Lexington sums up Philip Jenkins' argument:

Gay-bashing in Uganda was common long before any American preachers showed up and gave unpleasant speeches. Rivalry between Islam and Christianity for adherents ensures that preachers of both faiths compete to offer the most anti-gay vision, because that is what a lot of Ugandans want. As in many parts of Africa, openly gay people risk being lynched. The idea that Africans are passive puppets waiting to be told what to do by Americans is both wrong and insulting, says Mr. Jenkins.

Two things I'd add: this was given legitimacy and a spark from the American Christianist right; and there is also in Africa an emergent gay rights awareness, and a fledgling gay rights movement. I think assuming rank homophobia among all Africans is too broad a brush. In Africa, it's now America in the 1950s. I believe Africa's movement toward greater gay awareness in the 2010s will happen more swiftly than in America in the 1950s, not least because of the international examples that now abound.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.