Invisible Children believes in the equality of all people around the globe and is in no way an anti-gay organization. We stand firmly against any form of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that has been proposed in Uganda, and commend the tremendous progress the Ugandan LGBTI community has made in showing the world that gay rights are indeed human rights. We are deeply saddened and troubled by recent attempts by some to associate Invisible Children with a pernicious anti-gay worldview. We believe that hate in any form is detrimental to our mission and that the liberty of all human beings is bound together.

IC block logoBelow is a personal statement by Chris Sarette, Invisible Children’s Vice President of Business Operations. Chris has been part of Invisible Children’s management team for five years now. 

Invisible Children’s work concerns the most fundamental human rights issue—the right to live. The movement has been built on the tenet that ending the well-documented, sadistic crimes of Joseph Kony is one thing we all can agree on. And because it’s a human issue, Invisible Children has attracted supporters, employees and board members who otherwise might sit on opposite sides of the aisle. The Invisible Children community’s common conviction that people are people, and the actions that back it up, are one of the reasons that I finally came out as a gay man in 2007.

Invisible Children has always brought together unlikely allies. The LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 was introduced in the House by Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA) and Jim McGovern (D-MA).  One look at KONY 2012’s list of 32 influential culture and policy makers shows that we are purposely asking people from diverse ideological backgrounds to make statements about stopping LRA violence. That’s why the KONY 2012 list includes Stephen Colbert and Bill O’Reilly; Tim Tebow and Lady Gaga; Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Rush Limbaugh and Ellen Degeneres.

Personally, it’s difficult for me to see Invisible Children maligned as anti-gay because it’s simply untrue. This is the group of people that encouraged me to embrace my sexual identity and I have experienced the acceptance, not just tolerance, of everyone in the organization. And having just celebrated my fourth anniversary with my partner, I’m so happy that I did.

In the end, it is a community and a worldwide movement that is bound together by our common humanity. We are bound together by the conviction that where we live should not determine whether we live—that when a child in Congo is abducted it should be met with the same outrage and resolve as when a child in America is abducted. And because of that, we’re neither united nor divided by our sexual orientation, politics, faith, or ethnicity.

In February the LRA abducted 45 people. And since the movie was released on March 5, they have abducted at least 60 more. That’s my personal motivation for working with anyone who also wants to see an end to 26 years of LRA violence. I hope you’ll consider joining us.