Does the Hunts Post Show Anti-Gay Bias in St. Neots Protest Report

You be the Judge

By Melanie Nathan, October 15, 2014.

Below you will find a press release which I sent to The Hunts Post,  reporting on a protest which took place outside Cornerstone Cafe, St. Neots, United Kingdom, last week, where LGBT Ugandan exiles demonstrated against Paul Shinners, a radical Christian extremist, who shared a stage with Ugandan preachers in 2012, calling for passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, then known as the KILL THE GAYS BILL.   After my Press release, below, you will see the resulting Hunts Post corresponding article. Let me know if you think Hunts Post is biased in their reporting. You be the Judge.

But before you do let me say this. Hunts Post did not have the decency to contact the African LGBTI protestors themselves for a comment, or for a response to what Shinners is alleging in their article. Hunts Post did not speak to their plight of LGBT exiles in Uganda who were protesting Shinners because of what has occurred to them and because Shinners’ overt association  with those who called for their deaths, for being gay and lesbian.

Shiners standing in front of protestors outside Cornerstone Cafe
Shiners standing in front of protestors outside Cornerstone Cafe

Instead Hunts Post is caught highlighting the typical defense mechanism we have come to learn is so standard – where those standing accused of anti-gay actions/ and or rhetoric./ and or associations tend to blame their ‘victims,’ as a means to defend themselves.  We have seen this time and time again with Scott Lively, in the USA, who is being sued by Ugandans for his crimes against humanity.

Instead, in their reporting, despite having our Press Release, which I emailed to approximately 3 people at their news desk, personally,  reported only on Shinners’ continued lies and allowed these to remain unchallenged by the protestors or any of us named with contact emails on the press release.

Shinners urges people to watch his 53 minute preach at the Rally where thousands of ugandans listened to several preachers calling for passage of The Kill the Gays Bill, saying his remarks were taken out of context. What Shinners and the Hunts Post’s Debbie Davies fail to acknowledge and address is the aspect of sharing the stage at a rally that supported the Kill the Gays Bill. Lets try this metaphor to help Mr. Shinners and Debbie Davies of Hunts Post understand: ‘sharing the stage with HITLER is tantamount to agreeing with HITLER- especially if Hilter happens to be talking about killing Jews, regardless of the interpretation of a 53 minute preach that fails to speak out against killing of Jews.

As for Shinners, nowhere in the 56 minute video does Shinners speak out against the Bill, and instead he is heard praising the Ugandans for their stance, saying that because of it, ‘God will Bless Uganda.’  The Hunts Post and Shinners fail to elucidate the context for Shinner’s verbiage and fail to speak to the one year history of communications with LGBT activists since, where he was asked to retract his support for the Bill and to apologize to gays.

Out and proud Diamon Group Protest Paul Shinners at Cornerstone Cafe, Is this a  Christian "CURE" Shop?
Out and proud Diamon Group Protest Paul Shinners at Cornerstone Cafe, Is this a Christian “CURE” Shop?

The Hunts post has ONLY published Shinners attempt at ‘victimhood,’ thereby distancing itself  (Hunts Post) from the “real victims”.

There are hundreds of exiled Ugandans because of Rally’s such as that attended by Shinners. The LGBT protestors, represented by Out and Proud Diamend Group, are demonstrating against that Shinners who has the freedom to preach against them in their country – and so they are utilizing their right to protest against his stance in his country! That is the story!

Lest we forget an important aspect to this story – that Shinners refused to admit his participation at all publicly, until the video surfaced a year later.

Note to Hunts Post: –

Shinners is the one who must apologize, not those of us reporting his appearance at the Rally and not those of us reporting his participation and not those of us demanding that he apologize to his victims.

You have clearly sided with Shinners by not giving L:GBT Africans in exile who protested an opprtunity to respond to his version.

You are complicit in making Shinners victim, while ignoring the real harm of his appearance and how it impacted the true victims.

Perhaps an appropriate metaphor here is giving a voice to the rapist who complains about the victim wearing indecent clothes rather than giving a voice to the victim of  the rape.

