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.

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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.

 


22 thoughts on “American Audience Embarrased by Anti-Gay Watoto Church of Uganda

  1. 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

    1. 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

    2. 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. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. Homosexuality is simply evil. Can’t b differentiated from prostitution and any other crime. Its simply an agenda being pushed thru by a rich few homos!

        1. Most the homos I know are as poor as doornails and have never even met a rich person. Most the little children who are defiled have been defiled by straight people – not homos. Being gay and falling in love is not a crime any more than being straight and having adult consenting sex is not a crime. The numbers prove that straight men are the rapists. Straight me pay prostitutes instead of feeding their own children and force their women into prostitution so that there can be money for food for kids. If it were NOT for straight me there would be no prostitutes. Having adult consensual sex is not a crime as long as both agree. It does not matter if straight or gay. So Thom Kera what planet is your real planet? Where is your honest truth? Do you support straight heterosexual men who have sex with Prostitutes? Now please intrioduce me to a rich few homos who you know – because I became a homo long before I ever met one!

    2. 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

  3. Pastor Gary is very right, we as Christian who believe in Jesus and the bible which is his word and our constitution, we shall always do what pleases God, no matter who feels hated, so long as we do God’s word. Actually we are helping you gays to escape hell, coz God wants you to know that what you are doing is wrong and that He is capable of punishing you, but its not yet the right time, the time now is for you to repent en turn to God, coz he so much loves you en so much hating what you do. But to those of you who shall not repent, He’s gonna burn you in hell that is the truth which you don’t want hear. Thanx to the Watoto Church for standing in the truth of the Word of God!!!

    1. G-d is NOT pleased by the spreading of rhetoric that hurts either humans no matter who they are or what they have done. G-d didnt – G-d di not intent fr people to hate other people or for people who use “hating the sin” to sit in judgment. We know the Bible says ONLY G-d shall be the judge! Yet this brand of Christianity teaches people to JUDGE and to HATE or spresd hateful rumors.

      Your remark “. Actually we are helping you gays to escape hell,” means you have in fact defied G-d and sat in judgment of gays. That is not your job. If you are truly faithful you will not trydo the work of God by telling people you are doig his work. Only G-d can do HIS work!!! Who the hell do yu think you are?

      I am a very religious person. I turned to G-d many years ago and am very well taken care of from to heaven and back. Of that I have no doubt. Many gays have accomplished more mitzvot than their fair quota and G-d sees them as good people. It is those who hate, judge and fail to do good in this world that G-d will judge for their sins when the time comes.

  4. Hi Melanie, am from Uganda and i have been going to Watoto church for over 10years now. Pator Gary is not the kind of man who would support the killing of gays. In fact Watoto church is the best example of God’s grace here in Uganda. The church tolerates all kinds of people and there is no discrimination whatsoever. About exploiting innocent orphans…if taking desperate, poor, abandoned, dying children into caring homes with mothers, giving them an education upto University level, caring for their all their needs and teaching them how to dance and sing is exploitation then i think you have the wrong idea. These children dream of traveling the world and seeing developed countries like America so the opportunity to travel is life changing for them. Some of them are former child soldiers and music is Watoto’s way of helping them forget their terrible past. Nobody can look after over 3000 children without any financial assistance and Uganda is not capable of providing that assistance so pastor Gary with the help of the children travel the world looking for it. I wish people like you could just help us instead of judging the people who are trying. If everybody did what you are doing then our abandoned children in the villages would die. I wish you could visit the Watoto children villages here in Uganda, it’s the image of hope and a future for children in a country that has is burdened by war, corruption, AIDS and poverty. “I AM WATOTO”

    1. That is very nice of you to defend him. But the otherside of the coin is as important. I have never heard that so called man of G-d come out and speak up against the anti homosexuality Act even when it did have KILLING gays at its core. I also know about the allegations that he stole land from a certain family who have made direct contact with me. There is always 2 stories and the truth. Its complicit if you are silent. Lets hear from him how he loves gays but hates the SIN!!! Just like they all say. But that talk has caused suicides among young gay people. He is complicit with his silence. As are you all!

