Waymon Hudson

Ugandan Pastor Martin Ssempa Reads Bilerico and Responds

Filed By Waymon Hudson | March 02, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: HIV/AIDS, homophobic behavior, Kill the Gays bill, Pastor Martin Ssempa, Porn, Uganda

Who knew Uganda's main proponent of the "Kill the Gays" bill read our blog?

Pastor Martin Ssempa, who I have written about extensively, left this comment on my post "Uganda's Porn Peddling Pastor Ssempa Responds to Critics" (note- I'm assuming Wayne is Waymon):

sempa-1.jpg

Dear Wayne and friends,

Thank you for posting my press statement on website.I would like to make sure that we fight HOMOPHOBIA all over the world by giving people accurate information on homosexuality. I agree we must never make any legislation based on people, rather we must legislate actions. It is actions which constitute social deviance, a social and spirtual debt and harm society.

My question is this, is there any part of the listed sexual acts which are not true? I agree with you unnatural acts whether homo or hetero are still unnatural and must be equally treated as deviant. Having worked as a case worker with people with HIV/AIDS both in the US and Africa for more than 23 years you could imagine I have a little information.

Much, much more after the jump...

Ssempa's Comment continued:

Finally we are scheduling an international conference on a post Copenhagen"Global Sexual Climate Change and its implications on population sustainability" at Makerere University Kampala Uganda November 2010. We are looking for papers and scholars. Anyone interested please shoot me an email with your credentials at familypolicycenter@gmail.com.

We are interested why homosexuals in Afica have 10 times more HIV/AIDS than normal people? Why are nations such as European Union which have legalised homosexuality having a crisis in population sustainability? What are the implications of the global culture clash between western views of Sodomy as a human right, and the African view of Sodomy as a human vice. Does globalisation mean Sodomisation!

This and much more..coming up for Nov 2010

And later, as I was waiting for verification that this was indeed Martin Ssempa and not an internet impostor (which we are still waiting for although all signs and various sources point to this being Ssempa and his new blog. On a side note: I have started an email dialogue with him and will write more about that later):

I thought you would be okay with a dialogue without fear of posting my comment. Otherwise your monologue borders on Redneck talk who are afraid of serious intellectual debate on the issue of culture clash, globalization, and human rights.

While my personal feelings about Ssempa have been made clear in my previous posts, let's look at the dance he does around the real issue of what he is proposing in Uganda and how he appears to be watering down his usual message to be more "reasonable" when speaking directly to an LGBT audience. Let's break down Ssempa's claims of "intellectual debate"- something his own dishonest and deflecting comment skirts around.

Breaking Down Martin Ssempa's Response

First how can Ssempa claim to be "fighting HOMOPHOBIA all over the world by giving people accurate information on homosexuality" when in the next paragraph he admits that the extreme, fringe acts he has been showing in his porn presentations happen in heterosexual relationships as well. He admits that to this audience, yet it's not the focus of the legislation, which is "anti-homosexual" alone. If he is looking to legislate actions (something I don't agree with either), then why prescribe those actions to just one group of people like gay men when he freely admit the actions he finds objectionable aren't bound by sexual orientation?

It is a dishonest and hypocritical stance.

This legislation isn't about HIV/AIDS either. The HIV pandemic reaches across sexual orientations. In fact, the vast majority of those living with HIV/AIDS around the world are heterosexual and contracted the virus through heterosexual sex practices. Claiming this legislation impacts HIV/AIDS in Uganda or is to "protect" gay men from contracting the disease is a complete red herring and dishonest.

If Ssempa is going to talk about this bill or about gay people in general, at least be honest about what we are discussing and his motivations. And he needs to be honest about his tactics. Ssempa isn't showing porn to "educate", he is doing it to paint an untrue portrait of gay men as deviants (when he himself admits that these "acts" have nothing to do with sexual orientation at all).

