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S. Nevada Health reconsidering connections to Ssempa-supporting church

Timothy Kincaid

June 23rd, 2010

Top: Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas. Bottom: Canyon Ridge's "strategic partner" showing hard-core porn at a press conference.

Several of us contacted the South Nevada Health District or signed a petition to express our concern about their partnering with Canyon Ridge Christian Church. This church has a global partnership with Martin Ssempa, the primary religious supporter of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, a legislative effort to execute HIV positive gay people and to incarcerate HIV negative gay people for life.

Michael Bussee, onetime founder of Exodus International and friend of Box Turtle Bulletin, has received a response.

Dear Mr. Bussee:

Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the Southern Nevada Health District. We were completely unaware of Canyon Ridge Christian Church’s partnership with Pastor Martin Ssempa or his stance on criminalizing homosexuality. The health district is absolutely opposed to the stated efforts of Pastor Ssempa and plans to evaluate and strongly consider any future partnership with Canyon Ridge based on this new information.

However, due to the timing of the testing event, and the outreach efforts that have already occurred related to this testing site, we do not feel we can cancel this venue for next week’s event. We do not condone the church’s continued partnership with Pastor Ssempa; however, we feel the immediate risk of canceling this venue just days before the scheduled event takes precedent at this time. If just one person shows up at a canceled event and decides to delay getting tested, that will be one person too many.

We share your concerns regarding this issue and remain committed to promoting testing in an environment that is comfortable for our clients. Thank you again for your input and for bringing this important issue to our attention.

Stephanie Bethel
Southern Nevada Health District

This appears to me to be a reasonable and responsible approach. Thanks to all of you who helped raise this issue with the SNHD.

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TampaZeke
June 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Way to go Michael!!

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