Christians' planned protest against homosexuality cancelled
By Fredrick Nzwili
August 21, 2007
Ecumenical News International
Christians in Uganda have cancelled a planned protest march against homosexuality at the last minute because of fears that it would turn violent.
Organizers say the march through the capital Kampala, scheduled for August 21, was to have urged the government to crack down on those who are not heterosexual.
Christian critics of homosexuality in Uganda nevertheless went on to express public anger over what they say is an increasing number of homosexuals in the country.
"We want everyone to know that we are disappointed. Homosexuality is a terrible thing. It's illegal under our laws," Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary of the Anglican Church of Uganda told Ecumenical News International from Kampala on August 21. "They [the government] must make a clear policy over the issue, as they have done with HIV and AIDS."
Rally denounces homosexuality
ABOUT 100 people gathered on the grounds of Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala yesterday to rally against homosexuality. Members of the Interfaith Rainbow Coalition Against Homosexuality delivered a document to Minister of Ethics and Integrity Nsaba Buturo, calling for stronger government action against what Pastor Martin Ssempa described as "a well-orchestrated effort by homosexuals to intimidate the government". Born-again Pastor Ssempa of Makerere University Community Church was the key organiser of the event.
The rally was convened in response to a news conference held last week by Sexual Minorities Uganda at which gay, lesbian, and transgender Ugandans asked the government to let them live in peace.
Former Anglican Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo said he supported everyone's right to publicly voice concerns, but felt that the language used at the rally was inappropriately threatening.
"Their use of threatening language is very un-Christian," said Bishop Ssenyonjo, who has ministered to gays. "We are no longer in the era of 'an eye for an eye.' The Lord taught us to respect each person, however different, as full human beings."On Aids and homosexuality, Dr Paul Semugoma said that "Aids is not a homosexual disease, but homophobia keeps gays from seeking health services, which hurts everyone".
He rejected the idea that homosexuality causes HIV/Aids. He said that Aids treatment programmes should provide outreach specifically to homosexuals.Said Dr Semugoma: "Are we saying that Uganda has the most homosexuals in Africa because our HIV/Aids rate used to be one of the highest in the world? No!"