He is using homophobia, fear, and selective shock tactics to attack and endanger gays in his country (and those beyond with the extradition language in the Ugandan Bill) and to quash anyone that supports gay rights or disagrees with him by criminalizing pro-LGBT groups or speech.

He can't claim the moral high ground just by saying it and making it so. What Ssempa is doing and supporting is nothing less than a tool for the mass murder and imprisonment of gays and lesbians in his country.

What the "Kill the Gays" Bill Really Says

Here's what the bill really does (thanks to Alvin McEwen & Box Turtle Bulletin for the concise list):

* Expand the definitions for homosexual acts, making conviction easier. Current law requires evidence of penetration. The new law would expand the definition of homosexual activity to"touch(ing) another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality." Touching itself is defined as "touching--(a) with any part of the body; (b) with anything else; (c) through anything; and in particular includes touching amounting to penetration of any sexual organ. anus or mouth."

* Affirm Uganda's lifetime imprisonment for those convicted of homosexuality.

* Define a new crime of "aggravated homosexuality" for those who engage in sex with someone under the age of 18, who are HIV-positive, who is a "repeat offender" (so broadly defined as to include anyone who has had a relationship with more than one person, or who had sex with the same person more than once), or who had sex with a disabled person (consensual or not). The penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" is death by hanging.

* Require anyone arrested on suspicion of homosexuality to undergo HIV testing to determine the individual's qualification for prosecution of "aggravated homosexuality."

* Criminalize "attempted homosexuality" with imprisonment for seven years.

* Criminalize "promoting" homosexuality with fines and imprisonment for between five and seven years. This overly-broad provision would criminalize all speech and peaceful assembly for those who advocate on behalf of LGBT citizens in Uganda . It would also criminalize any attempt to repeal or modify the law in the future, as those moves could also be seen as "promoting" homosexuality.

* Criminalize "aiding and abetting homosexuality" with seven years imprisonment. This provision could be used against anyone extending counseling, medical care, or otherwise providing aide gay people.

* Criminalize the act of obtaining a same-sex marriage abroad with lifetime imprisonment.

* Add a clause which forces friends or family members to report LGBT persons to police within 24-hours of learning about that individual's homosexuality or face fines or imprisonment for up to three years.

* Penalize people who run "brothels" with five to seven years imprisonment for renting to LGBT people. However, it defines a brothel as "a house, room, set of rooms or place of any kind for the purposes of homosexuality" instead of the more normal definition of a place where commercial sex work takes place. Anyone's bedroom would be a "brothel" under this definition, placing landlords and hotel owners in jeopardy for renting to LGBT people.

* Add an extra-territorial and extradition provisions, allowing Uganda to prosecute LGBT Ugandans living abroad. (Editor's note - this means a Ugandan gay or lesbian living in America can be "called back" to Uganda for prosecution.)

Void all international treaties, agreements and human rights obligations which conflict with this bill.

If you want to have a conversation about these points and not use misleading, fringe porn presentations to try to paint a swath of people, then let's do it. This bill isn't about HIV/AIDS. It isn't about education. It isn't about Westernization or globalization. It isn't about the most fringe sex acts you can find video of.

It's about death, imprisonment, and harm. It's about fear and hate. It's about human rights and human dignity.

Ssempa can claim many things, but the moral high ground is not one of them.

Author's Note: Remember this is being read by an international audience from both sides of this issue. Any racist, violent, or otherwise inappropriate comments from either side of this issue will be removed.


Recent Entries Filed under Fundie Watch:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


I have my doubts that this is actually from him, mostly because of the phrase "your monologue borders on Redneck talk". Would someone from Uganda say "redneck"? Would someone from Uganda even know what a redneck is? I know, he's been to the US, but I seriously doubt he'd use that term.

IMHO, this is a ruse.

