On April 20, 2023 Chuck Fager, a Quaker, posted on his blog “A Friendly Letter”:
UGANDA PREZ BLINKS, DELAYS NEW, U.S. EVANGELICAL-BACKED “KILL GAYS” LAW: DEBATE CONTINUES here: https://afriendlyletter.com/uganda-prez-blinks-delays-new-u-s-evangelical-backed-kill-gays-law-debate-continues/
Chuck Fager included this:
[NOTE: Given the heavy U.S.-based support for this draconian law, it behooves allies of LGBTQ folks to speak out about this, and keep pressure on U.S. and Uganda officials to oppose it.]
and then posted the Guardian article: “Uganda’s president refuses to sign new hardline anti-gay bill” [which is also here on The Guardian website.]
In response, David Howard Albert (also a Quaker) posted a comment on Fager’s blog that refers to Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund which we think is important. David wrote:
This article was obviously written in Kampala, with virtually no knowledge of what is and has been going on outside the capital. And SMUG has virtually no underground knowledge of anything happening outside of Kampala. Their 110+ number of incidents is a deadly joke.
Friends Ugandan Safe Transport, also known as FUST, since 2014, a project of Olympia Friends Meeting and with assistance from almost three dozen other Meetings, has assisted 2,952 LGBTQ people (and a few allies and children) leave Uganda. They are now scattered all over the world. We have dealt directly with 11 murders of “conductors” and others who have assisted. Of these, more than 800 are transgender (who were very much a part of Ugandan society for several hundred years.)
Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting, in Jinja and Kamuli in eastern Uganda, is the only unprogrammed welcoming and affirming Friends Meeting in east/central Africa. They used to have up to 250 people attend Meeting every Sunday, and also sponsored a Thursday evening get-together and dinner. As a Meeting, they have adopted 19 children who had been sex trafficked. Their co-clerk was transgender, until forced to flee. And perhaps a third of their membership is LGBTQ. They refuse to be part of any organization which is not openly welcoming and affirming, which means FWCC is out (imagine this happening in Belgium, and FWCC saying nothing.)
They are not part of Uganda Yearly Meeting, which is intensely homophobic, nor part of FWCC, which refuses to even recognize their existence. They use North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice. They refuse to be part of any organization which is not openly welcoming and affirming, which means FWCC is out.
One worship group leader has been killed. Nine members were arrested and tortured, and then were forced to flee. Members have attempted to save people from being lynched, sometimes successfully, other times not, with some of them beaten close to death.
In my judgment, this is the single most important thing happening in the Quaker world today. If anyone wants to be in direct contact with them, send a message to me, and I will forward it – davidalbert1717 at gmail.com
Meanwhile, funds are desperately being sought by FUST. Contributions go through Olympia Friends Meeting and are tax-deductible.
I am not able to post the web address for FUST without it being rejected. So look up Friends Ugandan Safe Transport online – there are many, many firsthand stories.