American Audience Embarrased by Anti-Gay Watoto Church of Uganda

Exploitation of orphans – Concert Goers Walked the “walk of Shame”

by Melanie Nathan, March 19, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 4.27.15 PMThe 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.
Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 9.25.56 PM

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.

See our original report: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/03/07/calling-on-state-department-to-stop-skinners-anti-gay-watoto-church-uganda-performing-in-the-u-s-a/

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.

King County TV Report: http://www.king5.com/news/Ugandan-childrens-choir-draws-concern-250706841.html

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.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 4.24.58 PMDan 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.

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 4.31.11 PM

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:-

Board Members
Gary Skinner – Chairman
Pastor Watoto Church
Kampala, Uganda

Scott Young – Secretary
Pastor Church of Hope
Sarasota, Florida

Ben Wendland – Board Member
Owner Hodder Tug
Richmond, BC Canada

Rob Koke – Board Member
Pastor Shoreline Church
Austin, Texas

Philip Wagner – Board Member
Pastor Oasis Church
Northridge, California

The country offices are directed by an advisory International Board of Directors.

 

6 Comments on “American Audience Embarrased by Anti-Gay Watoto Church of Uganda”

  1. philipstargate March 20, 2014 at 7:57 AM #

    Dear Melanie…. can you write to me at philipstargate@gmail.com
    I think that attacking Watoto Church will not resolve this issue. We need to dialogue with Pastor Gary, he might have profound reasons to take sides, bse right now here in Uganda being Gay or Lesbian is matter of death and life. We could undo this situation, but not through black mail… WATOTO CHURCH is bigger than GARY SKINNER or even the WATATO CHILDREN’S CHOIR… Thank you.
    Philip – Christian Peace Maker
    PAN AFRICAN PEACE NETWORK

    • Melanie Nathan March 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM #

      PAstor Gary has been doing his hateful work against gays for many years.
      Where was the dialogue when he refused to speak out against KILL THE GAYS?
      Now that his little enterprise may be impacted you think he is going to help change the hateful climate
      We have gays in hiding trembling in fear of their lives and that piece of human garbage Skinner has not said one damn word!

      He has had years to dialogue and he refused.

      NOW let some one else take over the help for the orphans. Start with Mr. Wealthy M7 who says he does not need American money to feed Ugandans

      And that said – I will continue to attack W Church until I expose where the last cent of his suspect money went

      And also the child labor he uses to get it’

      The day for Skinner to resolve anything is over

      LOOK AT THIS that has been going on with him and his lies for years

      Bottom line her allowed the Petition TO KILL THE GAYS – support the BILL to be passed around his Church

      he is complicit

      We will get his name on the no travel to USA list in due course

      I am not interested in a dialogue

      I leave that up to you Christians- let me see you do something to make a difference

      I am doing my bit

      NOW do Something yourself – you can chnage the Christian message in Uganda but you have done NOTHING except exacerbate the problem

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-susan-russell/making-homophobia-history_b_4677326.html

      support for “pro-family legislation that preserves the biblical standard providing security for all members of society” — language consistent with support for the Bahati Bil

      Part of what makes them so powerful, says Mugisha, is that American preachers do more than just preach. They also support the poor. He points to one American-led Pentecostal church in Uganda, which boasts tens of thousands of followers.

      “Watoto Church – they support hundreds of orphans,” said Mugisha. “So there is no way a gay activist like myself is going to compete with Gary Skinner, who is the owner of the church, in saying, ‘Ugandans, you should listen to me, you should not discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation’, when someone who is feeding the orphans is telling them homosexuality is an abomination.” http://www.voanews.com/content/activists-say-Ugandan-homophobia-fueled-by-american-religious-right/1592941.html

      Ironically, the very day I watched that interview, the issue hit very close to home. A clergy colleague from West Hollywood called my parish in Pasadena asking if we were the congregation hosting a fundraiser for Watoto Church — the Uganda church headed by Pastor Gary Skinner linked to the Bahati “Kill the Gays” Bill. We were not… but it turns out a neighboring Episcopal Church was. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-susan-russell/making-homophobia-history_b_4677326.html

      IN 2007, Watoto Christian Church head Gary Skinner told the Uganda Monitor that “We condemn all inhuman practices including homosexuality, prostitution which people are pushing for their legalisation,” and Skinner’s church appears to support Watoto elder Stephen Langa’s eliminationist antigay agenda:
      In March 2009, Langa’s Family Life Network organization held a now-notorious Kampala, Uganda conference on homosexuality during which American evangelical speakers alleged a vast Western conspiracy against traditional Ugandan family structure, a conspiracy in which wealthy Western homosexuals were said to be bribing Ugandan children to become gay. http://www.talk2action.org/story/2013/1/11/14921/7815

    • kpallyo0 March 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM #

      Phillip,

      I’m not sure what profound reasons you are speaking about?

      Africa suffers the most from the AIDS crisis, so much so that some regions are currently as much as 40% HIV positive across the adult population.

      This new law Watoto helped to create, not only will prevent treatment to victims, but also increases the spread of infection. Even their non-scientific approach of abstinence-only HIV prevention adds to the problem, as it has been proven nonviable time and again.

      Watoto is part of the problem. At the very best, you could say that they are more concerned with the orphans’ souls than their health. At the very worst, you could say they are an industry lobbying their government to increase their commodities: AIDS orphans. Are they just ignorant and backwards or sick and depraved? Either way, they need to stop being part of the problem.

      Sam

  2. Allan Brian March 20, 2014 at 11:56 PM #

    Melanie,skewing the facts to suit your feelings or filings is wily. If you don’t want dialogue, then all you are saying is it’s my way or no way! That seems narcissistic in every way!

    • Melanie Nathan March 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM #

      Its too late for dialogue . that is what I am saying. They can come OUT and speak against the AHA. The ball is in their court not mine. Why cant they simply come and speak against the law.? Where is their room for dialogue, So yes I am happy to take the title narcissist if it means that what it takes to stand up 100% without compromise for simply saying the Anti-Gay Bill MUST be repealed. That is all your Christian buddies have to do – where is the compromise? To say the Bill is half okay? Its like saying I am half pregnant. get a grip on the reality.

    • kpallyo0 March 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM #

      Allan,

      What kind of dialogue can there when discussing institutional human rights abuses? It is not a matter of opinion, it is an absolute right and wrong. Any moral person could see this.

      What is narcissistic is conflating someone else being homosexual as pushing homosexuality on yourself, as we keep hearing from Watoto members. You are saying “my way or no way” to an entire population, at pain of death or prison.

      You need to put down the Scott Lively propaganda, like “The Pink Swastika”, and stop pretending the persecutors are the persecuted.

      Sam

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