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Uganda's gays fight back

Activists to petition government to scrap Anti-Homosexuality Bill and instead decriminalize gay sex.

However, Kayihura also showed that he is not completely on the side of the anti-gay campaigners. Kayihura denied a permit to anti-gay activist the Rev. Martin Ssempa who had planned to hold a “Million Man March” against homosexuality.

Ssempa, chairman of the National Pastors Task Force against Homosexuality, and David Bahati, member of parliament and author of the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” are at the forefront of Uganda’s current anti-gay movement.

Ssempa responded by moving his march from Kampala to Jinja — about an hour’s drive from Kampala and famous for containing the source of the Nile River. About 2,000 Ugandans marched against homosexuality there.

In Kampala, instead of a mass march, Ssempa held a “Million Prayers Vigil” at a local church. He said, “this will kick-off 40 days of prayer against homosexuality, to correspond with Lent.”

At the vigil, attended by about 300 Ugandans, including children, Ssempa performed homosexual exorcisms and showed slides of graphic gay porn to drive home his stance against homosexuality.

Bahati also gave a brief address where he admitted that there might be some changes to his bill, but that there would be a vote. After his speech, he was invited to kneel on the floor where several pastors placed their hands upon his head and prayed that Bahati be used to “deliver us from sodomy!”

The anti-gay bill, currently being debated in the legal and parliamentary affairs committee, must pass the speaker of the parliament before going to the Ugandan parliament floor for a vote. Many speculate that a full vote might take place in early March.

Since Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni distanced himself from the bill in January it is not certain whether the bill will pass, be rejected or amended to remove the harsher punishments including the death penalty, according to some political analysts in Kampala.