Martin Ssempa expresses “total support” for Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009

As noted here on a couple of occasions, I wrote Dr. Martin Ssempa for an on-the-record statement of his views of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009. This bill introduced by David Bahati in the Ugandan legislature over a week ago would impose the death penalty on several offenses, including sex with someone under 18, someone with AIDS and for “serial offenders” of any sort. Also, life in jail would be the fate of those who engage in homosexual behavior. Touching someone of the same sex with a sexual motive is referenced as an offense. Failing to disclose the homosexuality of someone can also lead to a fine or jail time.

I asked Martin Ssempa his view of this bill since he claims to be “a passionate voice in the global fight against HIV/AIDS” and is endorsed by Colorado based Wait Training and has been involved in the work of Saddleback Church in their AIDS efforts.

Regarding the bill, Ssempa said:

I am in total support of the bill and would be most grateful if it did pass.

His full response is here:

The bill is written to meet specific challenges and make equal protection provisions. It is drafted with the benefit of historical precedence and it seeks to keep the truth about family and marriage. 

I am in total support of the bill and would be most grateful if it did pass.

The issue of aggravated homosexuality is a step by the law to provide equal protection between the boy child and the girl child. Current law provides stringent protection of the girl child from rape or child abuse which included up to the death penalty. Currently up to 70 per cent of the inmates in jail are in for the case of defilement of girls. The law was discriminatory in that the rape/sexual violence of a boy was not accorded the same legal protection as that of the girl.

This law simply provides for equal protection of the girl and the boy child.

On the promotion, we already have similar laws on drug and pornographic and obscene materials. We realize that there is a cottage industry of many groups whose sole purpose is to export from US and Europe the vice of sodomy.  Being a poor country we want to restrict them from breaking our faith and cultural beliefs with money and misinformation. Already there is a large propaganda machinery lying about this bill and misleading some in the public. I believe you also may have been misinformed about what this bill is working towards.

Please read it for yourself, as I am planning to attach it to you.

We are also making provision to nullify any international protocols where one of our leaders may be bribed or intimidated to sign a document binding us to sodomy. We want to make sure that no such decision is made binding us to this.

Finally we take seriously the role of the church in preserving truth in our society. Being a pastor of a college church, Makerere Community Church, we realize that there is a lot of darkness descending on the earth. This reminds us of the dark ages. Today we have modern barbarians who are mainstreaming evil acts. This bill seeks to put Africa and Uganda to be custodians of values and family knowledge as handed down from our fathers and our faith.

Discuss and join the group which is speaking out with another perspective…

Crosswalk.com has a revised article up with this new information.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Is there a way of verifying Ssempa’s claim that 70 percent of Uganda’s prison inmates are serving time for “defiling” underage girls? Of course, he’s going to have a little PR problem in intimating that a similar percentage of gays in Uganda is abusing boys. Where are the statistics to back his statements? Do they really have that few thieves, murderers and other criminals in their jails?

    It’s not just aggravated homosexuality that is an add-on provision to this bill. What about the provisions that will interfere with those seeking to counsel or help struggling gays, even within the Church? Did he give you a copy of the bill that is any different than the ones we have seen?

    One can sympathize with Ssempa’s distress over the growing porn or other vice influences in Uganda. But he has made some assertions here that clearly need qualifying.

  • http://gayuganda.blogspot.com gayuganda

    Ha….!

    Ssempa is very politically astute. But, he makes some embarassing gaffes. Of course that is not true, that 70% of the people in prison are there for defilement… No, that is not true.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Hi, gug. Fancy hearing from you. :) Thanks. Didn’t think that could be true.

  • Michael Bussee

    This is very sad news.

    If 70% are there for defilement of children, and not all such folks get caught or condemned, there must be a huge child abuse problem there. If this is true, why not just focus on that?

    Does Ssempa believe the old lie that all gays are child molesters? How out of touch with reality can this man be? And why would reputable people support him?

  • David Blakeslee

    Today we have modern barbarians who are mainstreaming evil acts.

    Some are capitalists.

  • Mary

    I understand their perspective that they don’t want alot of this stuff getting a foothold in their culture. To “allow” it by some seems to mean to “accept” by ohers. I’m afraid any American outcry is going to look like us Corinthians butting into someone else’s business. For myself, I am going to stay focused on the teachings of Jesus, the one who sacrificed his life for ours, and the lessons he taught about grace and mercy. And keep in mind Paul’s letters of encouragment for there are times when all sinners fall and need such. Hoping that Uganda can look past our horribly messed up sexual culture and view the wisdom of his teachings.

  • Lynn David

    Well, what else could possibly be new?

    Michael Bussee…. Does Ssempa believe the old lie that all gays are child molesters? How out of touch with reality can this man be? And why would reputable people support him?

    You’re just figuring this out?

    I’ve just come up with a new standard…. don’t trust anyone who believes in literal demons.

  • Ann

    For myself, I am going to stay focused on the teachings of Jesus, the one who sacrificed his life for ours, and the lessons he taught about grace and mercy. And keep in mind Paul’s letters of encouragment for there are times when all sinners fall and need such. Hoping that Uganda can look past our horribly messed up sexual culture and view the wisdom of his teachings.

    :-) :-) :-)

  • Michael Bussee

    So sad. Does Ssempa really understand what he is supporting? Does he understand what it would do to basic human rights? Does Rick Warren?

