Canyon Ridge Christian Church hosts National HIV Testing Day

Canyon Ridge Christian Church (Las Vegas) is one of the host locations for the National HIV Testing Day on June 27, 2010.

Because of Canyon Ridge Christian Church’s commitment to “be a show of compassion” to our community and an instrumental force in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, we will be offering FREE HIV testing from 10 AM – 4 PM provided by the Southern Nevada Health District (fingerprick test with results in 15 minutes).

Canyon Ridge Christian Church also supports Martin Ssempa as a mission partner to Uganda where Ssempa is a leading promoter of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. You can see him promoting the bill in this Current TV documentary, Missionaries of Hate. The AHB would authorize the death penalty for a person who engages in homosexual touching and is discovered to have HIV. Here is the relevant section:

Aggravated homosexuality.

(1) A person commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality where the…

(b) offender is a person living with HIV

Nothing in the bill requires intent to spread HIV. The bill requires HIV testing, I suppose to determine the sentence: death or life in prison.

(2) A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality shall be liable on conviction to suffer death.

(3) Where a person is charged with the offence under this section, that person shall undergo a medical examination to ascertain his or her HIV status.

Martin Ssempa once was known for his work in AIDS prevention. He was invited to speak at the 2005 AIDS summit at Saddleback Church and was affiliated with the abstinence organization Wait Training. Both groups have cuts ties with Ssempa, Warren saying it happened in 2007 and Wait Training doing so as the result of Ssempa’s advocacy of the AHB. Another one of Ssempa former AIDS colleagues, Edward Greene, criticized the AHB as damaging to AIDS prevention.

About it’s strategic partners, Canyon Ridge says:

Strategic partners are existing teams and ministries around the world we have met and partnered with who closely match our areas of strategic focus (unreached people, global issues of injustice and HIV/AIDS).

However, in 2007, Martin Ssempa said he would not include gay men and women in treatment programs for HIV.

“Homosexuals should absolutely not be included in Uganda’s HIV/AIDS framework. It is a crime, and when you are trying to stamp out a crime you don’t include it in your programmes,” Ssempa said.

Somehow I doubt that Canyon Ridge would really promote Ssempa’s position here (I will report any response I get). And yet, this was Ssempa’s position in 2007 when he was even then calling for stricter enforcement of existing laws criminalizing homosexuality. Without getting into all of the ironies raised by the National HIV Testing Day at CRCC, I have to believe that what CRCC is doing here would be pretty ominous for GLB people in Uganda and what Martin Ssempa is doing there in word and deed, CRCC would not do here.  I am unable to see the strategy in the match of the “strategic partners” when it seems they are moving in opposite directions.