AP Publicizes Far Left Group's Slam of Social Conservatives' Africa Efforts

The Associated Press made no attempt to hide their liberal slant on Tuesday as they hyped an obscure leftist organization's report attacking American conservatives' efforts to support traditional marriage in Africa. Writer Michelle Faul repeatedly used biased labels such as "anti-gay," "religious right," and "Christian right" against social conservatives. By contrast, she made only one vague reference to the far left political ideology of the group that issued the report.

Faul also falsely implied that American social conservatives endorse legislative efforts in Uganda to implement the death penalty on those convicted of "aggravated homosexuality."

The writer loaded the first sentence of her article, "US religious right presses anti-gay laws in Africa" with three slanted labels: "Conservative U.S. Christian groups are setting up fronts in Africa to fight for anti-gay and anti-abortion legislation to promote their convictions, a report by a Boston-based think tank said Tuesday."

After using loaded, explicit terminology about the conservative organizations, Faul promoted the left wing group's own low-key identifying label when she noted that "the report...was presented by the Political Research Associates of Boston, a think tank that describes itself as 'progressive' and focusing on what it calls attacks on civil liberties by the political and Christian right."

The journalist filled the following several paragraphs with similar labeling of conservatives:

Some of the Africans cited in the report as heading African organizations set up by the U.S. religious right maintain that they are just using funds from foreign friends who share similar beliefs....

The report's main author, the Rev. Kapya Kaoma, said that while such evangelical groups are in the minority in the United States, they are able to punch way above their weight in Africa, where many oppose homosexuality. Here, many believe the religious right's contentions that gay men are "recruiting" in schools, Kaoma said....

And conservative groups have access to powerful politicians, including the presidents of many countries.

Kaoma's report identifies groups belonging to a loose network of right-wing charismatic Christians. They include Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the Catholic Church's Human Life International (HLI) and the Mormon-led Family Watch International. All have launched or expanded offices in Africa over the past five years....

Faul simply got in wrong in labeling HLI and Family Watch International "charismatic Christians." Charismatic Christianity, which includes Pentecostalism, is a separate theological strain from Catholicism and Mormonism. She also oversimplified HLI's affiliation with the Catholic Church, which is led by individual Catholics, just as Sharon Slater, a Mormon, leads Family Watch International. [Note: I worked for HLI in 2006.]

Towards the end of her article, the AP writer hinted at the supposed connection between the U.S. conservative groups and the passage of "anti-gay" laws in several African years:


Anti-gay laws passed in Burundi in 2009, Malawi in 2010 and Nigeria in 2011.

Uganda's so-called "Kill the Gays" law, which would levy the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," was thought to have been defeated after Kaoma and Political Research Associates exposed the legislation's American instigators in 2009. But it was reintroduced in Uganda's Parliament this February.

That was a year after the killing of David Kato, of Sexual Minorities Uganda, who was found bludgeoned to death in his Kampala home.

Amnesty International has reported an increasing intolerance in Africa that has resulted in "harassment, discrimination, persecution, violence and murders" against homosexuals in Africa. The report said the new campaigns also have caused more oppression of women by restricting their reproductive freedoms.

The Christian groups' efforts have found fertile ground among many homophobic Africans, but they have not been as successful in pushing anti-abortion legislation, the report said....

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center