    Please listen to all of the segment on Uganda. Really think about what this means. http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2009/200910/20091027.html

    Then pray.

  • Lynn David

    From the Abridged Constitution of Uganda (try to find the real thing!):

    V. Fundamental and other human rights and freedoms.

    This is to ensure that the State guarantees respect for institutions charged with the duty of protecting and promoting human rights and the independence of nongovernmental organisations which protect and promote human rights.

    Seems like section 13 of the proposed bill (see: Box Turtle Bulletin – or – this BTB PDF – 847Kb) may be unconstitutional.

    .

    The right to privacy actually exists in the Ugandan constitution:

    7. Right to privacy. (Article 27)

    No person shall be subjected to unlawful search of the body, home or other property or to unlawful entry of his or her premises.

    And the bill likely fails here also:

    9. Right to freedom of assembly and association. (Article 29)

    Every person has a right to—

    (a) freedom of assembly and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition;

    (b) freedom of association which includes the freedom to form and join associations or unions like trade unions or other political and public organisations.

    10. Freedom of speech and expression. (Article 29(1) (a))

    Every person has a right to freedom of expression and this includes freedom of the press and other media.

    11. Freedom of conscience and religion. (Article 29(1) (b))

    A person is free to practise any religion and to belong to any religious organisation, freedom of thought, conscience and belief, and academic freedom in institutions of learning, in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

    Certainly, homosexuality is an expression of one’s conscience, thus totally protected by the constitution.

    There are also provisions for those with disabilities. If the ideas spoken of at the Kampala conference are to be believed, then gay people could claim a disability which would make the law out to be completely unconstitutional (except for the pedophile part). There is even these rights:


    19. Rights of minorities. (Article 36)

    Minorities have a right to participate in decision-making processes and their views and interests shall be taken into consideration in the making of national plans and programmes.

    20. Right to culture and similar rights. (Article 37)

    A person has a right to belong to, enjoy, practise, profess, maintain and promote any culture, cultural institution, language, tradition, creed or religion in community with others.

    Gay culture…. why not? And this:

    21. Civic rights and activities. (Article 38)

    (1) Every Ugandan citizen has a right to participate in the affairs of Government, individually or through his or her representatives according to the law.

    (2) Every Ugandan has a right to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of Government through civic organisations.

    How can they make a peaceful gay lobby illegal?

    Even more:

    28. Restriction on fundamental and other human rights and freedoms. (Articles 43

    and 44)

    (1) In the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms no persons shall violate the fundamental or other human rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

    (2) The right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, freedom from slavery, fair hearing and the right to an order requiring a person who has custody of another to produce the person in a court of law, shall not be interfered with.

    29. Human rights and freedoms additional to other rights. (Article 45)

    The rights and duties relating to fundamental and other human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in the Constitution shall not be considered as excluding others not specifically mentioned.

    Like the right to love?

    And a Ugandan Human Rights Commission. I know I am being simplistic. Anything deemed illegal need not be deemed a right. But there are things intrinsic to the human condition such as the need for intimacy and expessions of love which cannot be legislated against. Well… it’s late, or early, depending on your time zone….

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Lynn David – Thanks for this information. I think the bill will be considered unconstitutional by Uganda’s courts. However, it is unclear how significant to governing their rulings are.

  • Joneen Mackenzie RN

    Dear Dr. Throckmorton,

    Please know that I will not comment on this bill as homosexuality or gender issues is not in our mission or our goals.

    What IS our mission is to teach the science of healthy relationships so that ALL humans whatever their identify or beliefs are have their humanity and their heart protected, respected, valued, cherished, connected and loved well.

    Martin Ssempra is associated with WAIT Training because he speaks to young people in Kampala, Uganda about issues of loving relationships and the prevention of HIV / AIDS.

    WAIT Training or any of our staff, board members or principals do not endorse or oppose any of his writings, speeches or opinions.

    What Martin Ssempra does says, opines, writes belongs to Martin Ssempra alone.

    And for the record, WAIT Training is a secular, public non profit community based organization.

  • Michael Bussee

    Please know that I will not comment on this bill as homosexuality or gender issues is not in our mission or our goals.

    Ms. Mackenzie: With all due respect, this is not a “homosexuality” or “gender” issue. It’s a human rights issue. And respect for human rights ought to part of every organization’s mission.

    I agree with you, however, that

    ALL humans whatever their identify or beliefs [should] have their humanity and their heart protected, respected, valued, cherished, connected and loved well.

    That is why it is so important that individuals and organizations speak out against this Bill.

    You can’t have your humanity and heart protected if you’re dead or in a jail cell.

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  • lumu richard

    the consititution of uganda outlaws any activity of homosexuality .it si true that every person has the right to freedom of assocition ,consience, etc article 29 [1] [b]but the last part of that provision is clear that every thing provided for there in shall be done in acccordance with the consititution.this means that any thiong which is un consititutional can not be surported.threfore we cannnot surport hom0sexuality because its against our consitituon.i suport the bill whole heartedly’;am un advocate in uganda working with kizitolimu @co advocates

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    lumu richard – where is homosexuality prohibited in your constitution? I read it here: http://www.parliament.go.ug/images/abridged_constitution_2006.pdf and I do not see it. Same-sex marriage is prohibited, but I see nothing about homosexual behavior or attraction.

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