Speed Reads


John Oliver celebrates gay pride by lauding the U.S., bashing its export of homophobia

On Sunday night's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver celebrated a day of gay pride parades by noting the stunning advances in same-sex marriage in the U.S. over the past year, and even the past month. He was so moved he brought out cheerleaders, a big cake, and a keytar-wielding Uncle Sam. You knew that wasn't going to last, and it didn't. For while gay rights are on the march in the U.S., they are being sharply curtailed in Uganda and other parts of Africa — and, Oliver said, that's mostly the fault of a small group of evangelical Christians from the U.S.

"Clearly, U.S. groups recognized the market for homophobia stateside was dwindling, and so tried to sell it somewhere else," Oliver argued. "Meaning that Africa isn't just where we send our losing team's Super Bowl shirts; it's also where we now send our losing political philosophies." He brought on Ugandan gay rights activist Pepe Julian Onziema, who agreed that the recent crackdown is largely America's fault. If this segment sounds dull, that's not really Oliver's style: It's lively, funny, profanity-laced, serious, and not all that two-sided. You can watch Oliver's extended interview with Onziema here. --Peter Weber