Uganda, don't pray to 'heal' gays (or blacks or women)

Stella Nyanzi
Stella Nyanzi

In this brief commentary, Stella Nyanzi — an anthropologist, social science researcher and resident of Uganda, where Pentecostal churches are popular — speaks out against some anti-LGBT religious leaders’ practice of attempting to “pray away the gay.” After her commentary appeared on Facebook, it attracted a flood of readers’ comments, some of which are published below.  
Healing of homosexuality in the name of Jesus Christ is a sham. Although a widespread practice in our tongue-talking spiritual churches, it is a dangerous lie.
To heal a homosexual and cure the homosexuality out of the system would be like curing me of my blackness or healing me from my womanhood. Blackness is not sickness. Being woman is not an illness. Homosexuality is neither a disease nor an illness.
To lay hands on a homosexual person in order to bind and cast out homosexuality from them as part of spiritual warfare is just like praying the left-handedness out of my elderly mother. I am questioning the credibility of the Ex-Gay movement. It is a performance.
A selection of Facebook comments:
Prophet T.B. Joshua (Photo courtesy of
Prophet T.B. Joshua (Photo courtesy of

Commenter T.A.: [Televangelist and faith healer] T.B Joshua cures, casts and binds in Nigeria.
Stella Nyanzi: In Uganda we also have a long list of names of Pastors, Prophets, Apostles and Evangelists who claim to bind, cast out and cure homosexuality. They are liars who damage and fracture whole persons.
Commenter LB: How much you know about the name of JESUS? Knowing much about homosexuality is why you fail to questioning. What is in the name of JESUS, any thing with the name can be taken out by one NAME, JESUS. Have faith, not carnal mind.
Stella Nyanzi: LB, I personally know Jesus Christ, not just about his name and the way that men and women of today manipulate it to traumatise, injure, oppress and hate homosexual human beings. I am a believer. And no amount of praying will miraculously cure me of my blackness just as no deliverance sessions will cure homosexuality.
Logo of Exodus International
Logo of Exodus International

Commenter JF:  In the West, “ex-gay” ministries are dying like flies as their leaders own up to the sham and admit they are still as gay or Lesbian as they ever were and the big momma of ex-gay ministries — Exodus International — closed down last year. It is a bit like the tobacco industry in that, seeing the West reject their cancer-causing marketing, they turn to the developing world.
Stella Nyanzi: Exodus International sent representatives to Uganda to ally with the anti-gay movement comprising parliamentarians, pastors, and politicians. Their ministry hurts individuals and communities. Closing down their offices does not undo the mass ideology and false hope for a cure that they sold here in our country, JF. Their messages based on deceit were swallowed and believed wholesale by faithful dogmatic Christians here.
Pastor Thomas Mutete
Pastor Thomas Mutete

Thomas Mutete: Hey, Stella. It may be true that people have failed to pray away the homo thing. but don’t you under-estimate the power of God to do the seemingly impossible. I believe that as a believer you believe that all things are possible to those who believe. In the same way as a virgin could conceive without sex, God can heal a homo with or without charismatic katemba [a Luganda word that means “exaggerated drama”].
Stella Nyanzi: Pastor Thomas Mutete, why would God need to heal someone who is well? Why do so-called Men of God such as your anointed self insist on seeing homosexuality as a disease or illness that requires healing? Saying this is like saying that blackness is sickness. How twisted is this?

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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