Ugandan Christian minister Martin Ssempa has issued a strong rebuttal to President Obama’s criticism of his country for considering passage of a law to discourage and punish certain homosexual practices. “Sodomy is neither the change we want nor can believe in,” says Ssempa, who runs the Family Policy and Human Rights Center in Uganda.
Ssempa, a major player in the country’s successful anti-AIDS program, says that Obama has an “obsession with the spread of sodomy in Africa,” in contrast to the efforts of the George W. Bush Administration to help Uganda resist the dangerous sexual practices which facilitate the spread of the deadly disease. The Ugandan anti-AIDS program has emphasized abstinence and monogamy.
Ssempa’s website declares, “HIV/AIDS is not an allergy. It is not a gay disease. It is not a badge of honor. It is a cold-blooded, indiscriminating killer that can only be stopped by a proven solution–abstinence until marriage and faithfulness within marriage.”
Partly because of the continuing need to avoid AIDS–and the practices which can spread it–Ssempa and many other Ugandan pastors have united to form a task force against homosexuality and support new legislation to curtail the negative health impact of the so-called “lifestyle.” The task force states that “Practices like homosexuality and bisexuality are associated with serious, yet preventable public-health risks. The risk of HIV transmission in male homosexuality is, for example, about 10 times that of heterosexual sex, simply due to use of parts of the body for inappropriate functions. Other diseases and medical complications are also associated with these practices. Secondly, by its nature, behavior spreads in the population through experimentation, modeling and social affirmation. Increase in homosexual and bisexual practice could thus rapidly reverse Uganda’s success against HIV/AIDS.”
But at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Obama, capitulating to pressure from the “gay rights” lobby which helped elect him, condemned the prospect of “odious laws in Uganda,” after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had made similar comments. The proposed legislation has drawn international condemnation from the Obama Administration, the global gay rights lobby, homosexual activists in the media, and dozens of “progressive” members of the U.S. Congress.
Clinton said that she had called President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to express “our strongest concerns about a law being considered in the Parliament of Uganda.” But Clinton failed to disclose that he had told her that he had received reports that foreign homosexuals have been targeting Ugandan children for sexual abuse. Museveni has expressed puzzlement that Clinton and other representatives of Western nations have seemed so preoccupied with the subject of “gays.”
But because of the power of the well-funded homosexual lobby, the campaign has taken the form of a global effort to isolate Uganda and even cut off aid to the poor country because of its stand against homosexuality. Under this pressure, American pastors such as Rick Warren have denounced the anti-homosexual legislation. Ssempa and other Ugandan pastors, in turn, have accused Warren of succumbing to “hysteria” generated by the homosexual lobby.
In his statement, Ssempa expressed concern that Obama failed to understand the nature of the legislation. “President Barack Obama makes two mistakes,” Ssempa said in his statement. “First, Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law only prescribes the capital punishment in cases where the victims are children or the handicapped. This is consistent with the existing laws for similar crimes by heterosexuals. We wonder if President Obama thinks that the heterosexual rape of a girl is a lesser crime than the homosexual rape of a handicapped boy.”
“Secondly,” Ssempa goes on, “homosexuals and lesbians are never targeted for who they are, rather what they do. It is the repugnant sexual acts which they do which constitutes a crime, a sin and a rebellion against the order of nature. Here in Africa, we believe homosexuals can CHANGE. It is very disappointing for Africans to hear Obama, who ran on the ticket of ‘change we can believe in,’ losing courage when we postulate in faith that homosexuals can truly change. We wish to tell him that sodomy is neither the change we want nor can believe in.”
Accuracy in Media’s review of coverage of the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda finds that it has been completely one-sided, inaccurate, and distorted beyond belief. Contrary to press accounts, the legislation is not designed to kill homosexuals but discourage and punish homosexual practices which spread disease and death. Christians in Uganda are trying to build a culture of life and avoid the sexual perversions which have devastated families in the U.S.
AIM’s investigation of the controversy has determined that the Soros-funded Open Society Institute has been spearheading the funding of homosexual activism in Uganda and the rest of Africa. For example, his Open Society Initiative for East Africa, in partnership with Media Development in Africa (MEDEVA), aired a program on “sexual minority rights in Uganda,” which even included advocacy of legalized prostitution. The Open Society Institute also held a four-day workshop on legal strategies “to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Africa.”
Ssempa went on in his statement to bring up the matter of Obama’s support for abortion: “Thirdly, we wish to remind Obama that the unborn babies killed under his extremely odious laws of abortion, are the ones who are killed not for what they have done, but just because they are. Shame on his administration for agitating to protect abnormal and deviant sexual acts, when innocent babies are butchered daily in the abortion industry, which is funded by his administration.”
Like “gay rights,” Obama has made support for abortion, even in health care legislation, a priority for his administration.
The Ugandan pro-family activist said that Obama’s comments “will not stop the passage of the anti-homosexuality bill, but rather it has shown us that of all the problems that Africa has, the priority is not HIV/AIDS or trade but sodomy.”
Ssempa has been outspoken about the need for the legislation. But other Ugandan activists have spoken out as well. Charles Tuhaise, chairman of the board of Agape Community Transformation (ACT), a Christian organization in Uganda, has told AIM that “This is a bill written to control a problem that has largely gotten out of hand in western society and is now spreading tentacles worldwide. Perhaps Uganda has helped to highlight the danger that the homosexual movement poses to the world.”
Ssempa drew a contrast with the administration of George W. Bush, which he said had helped Uganda resist the spread of AIDS. “African history will remember President George W. Bush for helping to stop the spread of the deadly HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis with his presidential emergency fund (PEPFAR),” he said. “On the other hand we are writing Obama’s history as one whose single focus is a divisive obsession with the spread of sodomy in Africa. We are sad that the presidential emergency response of Barack Obama is the use of the White House as a bully pulpit to spread sodomy, while enabling the murder of millions of unborn babies in his unconscionable and extremely odious abortion laws.”