As for the content, assuming for the moment that it *is* him, he has to be the most clueless person alive if he thinks this is a valid "argument". Do gay men do the things he shows in his porn films? You bet. Do black men storm into convenience stores late at night and kill the manager before emptying the till? Sure. But do *all* gay men and *all* black men act that way? Of course not, only a small minority of both -- and I find his generalization not only impudent but disingenuous.

Some "doctor", as he sometimes claims to be. I wonder if he went to the same "medical" achool as Paul Cameron. They seem to share a love of manipulative statistics.

Why are the porn videos he chooses to use always about gay men and not lesbians? As Martha Nussbaum would point out, it's all about exploiting the emotion of disgust instead of actually examining an issue. Take a gander at what is sold as being straight porn: women as sex-starved bimbos, rape fantasies, lesbian duos, bondage, etc. Porn is fantasy, used for tittilation or momentary...self-gratification let's say. It's not a guide to what most people actually do in real life or even WANT to do. Heck, if statistics are to be believed MOST people view porn regardless of their sexual orientation and it would be fair to say that most of them do not carry the virtual world into real life.

Probably because he *enjoys* the lesbian stuff.

my email conversations with him lead me to think this is him, as does the comment's IP address & base website (Sempa's new blog). As for the "redneck" stuff, Ssempa attended university in Philadelphia, so he knows term like that. He also uses that term frequently in speeches and presentations to describe his detractors.

Ssempa has also been making the rounds on LGBT blogs leaving comments (he apparently just got wired into internet access).

So while I'm not 100%, I'm around 90% sure it is legit.

Regardless, the commentary is right from his playbook.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | March 3, 2010 10:19 AM

Waymon,

Your posting, coupled with Priscilla's about Uganda and Africa, make a very powerful statement. Kudos! We know a lot more than when we started and now the task is to be certain our representatives understand this.

Ana W.-L. | March 3, 2010 5:39 AM

He doesn't claim to be a medical doctor but a Ph.D., which (depending on the subject) might be more relevant in discussing social and legal changes. Of course, he isn't exactly making coherent and well-formed scientific arguments about this issue...

His biography page only lists a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's in counselling, though, not a doctorate.

The degree issue is just like Dr Laura's degree in anatomy made her an expert on right-wing gay bashing. Then all her beaver shots from an old live-in boyfriend got all over the internet.

I agree that this is put out by an ad agency. Some of this trash also appeared on Pam's House Blend. I am sorry that US Madison Avenue image-maker whores are taking up this cause.

Mr. Ssempa would benefit from at least two books I've recently read:

1. "The Next 100 Years" by George Friedman which shows that the population bust is worldwide, not just in the West, but even in so-called Third World nations. He outlines many reasons which include a sharp decline in the need for labor in small family-run agricultural production necessitating fewer workers (i.e. kids like in the 19th century and earlier); lower infant mortality rates; higher life expectancy rates; longer period of educating young resulting in their getting married and having fewer offspring much later than what was normal before; etc.

2. "From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law" by Martha Nussbaum. Ok, I'm actually still reading this one but from what I've finished thus far the author does an admirable job showing how folks like Ssempa use the emotion of disgust, very inconsistently I should note, in framing their arguments against a particulr group rather than a rational basis for government intervention.

If you're reading this blog Mr. Ssempa, try Amazon.com or another source for books. You might learn something.

Great post Waymon,

I hope that this is indeed Ssempa.

You cannot have any kind of meaningful, intelligent, logical discussion with people like this. They don't operate on logic, facts or any kind of reality. It doesn't matter how obviously correct you are. Their agenda is clear: hate and kill the gays. It's like trying to debate racism with a KKK member. You're not going to get very far.

diddlygrl | March 3, 2010 4:18 AM

You know you are in for a ride when someone starts throwing out statistics.

If you want to look at the numbers, more people have contracted HIV through vaginal intercourse than any other form of sex, so does that mean you have to outlaw the missionary position?

