Rachel Maddow has been following reporting on the passage of Uganda’s hateful new legislation which essentially makes homosexuality a capital offense. In the video above, she shows a connection between self-proclaimed ex-gay Richard Cohen’s "pray the gay away" teachings and the new laws.
Last night, Rachel Maddow continued her "Uganda Be Kidding Me" segment by identifying an important source of inspiration for the country’s "gay-killing" legislation: Richard Cohen, a self-proclaimed "ex-gay" turned homosexual "healer." A staff member from his organization, the International Healing Foundation, traveled to Uganda in March to lead a "pray the gay away" event and, soon after, Cohen’s book, "Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality," was used as the primary teaching material for the anti-gay workshop that is directly credited with bringing about this disturbing measure.
Longtime Salon readers might recognize the name: Mark Benjamin wrote about Cohen in his four-part series on "curing" same-sex desires. Cohen also stirred up quite the media storm a few years back with an appearance on CNN in which he demonstrated two therapies for homosexuality: Beating a pillow with a tennis racket and screaming at his mother until he was red in the face ("Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Why did you do that to me?") and cuddling a fully grown gay man in an attempt to simulate a healthy father-son relationship. If there is anything to be learned from the segment, it’s that Richard Cohen is a very unwell man in need of therapy — just not the kind he thinks.