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Dr. Warren Throckmorton Christian Blog and Commentary

Have gays in Uganda been arrested? Ssempa says no, Mbale says yes

  • Warren Throckmorton
    Warren Throckmorton, PhD is Associate Professor of Psychology and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at Grove City College (PA). He co-founded the Golden Rule Pledge which advocates bullying prevention in evangelical churches. His academic articles have been published by journals of the American Psychological Association and he is past president of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. He is the author with fellow Grove City College professor, Michael Coulter, of the book, Getting Jefferson Right: Fact Checking Claims About Our Third President. Over 200 newspapers have published his columns. He can be reached at ewthrockmorton@gcc.edu.
  • 2010 Jul 29
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In his appearance on Michael Brown's Line of Fire show, Martin Ssempa said that homosexuals have not been arrested or killed under current law. Canyon Ridge Christian Church provided a transcript of a short portion of the show (oddly calling it an "unedited interview") where Ssempa responds to charges from Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin:

Brown reads a written challenge from Jim Burroway posted on Box Turtle Bulletin, and Martin responds regarding death penalty provision and allegations of gays being killed or imprisoned.

One aspect of Burroway's challenge was for Martin Ssempa to post the bill. Ssempa told Brown he would do it but did not. Ssempa goes on to discuss his view of government and says that his pastor's group does not favor the death penalty. He calls the bill "a draft" which is not true unless you think of all bills as drafts. The bill published in the Uganda Gazette is a bill, which can be amended but it is clearly more than a draft. Drafts cannot be read in Parliament, drafts are not sent to committee where they await committee report. Bills can be amended, but they can also be voted on. But I digress.

Ssempa ends his placation of critics by saying this:

I just want to let you know in the history of Uganda for the last 50 years we've had this law, since we've had a law against homosexuality, no homosexual has been arrested or killed for homosexuality.

Ugandan activists have contested this claim and said that often they are brought in on trumped up charges as a pretense to harass them for their sexual orientation. I have been tracking a story from Gulu of a woman who was burned to death because she made a pass at another woman but cannot as yet offer conclusive evidence. However, this clip from a recent British documentary, Africa's Last Taboo, documents in detail the arrest and detention of two gay men in Mbale under the existing sodomy law.

Please note that this situation is ongoing and was initiated prior to Martin Ssempa's statement that such things do not happen in Uganda. I have another clip where Julius Oyet tells a homosexual that he will be arrested when the law takes effect. Martin Ssempa told Line of Fire there would not be a witch hunt. When it becomes a criminal offense to remain silent if you know homosexuals, what do you think the effect of that will be? If this can take place under current law, what could happen under this new law?