March 8th, 2010
We sometimes make mistakes — nobody’s perfect — but for the most part, they are rare, relatively minor, and corrected when we become aware of them. That was the basis for this post this morning.
But what we will not do is knowingly commit fraud. Unlike Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, one of the main supporters of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill — and yes, we do call it the “Kill the Gays Bill” for a very good reason — who left this bald-faced lie in a comment on our web site this afternoon:
This is one of the many errors that have been made concerning this whole issue of the anti homosexuality bill.
There is too much panic reporting and little double checking of the facts. One hour back I just asked facebook to shut down a false Martin Ssempa who was linked with photos of murders.
You have called this the “kill the gays bill” but it is really about capital punishment for “paedophiles and rapists”. The more we have states this, the more you dont want to hear us.
There’s some debate in the comments whether this particular comment is genuine, but the record shows that this comment is entirely consistent with similar lies that we know Ssempa has repeatedly told elsewhere. I believe the comment is genuine, and it’s that lie which has been repeated numerous times that I want to address.
There is a reason we don’t take the word of liars like Martin Ssempa at face value. The man of “the Word” willfully misrepresents the very words of the “Kill the Gays Bill” — yes, I said it again — and what they really mean. That’s why we have the full text of the bill posted here (PDF: 847KB/16 pages), straight from the official governmental Uganda Gazette in which all bills are published before being voted on. We posted the full text of the bill for a very simple reason — so that you can see for yourself exactly what the bill says.
Ssempa, on the other hand, is too cowardly to post the text of the bill on any of his web sites. And the truth is he can’t, because if he did those very words would show Ssempa’s followers exactly what a compulsive liar he really is. He cannot post the bill, and he desperately hopes that nobody else reads it to learn what it actually says.
But the truth sets you free, and that’s why, with the truth firmly on my side, I enjoy the total freedom of posting the plain and unadulterated text of the bill on this web site to point out Ssempa’s prevarications. Unlike Ssempa, I have nothing to hide and the real truth leaves me free as a bird. And so here are the death penalty provisions, in the plainest of English:
3. Aggravated homosexuality.
(1) A person commits the offense of aggravated homosexuality where the
(a) person against whom the offence is committed is below the age of 18 years;
(b) offender is a person living with HIV;
(c) offender is a parent or guardian of the person against whom the offence is committed;
(d) offender is a person in authority over the person against whom the offence is committed;
(e) victim of the offence is a person with disability;
(f) offender is a serial offender, or
(g) offender applies, administers or causes to be used by any man or woman any drug, matter or thing with intent to stupefy overpower him or her so as to there by enable any person to have unlawful carnal connection with any person of the same sex,
(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.
(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.
True enough, parts 1a and 1c deal with child molestation, as Ssempa says. And whatever Ssempa or anyone else would want to with child molesters is of little concern to me. Sections 1d and 1g deal with rape. Again, while the death penalty is harsh (and I’m against the death penalty on general principles), I have no quarrel here.
However, I would expect that these four provisions apply to everyone, and not just gay people. But they don’t, do they? They only provide the death sentence when it involves people of the same gender. Where are the death sentences for the same crimes when they are committed by people of the opposite gender? Rape and molestation are equal-opportunity offenses. Why are these provisions in an Anti-Homosexuality bill when neither provision has anything specifically to do with homosexuality? Why aren’t these provisions part of anti-rape or anti-child exploitation bills instead?
I’ll tell you why. They are there to serve as a red herring, and to allow liars like Ssempa to divert attention from the rest of the bill. Sections 1b, 1e and 1f have nothing to do with rape or child abuse (and neither do sections 2 through 19, which you can see here). As Ssempa knows very well but is too cowardly to reveal, there is only one target for these other “aggravated homosexuality” provisions: gay people. Anyone with the smallest smidgen of comprehension of the English language can see that as plain as day. It takes a fraud like Ssempa to claim that the words somehow say something other than what they actually say. So much for a man of “the Word” when he won’t read the very words in front of him.
Of one couple that I know, one man has perfect hearing but the other man is profoundly deaf — “a person with disability” as section 1e puts it. They have been happily together for I don’t know how many years, but one would die (the hearing one) and one would live (the deaf man) under this bill. While Ssempa claims that this is only about rape or exploitation, there is no mention of consent in this provision where one has a disability and the other does not.
Closer to home, my partner is HIV-positive; I’m HIV-negative. If we were in Uganda living under this law, I would be imprisoned for life, but my partner would be sentenced to death by hanging. Disclosure, consent — none of that matters. My partner is hanged and I’m imprisoned. Aren’t I the lucky one? Well, knowing the conditions of Ugandan prisons, a man or woman sentenced to a life sentence for homosexuality would be, for all practical purposes, not particularly “lucky.” A lifetime sentence under these circumstances is merely a more torturous and drawn-out death than the one Ssempa would demand for my partner under this law.
But wait! It turns out I’m not exactly saved from the gallows anyway. It’s that “serial offender” provision that would still get me. The “Kill The Gays Bill” — because now we know that this is exactly what this bill does — defines a serial offender this way:
“serial offender” means a person who has previous convictions of the offence of homosexuality or related offences;
Get that? Homosexuality or related offenses. I have violated — and it is my solemn promise to you that I will continue to violate — the following related offenses:
So there you have it; upon a second conviction I will have committed “aggravated homosexuality,” and I too can join my partner at the gallows.
So I have one message for Ssempa: I will not stand by while you post a lie on this web site, and use that lie to accuse me of lying. I publicly dare you to post the text of the bill on your own web site, and refer to it when you try to explain your lies. Failure to take this dare reveals your cowardice and guile. Your acceptance of this dare exposes your guilt as a liar and a fool. What do you choose? Either way, with the entire world and your God as my witness, I call you out.
Ssempa’s lies are no mere “mistake” like the one I corrected yesterday. His are deliberate attempts to deceive, deceits by a unrepentant serial liar. Ssempa claims to be a man of God, but he is a fraud and a serial falsifier. He claims to bring light and truth, but he instead spreads darkness and hatred borne by blatant and clearly demonstrable distortions in order to turn neighbor against neighbor and wreck havoc on God’s creation. Whatever Ssempa accomplishes or fails to accomplish in this life, we can be assured that there will be a very special place in hell set aside for him in the next.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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