part of the African Commission on People’s and Human Rights comes to a close today in the Gambia, we await the deliberations and formal adoption of some important resolutions that will positively or negatively impact millions of LGBT Africans and their allies.

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RGOD2: What I learned in The Gambia at human-rights conference

The Gambia is affectionately known as the “the smiling coast of Africa” as it sits on the western side of this huge continent - smiling out from sun-drenched beaches of the Atlantic. Fifty-thousand British holidaymakers flock here to escape their harsh winters in this former English colony, followed by thousands of Dutch and Germans.

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