Sunday saw nation-wide gay pride parades bring to a close a month of celebrations recognizing the impact LGBT individuals have had on society. In honor of the occasion, John Oliver dedicated a lengthy segment to looking at the progress that has been made for equality at home, and the not progress that has taken place elsewhere, particularly in Uganda, thanks in no small part to American and British influence.
After puzzling over the appointment of Uganda's Sam Kutesa as the U.N.'s new General Assembly head, Oliver lamented the fact that 81 countries still outlaw homosexuality, calling it "incredibly depressing."
All the more reason to feel proud to live in America, right? Unfortunately, as Oliver revealed, both Americans and the British have a fair amount of culpability in the region. While Uganda's anti-gay laws originated in the British colonial era, it was American evangelicals like Scott Lively who traveled to the region to amp up anti-gay bigotry right before the current legislation passed.
"Clearly, U.S. groups recognized the market for homophobia stateside was dwindling, and so tried to sell it somewhere else," Oliver explained. "Meaning that, Africa isn't just where we send our losing teams Super Bowl shirts, it's also now where we send our losing political philosophies."
In fact, Lively himself spoke in front of Uganda's parliament for a stunning five hours. "If your hard-on for homophobia lasts five hours," Oliver noted, "you need to seek medical attention."
But the host ended the piece on a positive point, highlighting an inspiring voice for change in Uganda, transgender activist Pepe Julian Onziema. In his chat with Onziema, an extended version of which you can watch on YouTube, Oliver asked, among other things, if the current law would have taken place in Uganda without U.S. interference.
Watch the full clip above to see Onziema's response and why, despite not feeling completely safe in his home country, there's no place he would rather be.
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