#SHAMEonBIASED Reporting Hunts Post. @huntspost #ShameonSHINNERS

AND

Note to Shinners:

Do not ask your Victims -ever again- for an apology! You owe the following people apologies and just like yu say in the Hunts Post we would all like to see this nasty episode go away – BUT it will not go away until you APOLOGIZE to:

1) LGBTI Ugandans for attending the rally
2) LGBTI Ugandans for not speaking out against the AHA when you had the chance
3) Melanie Nathan, Barry Duke and Daniel Law for threatening us and accusing us of defamation when we reported the facts
4) Your current threats with police action in the Hunts Post against our right to protest your actions by participating in that rally; and
5) An apology for calling Daniel Law and the LGBT protestors BIGOTs (on video) when in fact they are protesting you for your stance against them.   #SHINNERSApologyNOW

The only way Hunts Post can correct this biased report is if they do an article asking for comment from LGBT activists involved in response to what Shinners has said.

This is the Press Release sent to Hunts Post – and below that is the screen shot of their published report – You be the Judge:

PRESS RELEASE
Ugandan Exiles Call for Apology at St. Neots Protest

CONTACTS:
Melanie Nathan: Nathan@privatecourts.com
Daniel Law (St. Neots) danielblaw2014@gmail.com
Edwin Sesange (London) sesa215@googlemail.com

St. Neots –Oct 11, 2014. A large group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ugandans descended upon St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, to protest Pastor Paul Shinners, for his failure to apologize for participating in an anti-gay rally in Uganda in 2012.

The protest was launched to confront Shinners and demand an apology, as he had traveled to Ugandan to preach at a rally where Christian leadership called for passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, at a time when it was referred to as “The Kill the Gays Bill.”

Paul Shinners, was challenged by several human rights activists back in 2013, for what they termed as “his radical Christian extremist views,” ( insert link: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/10/11/ugandan-exiles-protest-anti-gay-hate-by-uk-christian-extremist-paul-shinners/) when he participated in The 7th National Day of Prayer in Uganda, a Christmas rally, on 31st December 2012.

The protest was organized by Out and Proud Diamond Group (OPDG), consisting of Ugandan LGBTI exiles and their allies, human rights activists Melanie Nathan and Daniel Law.

The protestors surrounded the Cornerstone Café, A Christian Coffee Shop, owned by a charity operated by Shinners. The large group of LGBTI exiles and their allies, carried banners, chanted and drummed, calling for an apology from Shinners:

“Paul Shinners some Ugandans are gay get over it;” “Preach love not hatred;” “We were all created in God’s image;” “Shinners keep your hate out of Africa”.

Shinners came out and engaged with some of the protestors, calling them “bigots” and threatening them with police action. (See video)

The activists have video (insert http://www.gofundme.com/ewla3g ) evidence showing Shinners preaching on a stage shared by several Ugandan religious leaders, where they praised Ugandans for their stance against homosexuality and called for passage of the Bill.

According to Melanie Nathan, a San Francisco based human rights activist, Shinners has made several confusing denials. Nathan says that she and Shinners engaged in several e-mail exchanges since she first wrote about his participation at the Rally on her blog. Nathan says: “ Despite video evidence, Paul Shinners has continued to refuse to take responsibility and apologize for his participation at that rally where, merely by virtue of his appearance, and regardless of his words, he supported the Bill that contained the death penalty for gays. No denial saves him from his complicity. He must apologize, failing which he is complicit in LGBT Ugandan persecution.”

One of the protestors, Edrisa Kiyemba, of Out and Proud Diamond Group said: “Its unfortunate that Paul Shinners is a free man in the United Kingdom, yet I cannot be free in my home country – because of his homophobic preaching in Uganda.”

At the time of Shinner’s appearance at the rally, the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which contained life in prison and the death penalty, had yet to pass. The Bill was passed a year later and soon overturned by the Ugandan courts because Parliament failed to pass it with the required quorum. Parliamentarians are seeking to re-table the Bill.

Edwin Sesange of OPDG is still calling for a retraction and apology by Shinners.

Videos: http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2014/10/11/ugandan-exiles-protest-anti-gay-hate-by-uk-christian-extremist-paul-shinners/

HERE IS HUNTS POST REPORT

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.15.53 AM

 

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6 thoughts on “Does the Hunts Post Show Anti-Gay Bias in St. Neots Protest Report

  1. Sorry, you will not like this post, but here goes anyway.

    “Does the Hunts Post Show Anti-Gay Bias in St. Neots Protest Report? You be the Judge”

    1. You have invited people to judge between your press release and a report in (presumably) the local newspaper. However, you have not simply presented the two pieces for comparison, but have tried to bias us before we can read them by reminding us at length about the wrongs which you are attributing to Shinners.