Unless there are a lot more gays in Uganda and places like South Africa than elsewhere, AIDS has become a straight epidemic on that continent. It is kind of a backhanded proof on the fallacy of abstinance only sex education.

The rightwing fundie groups read Bilerico, so why not the Ugandan nutjob? Now if he'd just be willing to open his eyes and understand what he reads here!

I don't have big hopes for Ssempa changing his mind or really having a meaningful dialouge, but if he is linking to us and talking about our blog, then it helps to put out all the information and facts to people that may come to us through him. They might still be able to be reached when the facts are laid bare.

This post isn't for him, it's for the people he misinforms that are still movable.

I believe that because Ssempa is using Christianity as a basis for the discrimination law. We need to use the same to Crist recognition of gays and how he handled the situation. Rather than work against Ssempa work with him towards what the word (bible) truly says.

Gay Christian 101 (book and site) uses the bible sensibly. This along with other writings from the time of Christ and his disciples. This shows along with historic writings and laws from that time how gays were recognized and honored by Jesus himself. (the roman centurion) Mathew chapter 8. new testament. Christ actually heals his lover. of course the (miss)translation states servant. But its the type of servant. so the historical study is necessary to come to this conclusion. you must know the laws for the Roman Soldiers then it all comes together.

Next is the romantic Story of David and Jonathan. The books of Kings Old testament David of David and Goliath. They had a 15 year affair this story is given precedence also. David writes a song about the love of his life Jonathan, "Your love is better than the love of women." You would not say this about your best friend. You would not say this about anyone but your lover. Sort of says it all. again the bible gives honor to their relationship. The purity the bible use's is amazing. Its a start. the bible is very clear and very gay friendly.

The bible only speaks about heterosexuals and gays performing immoral acts within the temples of Molech the fire God and His Fertility Goddess over a barren land. Saying not to spill seed with in those temples. Those were acts of Idolatry. Other than that. its not talked about and its only mentioned 6 Xs and in only in that context

I just thought I would share that.

I believe that because Ssempa is using Christianity as a basis for the discrimination law. We need to use the same to Crist recognition of gays and how he handled the situation. Rather than work against Ssempa work with him towards what the word (bible) truly says.

Gay Christian 101 (book and site) uses the bible sensibly. This along with other writings from the time of Christ and his disciples. This shows along with historic writings and laws from that time how gays were recognized and honored by Jesus himself. (the roman centurion) Mathew chapter 8. new testament. Christ actually heals his lover. of course the (miss)translation states servant. But its the type of servant. so the historical study is necessary to come to this conclusion. you must know the laws for the Roman Soldiers then it all comes together.

Next is the romantic Story of David and Jonathan. The books of Kings Old testament David of David and Goliath. They had a 15 year affair this story is given precedence also. David writes a song about the love of his life Jonathan, "Your love is better than the love of women." You would not say this about your best friend. You would not say this about anyone but your lover. Sort of says it all. again the bible gives honor to their relationship. The purity the bible use's is amazing. Its a start. the bible is very clear and very gay friendly.

The bible only speaks about heterosexuals and gays performing immoral acts within the temples of Molech the fire God and His Fertility Goddess over a barren land. Saying not to spill seed with in those temples. Those were acts of Idolatry. Other than that. its not talked about and its only mentioned 6 Xs and in only in that context

I just thought I would share that.

I'd like to answer Mr. Ssempa's (or whomever he is) question to why gay African's in Africa have higher HIV/AIDs rates than anyone.

Three words: SUPERSTITIONS and Unprotected sex!

Superstition 1: "Homosexuals" can be cured by corrective rape from a heterosexual.

Lesbian women, and any woman thought to be a lesbian, are raped to "correct" their "sexual deviancy". Gay men are also seen as targets for rape, just not of the corrective type and more for dehumanization. If the rapist has HIV/AIDs this causes more infections. With the lack of HIV/AIDS testing, no one knows until they become sick and have transmitted the disease to possibly thousands.

