Ugandan Pastor Leads Campaign Against Gay Rights
Richard Bartholomew printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 03:39:00 AM EST
In Uganda, a powerful pastor toasted by American conservatives for his "abstinence only" efforts against AIDS has begun a new crusade. Martin Ssempa - who has been a keynote speaker at a Rick Warren conference and who has received US global AIDS prevention funds - wants to ensure that homosexuality remains illegal and that gays and lesbians are identified in the public mind as sexual abusers. To this end, he wants media censorship against opposing views and the dismissal of dissenting academics. The demands were featured in a recent rally; The Monitor reports:
CHRISTIANS opposed to homosexuality will hold a rally today, just days after gays addressed a news conference for the first time demanding respect for their rights.

...Pastor Martin Sempa, a key organiser of the event, told reporters yesterday that the rally is a direct reaction to the gay community's quest for equal rights.

...The rally theme is, A Call for Action on Behalf of the Victims of Homosexuality. "It is a crisis before us because people are suffering, seeking for justice and are confused of their gender; they do not know what to do after being sodomized and molested," Pastor Sempa said.

The protestors - who call themselves the "Interfaith Rainbow Coalition", and include Muslims and Baha'is - have one particular target for their hate, a 22-year-old American journalist working as intern on the Daily Monitor named Katherine Roubos:

"We people of Uganda have values. If this lady cannot respect them then she had better be deported," said Eddie Semakula, a member of the coalition. "She is advocating for the rights of homosexuals in a paper that is read by children even. We must protect our children."

Roubos' dire threat to children can be seen here. Highlights:

LESBIAN, gay, bisexual, and transgender Ugandans held their first-ever press conference at Speke Hotel yesterday to launch a media campaign to advocate for their rights.

A rainbow banner declaring "God created us like this, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI), Let Us Live In Peace" hung above the row of seven panelists, some of whom wore elaborate masks to hide their identity.

...A man wearing a mask, and a name card with the alias "Douglas," condemned the brutality and corruption of police treatment of LGBTI people. "The goal of the police is to protect all people within the borders of Uganda," he said. "It is not legal for the police to beat or bribe people."

However, LGBTI people report that police have repeatedly demanded sexual favours or personal bribes in exchange for release from custody. "This is not protecting Ugandans, it is threatening people for profit. That is certainly not within the law," exclaimed Douglas.

Ssempa made his case on a webpage attached to the official website of the Kobs Rugby team (their stadium was the location for the rally), under a banner which appears to have been inspired by Fred Phelps's infamous anti-homosexual logo. According to Ssempa:

...The Monitor Publication has in the recent past run many stories, which are well intended to promote homosexuality. Some of the recent stories include  "Lesbians demand their rights", "Why police is not arresting homosexuals" which ran 11th August, 07 and "Homosexuals demand their place in society" 17th of August.

These propaganda stories, which have mostly worked in the service of homosexuality, have been written by two writers. Katherine Roubos an American who is listed on the internet as a president of a homosexual organization based in the United States called Querillas. She is helped by Val Kalende who is also listed as a Lesbian leader for two homosexual propaganda groups, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) as listed on the homosexual internet site (OutRage).

It is terrible that this newspaper is being used by two people to promote a criminal behavior in the country. It is important that government takes appropriate action to ensure that the issue of homosexuality is not covered by homosexuals who are bent on giving Ugandans one side of the story.  This is not journalism, rather it is criminal propaganda.

A call for media censorship followed, along with a denunciation of "Sylvia Tamale of Makerere University whose teachings on gender in faculty of Law and public statement have been used as propaganda for homosexuality, abortion and prostitution."

Also supporting the demonstration was Nsaba Buturo, the evangelical Minister for Ethic and Integrity, who backed the call for censorship:

Addressing the rally, ethics and integrity minister Nsaba Buturo said the Government would not change its anti-gay stand.

"God created Adam and Eve and urged them to go and reproduce. He did not command Paul to wed John or Maria to live with Esther and have children," he said, drawing applause.

The Government, Buturo added, will not tolerate anyone who lures others into lesbianism and homosexuality.

"They should not be allowed to pursue an agenda of indoctrinating our children to homosexuality," he said.

He cautioned the media against promoting gay interests. "Must press freedom be used to undermine one of the cardinal provisions of the laws?"

He said the Government was investigating reports that homosexuals had spread their influence to schools and that some victims had died.

Back in July, Buturo responded to a constitutional challenge to a police raid on two lesbians by opining that

...the plaintiffs "suffered under the false notion that homosexuality can be a human rights issue" and cautioned that "next time, they will say bestiality should be a human right."

His previous efforts to protect Uganda have included banning The Vagina Monologues on the grounds that "the idea was to promote lesbianism and glorify the vagina - even elevating it to god-like status."

Although it was the press conference by gay and lesbian Ugandans which triggered the protest, there is also a wider religious context: the Ugandan evangelical scene is currently going through a series of scandals which have caught the public imagination in much the same way as occured in the USA in 1987. Some of the revelations have been humourous - such as pastor who allegedly gave his congregants electric shocks and told them it was the holy spirit - but others have been much more serious. In particular, a young man has claimed that he was severely sexually abused by a male pastor for several years, and that one of the country's most high-profile preachers, Imelda Kula, had tried to cover it up. With so much turmoil, Ssempa is ideally placed to emerge as the most powerful evangelical figure in the country.




Display:

WWW Talk To Action


Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (0 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (1 comment)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Terms, Definitions & Glossaries for Writing about the Religious Right
One of the challenges in writing about the Religious Right and what to do about it is the matter of terms and definitions. That's......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)

Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (8 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (2 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.