But Jan. 23 presents at least a symbolic chance for Oregonians to disassociate the state from Scott Lively, the former Oregon Citizens Alliance communications director and current president of Abiding Truth Ministries. Students from Southridge High School have organized a demonstration this Saturday in Beaverton to oppose Uganda's gruesome Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009.
After Lively and two fellow anti-gay evangelists spoke to Uganda's parliament last year, lawmakers there proposed a bill that in its current form would execute HIV-positive gay people. Lively told Fox News' Alan Colmes on Jan. 4 that he does not support the bill as written but that "it is a step in the right direction."
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has threatened to revoke Uganda's duty-free status on imports if the anti-gay bill passes.
Southridge's principal in 2005 angered gay-rights activists by trying to stop the school's production of The Laramie Project, a play about the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. But Southridge has had a sister school in Kalisizo, Uganda, for seven years, and some of Southridge's 2,000 students began in mid-December to organize what they expected to be a rather modest demonstration.
Southridge Gay-Straight Alliance co-president Rina Sundahl, a senior, says she and other organizers now expect as many as 1,000 people to attend.
The march will begin at noon in the parking lots of Southridge, Kmart on Southwest Murray Boulevard and the Mill End Store on Southwest Western Avenue. Each march will converge at the Beaverton Library park blocks fountain (12375 SW 5th St.) for a rally.