Superstition 2: HIV/AIDS can be "cured" by having unprotected sex with a virgin or albino or another superstition I haven't heard of yet.

Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, who is a virgin or considered to be a virgin is targeted by desperate infected men looking to "cure" themselves of this disease. The result is more infections in ALL communities. Albinos are considered to have "powers" therefore sleeping with someone with Albinism will "cure" you.

Superstition 3: HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects the "homosexual" community therefore protection during sex with an opposite-sex partner is not necessary since they have immunity.

I am not Africa-American. I grew up in what everyone tells me is a 3rd world country in the Caribbean. Condoms were not, and I believe still not, a high priority or part of education. My country has one of the highest rates of young children having sex with each other...starting age of 9. If you're not considered a "homosexual" no one uses protection. Even so, the church demands that condoms not be used. Our medical system is not as developed as the rest of the world, therefore we have more deaths from HIV/AIDs.

Superstition 4: HIV/AIDS is only transmitted by "homosexuals" therefore if you are heterosexual having sex with the opposite-sex and become infected, you unwittingly slept with a "homosexual".

It's obvious that no one has been informed that HIV/AIDS is a human disease that ANYONE can get from having unprotected sex.

Superstition 5: HIV/AIDS is spread by anal sex.

If Mr. Ssempa wanted to help reduce the HIV/AIDS infections he would work to stop the spread of superstitions about BOTH HIV/AIDs and the Gay community!

I believe that because Ssempa is using Christianity as a basis for the discrimination law. We need to use the same to Crist recognition of gays and how he handled the situation. Rather than work against Ssempa work with him towards what the word (bible) truly says.

Gay Christian 101 (book and site) uses the bible sensibly. This along with other writings from the time of Christ and his disciples. This shows along with historic writings and laws from that time how gays were recognized and honored by Jesus himself. (the roman centurion) Mathew chapter 8. new testament. Christ actually heals his lover. of course the (miss)translation states servant. But its the type of servant. so the historical study is necessary to come to this conclusion. you must know the laws for the Roman Soldiers then it all comes together.

Next is the romantic Story of David and Jonathan. The books of Kings Old testament David of David and Goliath. They had a 15 year affair this story is given precedence also. David writes a song about the love of his life Jonathan, "Your love is better than the love of women." You would not say this about your best friend. You would not say this about anyone but your lover. Sort of says it all. again the bible gives honor to their relationship. The purity the bible use's is amazing. Its a start. the bible is very clear and very gay friendly.

The bible only speaks about heterosexuals and gays performing immoral acts within the temples of Molech the fire God and His Fertility Goddess over a barren land. Saying not to spill seed with in those temples. Those were acts of Idolatry. Other than that. its not talked about and its only mentioned 6 Xs and in only in that context

I just thought I would share that.

Marc Paige | March 3, 2010 1:07 PM

It does not help us to minimize the AIDS situation in the gay community. Even in Africa, gay males are becomming HIV-positive at alarming rates. The answer is education - on condoms, and monogamy. Also, the population thing about Western Europe is bogus. Gay marriage does not turn people gay, nor does it discourage heterosexuals from getting married and having babies. Finally, Ssempa is saying these negative things about former Vice-President Cheney's daughter! He needs to hear that he is insulting the loved ones of some very important people.

Whoever this guy is -- his blaming the dropping birth rates on "unnatural sex" shows how uninformed he is.

European birth rates have been dropping for many years, partly due to the fact that native Europeans are simply running out of room in their countries. Europe is TINY. Their available base is hard-pressed to feed what populations they do have, so they have to import. Their aging housing isn't adequate.

Here in the U.S., we still live in the illusion that we have "lots of room," but our current population level already faces a low-income housing shortgage and a need to import food.

This blogger, if he is really African, seems not to notice that growing African populations and shaky sustainability of food supply are an enormous problem in many countries there. He is not going to fix that lethal imbalance by wiping out gay sex.

