MCCORY, Neb. — Since news broke Monday that Uganda’s president had signed a bill mandating harsh penalties — including life imprisonment — for homosexual acts, an entire Nebraska community is looking to a local gay teen for analysis.
The people of McCory have been asking Brandon Sumpter — the only openly-gay resident in this town of 1200 — for his thoughts about the state of civil rights in Uganda.
Sumpter, an 19-year-old busboy at Smithy’s Grill, says he is proud to lend his voice to gay Ugandans, or Ugandians, or Ugandonians, or whatever they’re called, but he admits it is difficult to evaluate the politics, history and culture of a nation that, until recently, he didn’t even know existed.
However, with the help of Wikipedia, Sumpter is well on this way to becoming McCory’s resident expert on East Africa.
“We should be appalled by this barbaric move,” he recently told a table of customers when they asked for his opinion. “We must declare our opposition to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s decision to sign this anachronistic bill, and I call on President Obama to use every resource at his disposal to put sanctions on Uganda.”
The town’s weekly newspaper, the McCory Gazette, is reportedly trying to arrange an interview with Sumpter so that he might, as gay man, go on record with his thoughts.