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Ugandan Religious Leaders, Human Rights Advocates to Petition Against Anti-Gay Bill

Jim Burroway

February 28th, 2010
Canon Gideon Byamugisha

Canon Gideon Byamugisha

The anonymous blogger GayUganda passes on a press release from a group of Ugandan human rights advocates and AIDS service providers led by Anglican priest Canon Gideon Byamugisha, announcing a meeting with Parliament speaker Edward Ssekandi Kiwanuka on Monday to present their opposition to the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. They also plan on presenting a petition to the Speaker and members of Parliament signed by more than half a million people around the world. After the meeting, there is to be a press conference.

People locally voicing opposition to the bill is absolutely vital, and much more important than outcry from abroad. This is a very important meeting. No one meeting will likely change things, but pastor Martin Ssempa and others have had an almost exclusive hold on the rhetoric behind the bill until now. The question now is whether Ugandan media will pick up on it.

In December, Canon Byamugisha blasted the proposed bill, calling it “state-legislated genocide against a specific community of Ugandans.” He also lambasted it as a cynical ploy by the ruling party for the upcoming elections. President Yoweri is seeking to extend his 24-year lock on power in 2011 despite his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party being rocked by a long series of financial corruption scandals.

Update: Uganda’s Daily Monitor has picked up the story with a photo:

L-R: Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, Canon Rev. Gideon Byamugisha, Frank Mugisha (Sexual Minorities Uganda) and Maj. (retired) Rubaramira Ruranga presented the petition to parliament.

L-R: Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, Canon Rev. Gideon Byamugisha, Frank Mugisha (Sexual Minorities Uganda) and Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga (retired) presented the petition to parliament.

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

Comments

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Thom
February 28th, 2010 | LINK

*Canon Gideon Byamugisha :-)

martin ssempa
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Ha Ha ha..Gideon Byamugisha a man who became famous because he got HIV/AIDS and told people that he got it!!!! Gideon is a shrill for homosexuals..an agent of colonialists and imperiealsits who have sent him with their signatures. He should be chased from our parliament and take those signatures back to his donors who bankroll his ANARELA.

I am sure he will get a per diem and that will be good for his pockets..his reputation will sink lower in the eyes of all right thinking Africans.

Martin Ssempa PhD

Amy itogot Makerere
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Gay people should just keep quiet and seek a rehabilitation place,it doesnt help you fighting for whaat you call human rights..it like fighting hard to get near a lion that will strip you into pieces,fellow brothers and sisters, turn to God and leave those lawyers who kip making noise for you all in the name of human rights..the time is now..the time for change..Yes we can even if obama doesnt believe

ITOGOT
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

fOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY..SO DOES THAT GAY THING FIT IN OUR MOTTO……..WE WILL NEVER ACCEPT TO BE A SODOM AND GOMORAH NATION../

James Onen
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Woah..many angry Ugandans posting comments today!

Thankfully, not all Ugandans are as hateful, intolerant and above all, ignorant as the homophobic mob making headlines all over the world, and posting inane comments like the ones above.

I stand proud as a Ugandan that recognizes the right of LGBT Ugandans. I cannot commend Cannon Gideon Byamugisha enough. I wish I had had the honour of placing my signature on that petition.

F Young
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Canon Byamugisha is a courageous and honest man, a true Christian, unlike the hypocrites who hijack Christ’s name to feed their greed and lust for power. Christ would condemn them, like he did the Pharisees.

Jean-Paul Bentham
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Canon Gideon Byamugisha is our man of the hour. He will soon received an honorary doctorate degree, or two, or three from the world’s more enlightened and great Universities. Hoorah!!

Ugandan Gay Rights * Gay Rights are Human Rights *

Dave North
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

It will be interesting to see what happens’s when Uganda’s foreign aid dries up as a result of this hateful law.

And forget the collonialism nonsence.

Uganda has been independent for 49 years.

Stop blaming others for your own problems.

Jean-Paul Bentham
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Ha Ha ha..Martin ssempa a man who became famous because he is homophobic (mental illness) and told people that he is!!!!

Martin is a shrill for homosexuals..an agent of American Talibangelists who have brainwashed him with religious crackpot fundamentalism. He should be chased from the Uganda Parliament as well as from his church and exiled on an island in Lake Bunyonyi with Bahati so that together they can build their Utopia without harming the decent people of Uganda.

