Exploitation of orphans – Concert Goers Walked the “walk of Shame”
by Melanie Nathan, March 19, 2014.
The Watoto Children’s Choir, put on by the Watoto Ministries of Uganda, promotes the exploitation of children and funds an anti-gay agenda. Not only are they known to be homophobic, they worked actively towards promoting the anti homosexuality bill in Uganda during the time when it was known as the “Kill the Gays” bill.
Now they are performing in venues across remote areas of America, to add to the $8million they raised here last year, and which they raise on the backs of exploited orphans, and the trail of the money is very fishy, and possibly used to fatten the pocket of its founder Gary Skinner, and money used to support a church that has preached the promotion of the Kill the Gays Act. One diligent US citizen in the area has managed to draw awareness to the group and its exploits. Here is the latest.
Last night the Ugandan orphan Watoto Church Choir performed at a small out of the way venue near Tacoma Washington. It seem that our advocacy to deny visas started too late and the Church, despite its exploitation of young children and the likelihood of its non-compliance with US child labor laws, managed to slip by the relevant authorities. But it did not slip past local resident, Sam (Last name withheld) who was appalled that young children were set upon a stage to do the bidding of the notoriously homophobic Church.
When Sam and his wife heard that Watoto Church was a promoter of the “Kill the Gays Bill” in Uganda they were determined to protest and Sam refused to be silent. It was his goal to inform the American public about where the money was going.
Sam showed up at the concert with his family and a sign: “YOU HAVE TO TEACH A CHILD TO HATE – Charity or Hate group?
Sam’s his successful advocacy caused King County News to report on the outrage of US LGBT activists – who expressed concern that Watoto had raised as much as $8million dollars on US soil, some of which supports the Church’s promotion of anti-gay hate. The negative publicity not only impacted the turn out, but also embarrassed the organizers, causing some not to show up.
Sam’s awareness campaign made local TV and news an probably impacted the poor turn out as it seemed people were embarrassed to be supporting Watoto.
Sam informed us that his protest was a great success:
“I think it was a great success in bringing awareness.
I don’t think a single person showed up who wasn’t specifically from the hosting church, Lakebay, and even many of them did not attend.
The pastor HIMSELF (Dan Whitmarsh of Lakebay Church), the guy I had been talking to , didn’t even show up. I did not see a single person from the local more progressive church at all. Everyone had to walk by us and everyone did a walk-of-shame, so to speak, like with blinders, not making eye contact or even looking at the giant sign. You wouldn’t do that unless you already knew what the sign said. Some children’s head turned to glare, only to have their heads abruptly straitened by their parents.
Three people talked to me. One lady was very nice. One guy was a jerk. The guy replacing the pastor thanked us for being out of the way, and tried to distance their church from Watoto.
Yeah, I think it (the protest) was a great success. The nice lady who talked to me said I had started a conversation within the church that had never taken place and that this conversation would be “ongoing”. I don’t think they’re coming back. Even is the church invited them, they’d probably not see it as lucrative enough.”
Dan Whitmarsh the Lakeshore Church host of the group when asked refused to comment, saying he was in talks with Watoto to hear their side of the story. he has yet to come back with answers to our following questions:
1) Did you know that Watoto Church handed petitions around to congregants to sign, calling for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, at the time the Bill had the death penalty in it?
2) Now that you have found this out, and there are many witnesses who can attest to this, are you still willing to use your Church to house their event?
3) Do you support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda which carries 14 years to life in prison. It also will close down LGBT organizations and hampers imperative AIDS services to members of the LGBT community because they are terrified to attend clinics.
4) What accommodations are being made to ensure that the Watoto children under 18 years are being accommodated in terms of the USA’s child labor laws?
No wonder Mr. Whitmarsh failed to attend his own event!
You will notice from the Choir’s itinerary that they perform in rural out of town areas where they are unlikely to be subject to anti-gay scrutiny.
We are writing a follow up article to pursue the money trail…. stand by – in the meantime here are the US Board of Directors in the USA:-
Gary Skinner – Chairman
Pastor Watoto Church
Scott Young – Secretary
Pastor Church of Hope
Ben Wendland – Board Member
Owner Hodder Tug
Richmond, BC Canada
Rob Koke – Board Member
Pastor Shoreline Church
Philip Wagner – Board Member
Pastor Oasis Church
The country offices are directed by an advisory International Board of Directors.