On a broader plane, there is scientific evidence that declining human fertility everywhere -- especially in men -- is linked to global pollution.

Who is this guy kidding?

I would suggest everyone who reads this go to Martain Ssempa site at blogspot then click on the Report Abuse button. Promoting christian genocide against gays is considered objectionable content.

http://martinssempa.blogspot.com/

R.S. Browning | March 3, 2010 11:58 PM

Dear Rev. Ssempa: I hope that it is really you who has contacted Bilerico Project and that you will read the comments that have been written. Bilerico is a secular site, and I am going to approach you where you are, as a Christian to another Christian.

Reverend, you have misinterpreted the Word of God and absorbed the theology of hate and legalism, as the Pharisees did when they sought to have Jesus crucified. Jesus never said one word against homosexuals and that all the old laws, the covenant God made with the Hebrews would pass away with His death. He fulfilled the Law. Christians are under the new covenant, the age of Grace.

You sir have been duped by the devil, yes Satan, as the Bible says there would be false teachers and false prophets who would deceive even the elect. The American religious fundamentalists who came to Uganda and perpetrated the lies about God and homosexuals are not doing God's work. They are doing Satan's work. They are creating stumbling blocks and blaspheming the Holy Spirit. They are racists who have lost their power to persecute people of color in America, so they are out to destroy homosexuals instead. You are a learned man. You must not follow these false teachers and false prophets to the destruction of your country.

I know that this is true because you speak in your press release about "homosexual behavior" and yet you are attempting to force the betrayal of people of homosexual orientation. This reminds me a lot of what Hitler did. He labeled Jews evil and put signs on them (Star of David) so that the people would know who to hate and so his demonic followers could torture and kill the right people. The fact that your law would not only kill homosexuals, but the people who protect them from being harmed is much like the gentiles being sent to extermination camps for hiding Jews in their attics.

I know there are cultural differences in Africa, but there are human rights and the violation of human rights that are the same in every country. Right and wrong is right and wrong everywhere and in a country that is predominantly Christian, such as Uganda, there should be almost no difference in morality. There is no false religion with alternative values to muddy the waters.

Rev. Ssempa, I have been lead by God to write this. I am speaking out as a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, washed in the blood, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. I am speaking to you as a fellow in the Family of God and chastising you one-on-one as a fellow child of God who is telling you that you are sinning, the great sin of grieving the Holy Spirit as the Bible says to do. I am being led to help a brother in the Lord to realize his or her sin and repent. This is serious. God could take you out for this because you are actually out to harm God's children, lead people away from Jesus, and lead the people of Uganda into sin. There will be blood on your hands if even one homosexual is killed because of the law you are trying to pass. God said not to commit murder, but you are setting up the death of a substantial number of citizens of Uganda and their fellows to commit murder. You will be answerable to our Creator for your behavior.

You sir, need to get down on your knees and repent. God has already forgiven you at the death and resurrection of Jesus. You must acknowledge your sin and ask God what what you must do to make restituition to those you have harmed while you have been out of fellowship.

I suggest you go on the gay Christian websites and learn. A good one that is new and run by an African-American pastor who has wrestled with the idea that God loves him as a gay man is Gay Christian Fellowship. He is a conservative so you will probably like him. You can also contact the Metropolitan Community Church, More Light Presbyterians (Presbyterian USA) or the Reconciling Minstries of the United Methodist Church. But I think Gay Christian Fellowship would be a good one for you. Read the truth about the Bible and the verses that some people say are opposed to homosexuality. You may also listen to a quality preacher at MCCBR.org. You need to learn and absorb the truth instead of these lies from Satan. The future of the relationship of Uganda to God and your own is at stake

Open your eyes and your heart Rev. Ssempa. No one can tell you this like another Christian. You are grieving the Holy Spirit. God does not like ugly.

Thank you for listening