He will get a per diem and that will be good for his pockets..Ssempa’s reputation will sink lower in the eyes of all right thinking Africans, as well as all right thinking human beings who have witnessed this outrageous demonstration of abysmal ignorance.

Jean-Paul Bentham
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Visit Martin Ssempa’s XXX Gay Porn Cinema!

wendy
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

YOU Mr. Ssempa are a shill for radical American fundamentalists who completely pay your way. That makes you their scat-porn prostitute. Ha Ha Ha Ha. Where would you be without your American church money? Nowhere. A nobody. Just another bigoted homophobe. Studies also show that homophobia runs direct correlation to ones own level of arousal. With your fixation on other peoples assumed sex lives, I would say these studies are most accurate. And the people present at your porn-fest presentation all know you lie through your teeth when you say you asked children to leave. Lie Lie Lie. You are a funny little man Mr. Ssempa. You marry a white American woman, and are wholly supported by a couple American churches. YOU undermine “traditional” African families, not Ugandan gays. Ha Ha Ha

anteros
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

That’s so ssempa.

He claims to be at the forefront of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in Uganda, and then burns condoms and stigmatizes HIV positive people who are courageous enough to go public with their HIV status to challenge the stigma people like ssempa love to dish out.

I’d much rather be famous for fighting HIV/AIDS’ stigma and making the personal sacrifice of going public with my HIV status, than for collecting pornography on my computer and showing it off to the public.

He claims to be interested in “protecting Ugandan kids from homosexuality”, and then exposes them to gay porn, and pays kids to lie about being molested by a rival pastor.

He accuses others of lying about the bill, and then lies about the purpose of the bill and lies that current laws in Uganda dont deal with pedophiles who abuse boys.

He makes disparaging remarks about gay people, HIV positive people, Western culture, Africans in the diaspora, donor nations and their leaders.

He claims that the United States and other donor nations that disapprove of the bill are failed states. If the US is a failed state, then wtf is Uganda?

He’s just as insane as other Ugandan religious fundamentalists like Kibwetere, Kony, Lakwena etc

…which makes Gideon Byamugisha really stand out as one of the few sane religious leaders in Uganda… not just sane, but very brave too.

Richard Rush
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Hey, Martin Ssempa:

Have you ever noticed that the nations most accepting of their gay citizens are among the nations ranking highest in every measure of human well-being and prosperity? And have you noticed that the nations treating gays with vile contempt are among the nations ranking lowest in those measures? Even within the United States a similar correlation can be seen (to some degree) among the states.

If the people of Uganda want to improve their lives, they might want to start with a focus on education to reduce their ignorance, illiteracy, superstition, and poverty, rather than scapegoating gays as the solution to their problems. The scapegoating of unpopular minority groups has always been an effective way for people, governments, and religious leaders to deflect responsibility for their own failures.

Paul in Canada
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul. And when asked to name the next most important, he said to love thy neighbour as thy self.
Mr. Ssempa, try re-reading your bible and act like Jesus commanded!
Try a little love instead of the lies and deceipt that have corrupted your heart.

David
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

“Gideon is a shrill for homosexuals.. ” Martin Ssempa PhD

It is reasonable to expect a PhD to write with a high degree of accuracy, to reflect the high degree of education that is supposed to be associated with a doctorate degree.

The word shrill, when used as a noun, means a high-pitched, piercing sound, and human beings cannot be sounds, though they often make them. The word Mr. Ssempa clearly meant, was “shill”, and it is odd at least for a PhD to make such a mistake.

Additionally, ellipses, the punctuation device that indicates a pause or transition, are composed of three periods (or astericks), separated by spaces – not two periods side by side.

These mistakes are more in character with someone who has marginally completed middle school, not the recipient of an advanced degree.

Either the author of the post attributed to “martin ssempa” is a fraud, or the real Mr. Ssempa is the recipient of a severely inferior education. In either case, it means the aforesaid comments are worthless to rational, educated people.

Timothy Kincaid
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Although there are ways to fool ip tracing, it does not appear that the computer which posted the comment from “Martin Ssempa” is located in Uganda.

----
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

I have a better idea:

Let’s deprogram all those fanatic Ugandans and turn them into tolerant freethinkers, or at least get them back to animism.

