World Day of Prayer for Uganda

When: NOW

Where: Where you are

What: The Facebook Group which is standing in opposition to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda is encouraging the over 4700 members to pray for the removal of the bill. See this page for the information. Thanks to Andrew Marin for organizing this.

If you are on Twitter, tweet something like this:

 #PrayForUganda – World Day of Prayer for Uganda –

Make sure the descriptor #PrayForUganda is used…

Exodus opposes Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009: Open letter to the President of Uganda

This letter was sent this afternoon from Exodus to the President of Uganda. It is also on the Exodus website and an open letter expressing reasons why the proposed bill is wrong and counter to Christian principles.

Exodus Sends Letter Opposing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill  

 November 16, 2009 

Exodus International sent the following letter to Uganda’s President Museveni regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 currently being considered in the Parliament. The bill would criminalize and prosecute homosexual behavior and would require pastors, missionaries, health care providers and counselors to report those suspected of such behavior. Exodus International, along with its board members and broader network, opposes this legislation as it inhibits the global Christian church’s mission to share the life-giving truth of the Gospel and extend the compassion of Christ to all.

President & Mrs. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

c/o Principal Private Secretary, Amelia Kyambadde

State House Nakasero

P.O. Box 24594

Kampala, Uganda

Dear President & Mrs. Museveni,

As evangelical Christian leaders dedicated to advancing the truths of the Bible worldwide, we commend your work to promote ethics in Uganda. In addition, your efforts to eradicate the HIV/AIDS epidemic have been appropriately praised internationally and we are praying for your continued success.

We want to humbly share our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced before the Ugandan parliament on October 14, 2009.  First, we believe that sexual crimes against children, homosexual or heterosexual, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished accordingly. Homosexual behavior in consensual relationships, however, is another matter.

While we do not believe that homosexual behavior is what God intended for individuals, we believe that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to this issue. Furthermore, the Christian church must be a safe, compassionate place for gay-identified people as well as those who are confused about and conflicted by their sexuality. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue. The Christian church cannot and should not condone homosexual living or gay-identified clergy within its leadership, but it must be permitted to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all. We believe that this legislation would make this mission a difficult if not impossible task to carry out.

Many of us and those we know and work with have personally struggled with unwanted homosexual attractions and once lived as gay individuals, but have since found a new identity in Jesus Christ and have gone on to live lives that reflect the teaching of the Christian faith. We sincerely believe that such transformations cannot best be achieved in an environment of government coercion where the vital support, care and compassion of others in the Christian community is discouraged and prosecuted.

Please consider the influence this law will have upon those who may seek help in dealing with this difficult issue as well as church and ministry leaders committed to demonstrating the compassion of Christ to all. We are praying for you, for this matter and for the people of Uganda.


Alan Chambers

President of Exodus International, Orlando, Florida

Former homosexual

Randy Thomas

Executive Vice President, Exodus International, Orlando, Florida

Former homosexual

Christopher Yuan

Adjunct Instructor, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois

HIV Survivor

AIDS Activist

Former homosexual

Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D.

Member of the Clinical Advisory Board of the American Association of Christian Counselors

Grove City, Pennsylvania

Here’s hoping it helps…

UPDATE: 11/19/09 – Here is one eyewitness report of the effect of the Exodus letter:

The Exodus letter is a particular foil. Why, even Exodus does not support the Bill! That is a shock, to Steven Langa. An unpleasant one. Because he is using information published by some of the signatories of this letter. He quotes them. And, very embarassing that they dont support his bill! Even his allies see that his action is un-Christian. He also quotes Lively, extensively. Yes, he does. This Lively. To Langa, the true intellectual mind behind the Bahati Bill, Lively is THE prophet of his crusade. And he promotes his books. Repeateldy. Even yesterday. (It was the Pink Swastika)

I will always remember Langa’s face when he was challenged that Exodus was not supporting the bill. That they were not supporting him, though he was quoting them. And, it was a fellow pastor, I believe, who challenged him. Could he answer? Ha!

How the Anti-Homosexuality Bill could impair AIDS progress in Uganda

This post has the potential to be a more formal article, but for now, I am getting some thoughts together which are in addition to what I wrote at and the Christian Post about the topic.

In the earlier article, I noted that the Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University, Edward Green, said that effective work with marginalized populations (e.g., glbt people) requires that health care workers develop trust with those they want to reach. Dr. Green said that, as law, this bill would drive gays and lesbians into hiding. While that would be tragic and have an impact on AIDS rates, the primary driver of AIDS in Africa is not homosexuality. Because of that, the rates of AIDS may not change much, although any change would not be beneficial. However, what might drive people away from interventions and/or treatment is the threat of being considered homosexual.

In the recent radio interview on Premier Christian Radio, Dr. Martin Ssempa said South Africa had the “highest HIVAIDS in the whole world” and attributed that to legalized homosexuality there. He also said that Uganda does not want another source of HIV. In a recent article, David Bahati, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill co-sponsor, said that homosexuals spread AIDS three times more than straights. Does this public health argument work?

Not so much. I asked Dr. Green about the AIDS rates and he said while South Africa had the largest number of AIDS cases in the world, there AIDS rate is lower than some of their African neighbors where homosexuality is illegal. For instance, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland have higher AIDS prevalence rates than South Africa (over twice as high) but homosexuality is illegal in these countries. The legal status of homosexuality, while important for human rights issues and practically, to fight AIDS in that population, does not seem to play much of a role in the overall AIDS rate in African nations.

Then, what does?

Dr. Green told me that 90% plus of HIV is transmitted by heterosexual behavior. Thus, focusing on gays misses the mark. If an African country does not address multiple concurrent partnerships and fidelity, not much good will happen.

So why do I believe this bill will turn the clock back on AIDS progress?

One, since politicians (e.g., Bahati) and ministers (e.g., Ssempa) are framing this Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a part of the fight against AIDS, I believe straights will shy away from getting educated, tested or treated because of the increased stigma of having AIDS. More than the stigma would be the fear of being reported to the police.

Two, I think straights may assume that HIVAIDS is a gay disease and believe that straight sex will be safer somehow. Given the fact that AIDS is really a straight disease in much of Africa, any movement in that direction could compromise the progress in Uganda. When supporters of this bill say they favor it for public health reasons, they are not working with all the facts, or thinking about possible effects on behavior.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill will create more stigma surrounding AIDS which in my view will prevent people from seeking treatement, education or testing. This cannot be a good thing.

Caption contest: Picture of the Capitol Building

Some fun for the weekend. This picture was taken by Marcia Brennan of nearby Pittsburgh while she was in Washington, D.C. for a rally opposing the House health care bill. She sent this around and gave me permission to post.

Now let’s think up a caption for this beauty. I say it is a contest, but there really isn’t a prize. Or maybe I’ll send out a Throckmorton band CD for the winner.


Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill discussed on Premier Christian Radio

Yesterday morning my time, I was on the Premier Christian Radio Network (UK) to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently being considered in Uganda. Also on the show was prime supporter in Uganda, Martin Ssempa.

You can listen here (If audio is down, try this…).

Some Christian leaders in the UK are speaking out about a proposed law in Uganda which would introduce the death penalty for gay people.

The British government’s already announced it’s unease at the idea.

It’s already illegal to be homosexual in the African state, but the new bill would introduce more strict punishments.

Pastor Martin Ssempa is a Ugandan who supports the new law.

Dr Warren Throckmorton is associate professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City Christian College in Pennsylvania. He’s campaigning against it.

I felt the interview went well and brought out the relevant concerns about the bill.