    “But before you do let me say this. Hunts Post did not have the decency … ”

    That is not fair.

    2. To be honest, I see the Hunts Post article as being neutral. It does actually give both sides of the story when you stand back from it.

    3. Why (I ask nicely) do you expect the locals to take without question the side of outsiders such as yourself from far-away USA, and the black¹ people who flocked to their town in order to harass one of their own?

    4. I had better close by saying that in no way do I support the criminalisation of consensual, same-sex acts.

    _________________________
    ¹ It is not offensive in my part of Africa to refer to people by their colour.

    1. My Press release is absolutely BIASED as its an advocacy piece and I am a blogger activist not a journalist – so you are absolutely right about that,

      The Hunts POst did not give the known protestors a voice, notwithstanding being in possession of my Press release. The point is they were made aware of a strong pther side of a story and spoon fed contacts and yet ONLY gave Shinner’s perspective on the issue without allowing the optherside. Hence one important aspect went unchallenged.
      Shinners is not a victim and he is portrayed as such – that to me is BIAS!

      I dont understand you point in #3? To me and where I come from – my part of Africa – relying on color the way you have done in this context as an excuse for being against the protest is highly offensive.

      Clearly you miss the point Shinners harassed gay people in Uganda by going there and preaching on a stage with people who were calling for passage of the Kill the Gays Bill. That gives the Ugandans exiled by the persecution which resulted from such calls for passage, the right to go to Shinners’ Town and let him know how he hurt them – back on his own doorstep. The difference is Shinners is a free man in his Town, but thanks to people like Shinners the protetsors are not free in their own home town.

      1. 1. “yet ONLY gave Shinner’s perspective on the issue”: Are we reading the same article? What I see in your screen-shot is Shinners being accused of something, Law claiming something, protesters calling for something, Law making a documentary about homophobia in Uganda. We will have to disagree: the article is not anti-gay; it is neutral.

        2. “I don’t understand you point in #3”: I expressed myself very badly, and you seem very keen to take offence. I am writing this from Malawi. You are in the USA, originally from RSA. I do not know the rules in all the different parts of the World as to how reference is to be made to people of different shapes, sizes, racial origin, and so on. I stated that where I am from reference to colour is not offensive, implying that I was not aiming to offend. (That was not an apology, but a simple statement.)

        By referring to black people, I was making a clumsy attempt at saying that the people harassing Shinners were very clearly not locals. (I was going to explain that a bit more, but have deleted what I wrote because I suspected that you will examine it very closely looking for something to make you angry again.)

        3. “Clearly you miss the point Shinners harassed gay people in Uganda … ” You are making that up, because you have no idea what is going on in my head! I was well aware of what Shinners is claimed to have been doing in Uganda, not just from your blog but from other LGBT media and the local media for his area. I spent quite a bit of time googling the issue. Unfortunately, I cannot download the video because my internet connection is not up to the task. Again, I will not go any further here, because you will just pick it apart again. I will only state that yes, it is extremely suspect that Shinners would go all the way to Uganda to talk about something which is none of his business.

        4. You can have the last angry word!

        1. Let me slip in this after-though. If you are not satisfied with the Hunts Post article you could try the UK system for dealing with press complaints. I think that it works like this:

          1. You try to engage with the publication concerned to see if it will address your concern to your satisfaction.

          2. If you are not happy with the result, then you contact (I think) the Press Complaints Commission.

          1. I have been in email communications with Hunts Post
            They have responded
            I am lodging a complaint
            There is a history here

        2. I am not angry Peter, just happy that you view my BLOG – all the way from Malawi –
          Race is not an issue in this story

          The only issue is that Shinners went to Uganda and participated in a rally calling for the death of homosexuals.

          Now while they may NOT have been screaming from the stage “KILL HOMOSEXUALS” They were preaching for passage of the Bill that contains the death penalty for homosexuality.

          It is for that appearance that we as a global LGBT community asked for Shinners apology – failing which we believe him to be complicit.

          How much more simple than that can it get. ???

          The most significant upset with the Hunts Post article is that they did not give any LGBT Ugandan at the protest an opportunity to answer the accusations Shinners – raised in the article,where Shinenrs makes himself the victim.AND when they had all the contacts in their hands to make a simple call.

          You have made this into much more than it needs to be and I am sure you have your own issues with it – so I recommend reading the history – it may give you some relief.

          Yes we are lodging a complaint.

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