Uganda report: Testimony in anti-gay bill to conclude Monday

As the closing of the 8th Parliament looms, two early supporters of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill continue to promote passage of the bill. Martin Ssempa and Stephen Langa both testified Friday before the Legal and  Parliamentary Affairs committee. A website called Weinformers provide more information about their message and also reports that hearings will conclude on Monday.

According to this report, Ssempa advocated the removal of the death penalty because it is not a “behavioral corrective measure.” However, he did not object to life in prison. Despite the fact that Ugandan law already addresses the defilement of both boys and girls, Ssempa continued to allege it does not.

The Weinformers article also reports that the bill is likely to get a vote before the end of the Parliament.

Langa, also testifying on Friday, sounded many of the same themes. Langa was the prime organizer of a conference on homosexuality in March 2009 which featured Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge, and Don Schmierer. The conference whipped up public support for tougher laws against homosexuality. Although in the works prior to the conference, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first mentioned in Parliament the following month in April, 2009.

Both Langa and Ssempa have had extensive American connections, although Ssempa’s have withered away over the last year. He resigned his post as member of the Board of Reference at Oral Roberts University and was dropped as a missionary by Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NE. Langa is the Director of the Uganda branch of the Arizona based Disciple Nations Alliance.

On Saturday, I spoke with Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chair Stephen Tashobya who confirmed that hearings would be held on Monday with report writing to come. However, he declined to predict whether the AHB would make it to a vote.

Related: David Bahati: Hearings took place today on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

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  • Richard Willmer

    Thanks Warren. Have passed on.

  • Richard Willmer

    I notice that the ‘recruitment’ claims still figure strongly in Ssempa’s diatribe. When I spoke with Tashobya early last week, it seemed that he just chuckled when I asked him if there was actually any evidence of all this claimed ‘recruitment’.

  • This Italian report says that the Committee Chair has refused to hear testimony from bill opponents >

  • Paul – As I understand it, bill opponents will speak tomorrow.

  • Richard Willmer

    For the record (and in fairness to Tashobya): he (Tashobya) would not give me his personal view on the desirability, or otherwise, of the Bill (as it is currently drafted or with amendments).