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Michigan Rep. Travels to Uganda for Anti-LGBTQ+ Cheerleading Camp

I want to start off this year by giving credit where credit is due. And that credit goes to Ohio Gov. Mike Dewine, for vetoing an anti-trans bill aimed at trans kids.

According to the AP, the bill “would ban gender-affirming care for minors and block transgender student-athletes from participating in girls and women’s sports.”

According to New Civil Rights Movement, DeWine vetoed the bill after — and this is going to blow your mind — visiting children’s hospitals and talking to families who would be hurt by the bill.

Imagine that. Instead of listening to the anti-trans scream machine that makes up so much of the Republican Party, DeWine did what any leader with even a grain of morality and decency would do: He went directly to the people who would be most affected by this bill.

DeWine is the second Republican governor to veto such a bill. The first was Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2021.

So good on these two for doing the right thing, especially since they are part of a political party that prides itself on hurting the most people possible to prove their claim that the government can’t and won’t work to help people’s lives. (It can, by the way, work to do just that. The key is electing the right people, something else Republicans aren’t huge fans of, what with their election-denying and voter-suppressing ways.)

[Editor’s Note: Since DeWine’s veto, the governor has issued an executive order banning gender reassignment surgery for minors in Ohio and proposed new rules that would require trans adults to share their medical data with the state and require sign-off from a bioethicist, a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist to receive hormonal treatment and other gender-affirming care. The rules would also require patients under 21 to receive six months of counseling before continuing on with their gender-affirming care. See the author’s latest column for her thoughts on this unfolding story.]

Meanwhile, in Michigan, there’s a Republican who embodies everything awful about the GOP, and that is U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg who recently took a trip to Uganda to cheer on the country’s appalling Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, a.k.a. the “Kill the Gays” bill, at a prayer breakfast. Because of course.

“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said according to NCRM.

That’s right folks, a Republican rep giving a speech in another country saying that he’s not on the United States’s side. I mean, this guy is from the same party that claims that even mentioning racism is the act of a traitor. Yet here we are.

Walberg continued, “His excellency, President [Yoweri] Museveni, needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm.”

Museveni is, of course, the very man who signed the “Kill the Gays” bill in May of 2023. Granted, the bill he signed was a kinder, gentler version of the bill after he asked that the bill make clear that what was criminalized was homosexual acts, not homosexual people per se, according to the AP.

“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback,” Walberg acknowledged, because duh. “I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks.”

A Walberg spokesperson pointed out that he never named the anti-gay bill directly, but context helps.

According to WLNS6.com, Member of Parliament Cecilia Ogwal spoke before Walberg, specifically condemning LGBTQ+ people.

“The moment you attack the very core of creation, you are attacking God,” Ogwal said according to WLNS6. “And that is this force which is called LGBTQ, the homosexuality forces. That is not just the mindset of developed countries against us, that is the force from Hell. And the Bible tells us we are not fighting human beings. We are not fighting flesh and blood. We are not fighting Europeans. We are not fighting Americans. We are fighting the forces of Hell.”

WE ARE NOT EVEN FIGHTING HUMAN BEINGS. WE ARE NOT FIGHTING FLESH AND BLOOD. WE ARE FIGHTING THE FORCES OF HELL.

I want to make sure you caught that so, yes, I’m yelling. Because holy shit.

President Museveni addressed the audience after Walberg, according to WLNS6. And he clearly was picking up what Walberg was laying down.

“I want to thank the Congressman from Michigan because you have seen that we have got the Western people you see here are not the only ones, there are others also, the ones who come to tell you about homosexuals, about…abortion, you now know that there are other Americans, other Western people, who think like us,” Museveni said.

Walberg knew exactly what he was doing and exactly who his audience was. Uganda has faced worldwide pressure against their Kill the Gays bill, so when Walberg tells them to stand strong, there’s no doubt that he’s expressing his support for the bill.

Michigan voters, you know what you need to do: Vote him out. But also contact his office to tell him how gross this is at 202-225-6276.

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