      1. There is no way a Pastor in Uganda can come out and defend gays, that would be against what they preach. Besides if a white man like Pastor Gary said anything in defense of gay people he would probably lose his entire African congregation. We just don’t accept that in our culture. About stealing land well its good you know they are just “allegations” because its impossible for a church like Watoto to steal land. The court ruled that those people were just squatters on the land and the church had bought the land from its original owner. They were compensated by the previous owner and the case was closed. Today Watoto church West sits on that very land.
        Spending all this time promoting a disgusting act like homosexuality seems useless to me. If you spent the same amount of time taking care of orphans and widows like Pastor Gary then i think the world would be a better place.
        Come visit us one day, bring a team of your fellow gay people and maybe build a children’s home, a school or a hospital, volunteer in our schools, teach our vulnerable women new skills e.t.c…and when all our children and women are safe and happy then we can discuss acceptance of gays.

        1. You seem very close to Pastor Gary.
          And so if he were in Nazi Germany I imagine he would not come out in favor of the Jews in case he lost his congregation?
          Because of this thinking we are supporting several hundred Anne Franks from Uganda!
          NO EXCUSE – and what a terrible admission you make – that his religion prevents him from speaking for basic human rights
          So let the mob justice against gays continue. That is exactly what i thought about pastor Gary and you who are close to the est make the admission.
          MERCY MERCY MERCY

          1. truth is we don’t hate gay people but homosexuality is just something we can’t support, the bible makes it very clear in Leviticus 18:22. Like i said we have bigger things to worry about than defending an act that will not do anyone any good.

            1. Your rhetoric and incorrect biblical interpretation has a hateful impact- it has led to persecution – so when you FAIL to speak out against the HARM caused to those people who are victims you are complicit in the assaults ALL BECAUSE of the rhetoric you expound. Allow me to introduce you to about 100 Ugandan LGBT who have been beaten, lost their homes, lost the their jobs, their families and the life they know – and have to run for exile out of their beloved country because people like YOU and Gary fail to come out and loudly say – DO NOT BEAT THEM UP – THEY ARE GODS CHILDREN TOO…. So do not give me your hypocritical and meaningless chatter until you speak out against the violence being perpetrated against gays right there in your midst and on your watch!!!!!!! YOU STOOD by and wached Uganda try to legislate a KILL THE GAYS BILL and did nothing. You are GUILTY of Hate and purportedly in the name of God and Jesus.,

              1. I live in Uganda and in the middle of the city. You will never hear of any one being beaten up because they are gay. Yes We scoff at the homosexual behavior and condemn that dastardly act but no one is ever beaten up in this beautiful country. Many people have lied to the US authorities and gained visas and green cards to enter the US, UK etc and it has become the norm. If you want to go to the US through very easy means, run to their embassy and tell them that you are gay and being haunted. The next minute you will be airborne. I have very many friends, over 12000 people who have gotten citizenship under that card. Its business for them. If you go on believing what you read in media without filtering it, you will be led astray. Why not come and witness for yourself first hand. We know the gay rights activists have permeated every part of the world and if you do not play their card they will tarnish your name in the press. They even stage rallies and have their camera crew ready to shoot. Then make two groups, one which seems to be against them and have it come to distract their rallies so that they can blame government. We know all this and I commend the church in taking a strong stand against the homosexual behavior. There is no other behavior in the world that is so funded as the gay behavior. Someone will not invest trillions of dollars for you to learn to smoke but they will spend much more for u to become gay. If God in this century approves of the behavior, then He really has a huge apology to give to Sodom and Gomorrah for roasting them. That habit is nurtured. It is not part of genetics. I am a DNA specialist with a PhD in Clinical and molecular genetics, so I know what I am talking about. It is only a narrow minded person who thinks that homosexual behavior is linked with genes and you would be just as narrow minded to take offense.

                1. I have pictures of people who have been beaten up for being gay
                  I have pictures of people beaten and tortured by police
                  I have multitude of evidence and the names of perpetrators who were never arrested for the beatings – no justice for gays.
                  In fact UNHCR has resettled many such people around the world who are now telling their stories of beatings
                  So who do you believe YOU who live there and hates gays or the people show can show their wounds and evidence and witnesses.
                  Sorry Nelson you are either blind ignorant or lying!

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