Rick and Kay Warren issue statement regarding Martin Ssempa’s activities in Uganda

Shortly after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced in Uganda, I requested information and a statement from Pastor Rick and his wife Kay Warren about the bill. Rick Warren’s work in Uganda is significant as is noted here and here. I also asked their views regarding the advocacy for the bill by Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa.

 Regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Ssempa recently told me

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

This statement below clearly explains that the Warrens cut ties with Ssempa in 2007. Ssempa’s advocacy of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is the culmination of increasingly aggressive measures antagonistic to homosexuality. In addition to the bill’s assault on human dignity via the death penalty and prison terms, the bill’ reporting requirements would make the work of any missionary, pastoral counselor, physician, or health care provider working with sexuality incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

Here is their statement:


Martin Ssempa does not represent me, my wife Kay, Saddleback Church, nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy. In 2007, we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa  when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

I applaud Rick and Kay Warren for making this clear statement and hope that Ugandan Christians will consider the wisdom in it. I urge other Christian groups and leaders around the world to follow suit.

Join the Facebook group, Speak Out Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 for more information.

Ugandan news source reports on Anti-Homosexuality Bill opposition

The UG Pulse reported this morning on the Facebook group “Speak Out Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.”

Uganda Health News: Activists use facebook to fight Uganda Homosexual bill

Ultimate Media

As the debate over the proposed Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 gains momentum, activists against the bill have launched a facebook group to decampaign the proposed legislation.

The facebook group which was formed by Dr. Warren Throckmorton, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College had by Saturday Morning reached a membership of 1,130.

Throckmorton says multi-faith, multi-national group of people include mainly evangelical Christians around the world.

Dr. Throckmorton says although many members of the group do not approve of homosexuality, they believe Christianity teaches freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.

Throckmorton says they believe obedience to the gospel which pleases Christ comes from free choice and not from coercion of the state through laws such as the one proposed against homosexuality.

But the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Dr. James Nsaba Buturo insists that the government has a duty to introduce and enforce laws against acts of homosexuality or same sex relationships which he says are immoral and against the order of nature.

Click through here to join the group.

Ugandan government vows to fight homosexuality

UPDATE: US Embassy weighs in…

Defiant amidst controversy, Ethics and Integrity Minister Buturo spoke out about issues facing the Ugandan government and referenced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009. 

Government vows to fight homosexuality

By Carolyne Muyama

The Government of Uganda has warned sections of the media engaged in promoting immorality to stop or face penalty. The Bukedde Newspaper one of the local dailies has been singled out for its persistent promotion of pornographic material.

Addressing the press this morning the minister for Ethics and Integrity Hon. Nsaba Buturo said, “Bukedde is a persistent promoter of these vices and if they don’t change the editor will get arrested. As for the radio stations promoting witchcraft we are giving them last warning, we shall close.” Uganda is facing a new trend of crimes like human sacrifice, defilement, pornography and homosexuality.

However, government has sworn to fight these crimes that are mainly attributed to forces of globalization. “Some Ugandans are selfish and they can do anything to get money so they are simply driven by the urge to make money. On certain issues we are not going to sell our souls.

The issue of homosexuality, let them forget,” said Nsaba Buturo. A new law to comprehensively address pornography which is responsible for some of the immorality in the country is before cabinet and very soon it will be put before parliament for debate.

Meanwhile the government has appealed to the media, entertainment industry and the general public to guard against promoting immorality

Ugandan Parliament begins public debate on Anti-Homosexuality Bill

According to this report, religious leaders in Uganda want the death penalty removed from the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but life in prison is still ok with them.

Homosexuals should not be killed but instead imprisoned for life, religious leaders have suggested.

Making their input in the Anti-homosexuality Bill 2009 yesterday, the clergy said the clause on death as a penalty for homosexuality be scrapped.

“If you kill the people, to whom will the message go? We need to have imprisonment for life if the person is still alive,” said Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary of the Church of Uganda.

The group, which also comprised Dr Joseph Kakembo of the Seventh Day Adventist church, Dr Joseph Sserwadda, the head of Pentecostal churches, Prof. Peter Matovu, the Orthodox vicar general of the Orthodox and Sheikh Ali Mohammed, representing the mufti, however, made it clear that they support the Bill, because “homosexuality is an evil and is anti-godly”.

The Bill tabled before Parliament on October 15, by Mr David Bahati [Ndorwa East], and Mr Obua Benson [Moroto], seeks to prohibit any form of sexual relations between same sex people.

Parliament yesterday begun public debates on the Bill, conducted by the committee on presidential affairs.

While it may not alter the outcome, I hope leaders in these religious groups from around the world will weigh in on the situation.

Other religious leaders in Uganda have also spoken against the death penalty. However, jail time is still ok with them as well.

A proposed law that seeks to penalize homosexuality activities in Uganda may have to go back to the drawing board following rejections of some of its sections by religious leaders, especially Catholics, protestants and born again Christians.

The leaders, who met MPs on the Presidential Affairs committee today morning in Kampala notes that some of the clauses in the bill that call for the death penalty are unfair and against the laws of Christianity.

According to the bill, anyone found guilty of aggravated homosexuality against a person below 18 years or infecting them with HIV/AIDS faces death as a penalty.

The Provincial Secretary in the Church of Uganda, Rev. Aaron Mwesigye says that much as homosexuality is an inhumane act against people, Parliament has to follow the natural law of justice.

Rev. Mwesigye says President Museveni’s refusal to assent to the death sentence for prisoners is proof that the penalty is not needed in Uganda.

Join this Facebook group to speak out in opposition to this bill.

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.