Martin Ssempa wants to dialogue on his blog. He has been blogging the past few days and wants some company, even inviting Pam’s House Blend to join in.
I posted a couple of brief comments neither of which has been approved as yet. One of the comments requested that Rev. Ssempa post a link to a copy of the bill. Then his readers can evaluate the accuracy of this statement:
A lot has been spoken about the death penalty creating hysteria among some of you that we propose to run around and round up anyone who practices sodomy. No such thing..The death penalty is specifically proposed in cases of aggravated defilement which is the equivalent of statutory rape of minor or a handicapped person against their wish. I do not support or will not support any bill which seeks the death penalty for homosexuals.
I wonder why Rev. Ssempa allowed this video to be posted to his website with a man calling for the death penalty for homosexuals. At about 2 minutes, a man is featured who calls for Mosaic law to be upheld. Given what the Anti-Homosexuality Bill actually says and the demonstrations he organizes, it is understandable to me that GLBT people fear for their lives in Uganda.
Avaaz.org is hosting a petition opposing Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The first installment of signatures was delivered earlier today to the Speaker of the Parliament, Edward Sekandi. From Afrik.com:
The anti-gay bill was tabled in parliament by member of parliament David Bahati in October 2009. Since then a lot has been debated about the harshness of punishments in the bill.
The petition was today morning presented to the speaker of Uganda parliament Edward Sekandi by four people who said were representing Aids service providers, human rights activists, spiritual mentors and councilors.
Rev. Canon Gideon Byamugisha, the first Anglican church priest in Uganda to declare that he was living with HIV-AIDs in late 1980, led the group that presented the bill to the speaker in parliament.
Byamigisha told the press in Kampala that the speaker welcomed their petition and promised to send it to the committee working on the bill. He said that Sekandi told them that it is now too late to withdraw the bill because it is already in the hands of parliamentarians.
You can find the petition here
. Normally I do not sign online petitions but this one has some connection in the real world via Rev. Byamugisha. I think this with the Facebook groups (over 100,000 members of the various groups) might give some sense of the magnitude of the hope for a reconsideration among Uganda’s key leaders.
UPDATE: Martin Ssempa is not happy
with the petition, calling Byamugisha one of the “imperialistic agents of sodomy.” Ssempa want the petitioners thrown out of Parliament and sent to some camp for a little reeducation.