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Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill Put Off Until 2010

Jim Burroway

October 22nd, 2009
Martin Ssempa

Martin Ssempa

The anonymous blogger GayUganda steeled himself to watch an hour-long program on Uganda’s NBS television station featuring Pentecostal pastor Martin Ssempa. He was a guest on the talk show Barometer along with Member of Parliament Hon. David Bahati, who was the prime sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Act introduced into Parliament last week. According to GayUganda, the bill is scheduled to be brought back before Parliament in January 2010:

Oh, and I gathered from MP Bahati that the bill has been scheduled to be brought back in Jan 2010. Parliament was too busy, just now, to handle the important matter of the Anti- Homosexuality bill. Apparently it is very, very far ahead in the future, but that gives you time to check in with your MP and tell them how much you support the Bahati Bill.

As we have noted, the proposed bill not only reaffirms the penalty of lifetime imprisonment for homosexuality, but adds a category of “aggravated homosexuality” which imposes a death penalty on conviction. The bill also criminalizes all advocacy on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda, and imposes up to three years imprisonment for friends, family members and co-workers who do not report gay people to the police. It also contains extra-territorial and extradition clauses which extend the reach of Ugandan law to those citizens and permanent residents who enter into a same-sex marriage or participate otherwise in same-sex relationships or LGBT advocacy while outside the country.

GayUganda notes that Martin Ssempa has particularly menacing during the program, announcing that anyone who didn’t fully support the bill “actually support homosexuality.” This charge, given this year’s anti-gay vigilante campaigns, means that opposing the bill is not only political suicide, but quite possibly an act of physical suicide as well.

Martin Ssempa is a darling of many powerful American evangelicals, including Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. Ssempa also played a key role in the forced “outing” of prominent Ugandans — regardless of whether they were actually gay or not. In particular, Ssempa took the opportunity of the anti-gay hysteria to accuse another popular rival pastor of homosexuality, a charge that was investigated by police and found lacking. But they did find evidence that Ssempa and other pastors were manufacturing “evidence” to get back at rivals.

Click here to see BTB\’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.



October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Rick Warren and every other American Evangelical who has given support to Ssempa should have Ssempa and his hate hung around their necks like an albatross. There should be no end to the protests at their churches until they publicly renounce Ssempa as a power-mad, genocidal tyrant who uses the love of Christ as a hateful bludgeon to consolidate his influence. Overseas support for Ssempa’s (and other homophobic Ugandan churches) MUST END.

The Ugandan Parliament is about to legally enact a genocide at the whim of this mad man and something, anything, everything we can do to stop it must be done.

Chris McCoy
October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I live in Arizona, so my representatives in both the Senate and the House are not amenable to these suggestions, but has anyone in more liberal parts of the country brought this to the attention of their elected representatives?

This issue needs national and international attention. We need to start talking about the threat of sanctions if Uganda passes such a draconian measure.

We need to press that an international outcry would already exist, in full force, if “homosexual” had been replaced with any other minority group, like “jew” or “catholic.”

October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I wish Christianity (or any other Abrahamic religion) had never been introduced to Africa. Want another example of what happens when another culture’s belief system is messed with?

October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

It’s not a reprieve by any means, but it is a little more time to get something done. Let’s make it count.

Richard W. Fitch
October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

“I wish Christianity (or any other Abrahamic religion) had never been introduced to Africa. Want another example of what happens when another culture’s belief system is messed with?”
Just for the record, Judaism originated in Egypt, Christianity in the Coptic Order has been there since at least the 2nd century and Islam has been in Africa since its earliest days in the 7th century. What I presume you are wanting to say is that the northern European and American bastardization of Christianity and the extremists forms of Islam have done Africa little good for the preservation of harmony. I am not sure of the history line of Judaism there. Perhaps Emily can comment on that.

October 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I was going to mention only sub-Saharan Africa, but thinking about it, what good has come out of any of those religions in Africa (or anywhere)?

The Egyptian and Cathargian religions are 99.99999% dead, and if it wasn’t for all the tourism the pyramids generate, Muslims would long-ago have blown them to pieces.

Many African tribes are forgetting about their culture and roots because they have been brainwashed into thinking those were Satanic and they would go to hell if they continued practicing their religion. Some of them even have the delusion that they are the “original Hebrews and Israelites” and the white Jews currently living in Israel are impostors.

Not to mention none of those religions in general see homosexuality and transgenderism in a good light, while
traditional African religions tolerated or even embraced them.

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