We haven’t checked yet to see if it varies from the second hand copies that have been offered up to now, but this is a copy of the official bill provided by Martin Ssempa, a key sponsor.  Please share this as you contact others to make them aware of the severity of the human rights abuses it will prompt.

Reading the the objectives of this bill, it becomes clear why so many conservative groups and ministries, such as Exodus and Focus on the Family, have not spoken out more clearly against it: they share common goals with the anti-gay forces in Uganda.  Some may be thinking this is a rather obvious point, but the realization was somewhat chilling.

  • provide for marriage in Uganda as that contracted only between a man and a woman;
  • prohibit and penalize homosexual behavior and related practices in
    Uganda as they constitute a threat to the traditional family;
  • prohibit ratification of any international treaties, conventions,
    protocols, agreements and declarations which arc contrary or
    inconsistent with the provisions of this Act;
  • prohibit the licensing of organizations which promote

This bill aims at strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.

This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic.

While I am sure that many are genuinely disturbed that this bill provides for the death penalty, is it acceptable to take an individual’s freedom away for life, or even for a few years, simply for having a relationship with another adult, or for not informing the state of such? How about forced “treatment” (change is possible)? And how many, if they are honest about it, are saying to themselves, “yeah! It’s about time someone stopped those homosexuals?”

Before the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws in the US in 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), then Exodus Media Director Randy Thomas made it clear they were against the move:

After much reflection and more research it does appear that if the Supreme court overturns this case it could be a watershed event in redefining the family. Therefore, in the realm of public dialog, the possibility of overturning the laws deserves opposition from those of us who want to defend our beliefs as they pertain to Biblical models of relationships.

Other conservative organizations made even stronger arguments against repeal. While not often enforced, the most extreme penalty for such a “crime” at that time was life in prison. Exodus President Alan Chambers commented “We don’t live in 1953 Christian America anymore.”  In the state of Florida, where Exodus is headquartered, the penalty for sodomy was death until the early part of the last century.

So if they take issue now with what is happening in Uganda, does that hit too close to home?  Even if Exodus decided to issue a definitive statement against these proposed laws, would they have any moral authority to do so without first apologizing for their own stance just a few short years ago?

And then there is Don Schmierer, the Exodus board member who participated in the infamous “Homosexuality” conference in Uganda last March.  Even if he was truly in the dark about the purpose of that meeting, Exodus has never disavowed his visit (quite the contrary).  The entire episode was so odious that it prompted several, myself included, to call for Schmierer’s removal from the board and Chamber’s resignation.

What Chambers sees as just another issue to avoid, a better leader would have recognized as a golden opportunity.  Exodus wants us to see them as having a compassionate response to “those impacted by homosexuality.”  What a bold and genuinely moral stand they could have made if they had only spoken up early and clearly.

Addendum: Evangelicals Taking a Stand

Andrew Marin (Marin Foundation) has made a clear statement against this bill.
Chad Thompson, ex-gay activist, made a clear and detailed statement.
Shawn Harrison, Six11 Ministries – a passionate plea.

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