RCM
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

Paul in Canada, “Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul. And when asked to name the next most important, he said to love thy neighbour as thy self. ”

I think some people just don’t understand this bit. They hold up signs that say “God hates gays”, as if that is actually something the Bible says. God hates no one. God doesn’t hate people. There is no debate to have about who God hates, cause God doesn’t hate people.

That is just my opinion, and if someone reading this reckons there is no god, or that something I said was wrong, they can as far as I am concerned, we are all people, and people come with opinions. Oh, and God bless every country in the world that has noticed this and thereby not tried to legislate against it.

anteros
March 1st, 2010 | LINK

@Timothy Kincaid:

“Although there are ways to fool ip tracing…”

That sounds like a reasonable skill to expect of a Ugandan pastor who regularly surfs the net for the latest scat porn and downloads it onto his machine.

James
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Oh Uganda, I love your National Anthem….it begins Oh Uganda may God uphold thee…we lay our future in thy hands……..and it goes on and on.

James Onen Fat Boy and the likes, we must stand and say yes every indigenous efforts to fight a vice which is like leprosy. Gideon Byamugisha who for long has eaten a lot of money out of sympathy for his HIV statusmust be reeducated. For long Gideon has misrepresented the nation and we the young generation cant allow such misrepresentation to go on. Fired from the Anglican Church, Sdenyonjo also called Bishop has found solace in homosexuality. I have nothing to write about this worn out man, there are no new developmental thoughts from this ageing “prelate”. I am grateful that we long committed the future of Uganda in the hands of God. That is a done deal.

Speaker Edward Ssekandi’s response to the gay sympathisers was enough to show the world our stand. Collecting more than 400,000 signatures from outside Uganda is no big deal in any way. that does not represent the thoughts of ugandans.

By the way How is Gideon’s moral stand? How did he get HIV/AIDS? Wasn’t it thru infidelity?
Rubaramira, how did he get HIV/AIDS? Wasn’t it thru raping women in the bush and infidelity? Let the truth now flow.

James

TampaZeke
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

James, how sad the ignorance of so many of your people; how ironic, shameful and dangerous the twisted revisionist Ugandan/African history they are being taught by their foreign oppressors.

You sing your beloved national anthem about allegiance to a god that was forced upon you and you sing it proudly in the tongue of those who colonized you, ruled you, literally OWNED you all in the same breath with which you irately denounce the imposition of “Western” values on your country.

You defend your current anti-gay law as “protecting African culture from imported, pro-gay, Western, anti-African influence” all the while ignorant to, or ignoring the fact that it was ENGLAND, a WESTERN, NON-AFRICAN country that IMPOSED this COLONIAL law upon you in the first place, when you had NO law restricting homosexuality before their imposition.

You claim that Liberty and freedom of expression for UGANDA’s gay people, as it existed before your colonization, is an unwanted import from the West.

You are ignorant about, ignore or have been taught by WESTERNERS to hate the rich, historic, spirituality of Africa and the gods of your ancestors. You have for centuries been forced to adopt and worship the God of your oppressors and most recently you have become willing, yet unknowing, puppets to American fundamentalist COLONIZATION. In spite of all of this historical and contemporary fact, you manage to see your oppressors as your liberators and their western, foreign, bigoted, oppressive UN-AFRICAN laws as your Declaration of true Africanism.

The people of Uganda and Kenya are no different that any other oppressed, colonized people in history. They are submitting to the authority of foreign power, turning their backs on and even becoming hostile to their own history and culture and arts and tradition; replacing them with the values of their colonizers, their conquerors, their masters and demonizing anyone who speaks truth to the travesty.

I weep for you. I weep for all Ugandans. I weep for all Africans who are falling victim to these hateful, bigoted, Western, Africa-colonizing wolves.

May God bless Africa with the wisdom to resist the wolves who come to her shores carrying Bibles concealing daggers and crosses laced with poison.

Sinclair Lewis said, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

I dare say the same is true for Uganda and Africa.

TomChicago
March 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Blaming the Western “imperialists” for the so-called importation of homosexuality to the African continent conveniently ignores the homophile tradition of the African people. Denying the facts does play very well to those already foaming at the mouth on this subject, but it, well…ignores the facts.

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