People for the American Way’s Josh Glasstetter has found what seems to be a connection between Invisible Children, the organization responsible for Kony 2012, and Martin Ssempa, a virulently anti-gay pastor in Uganda who advocates for the “Kill the Gays” bill. The link stems from a student group at Grove City College, an evangelical school, that worked with Invisible Children, and through it, Martin Ssempa:
STUDENT 1: A guy named Martin Ssempa came our way, who is a Ugandan-born world leader in the AIDS activism and abstinence education. He came to Grove City College and spoke to us and gave us the plan to send this shipment of “love” over to Uganda.
STUDENT 2: Martin Ssempa is an amazing man. He just shared a lot about his vision for healing in Africa, particularly in his country.
The connection, if true, is not surprising. Alternet reported earlier this week that Invisible Children receives large sums of money from anti-gay groups linked to Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, The Fellowship Foundation (“The Family”), and Lou Engle’s The Call. While Kony 2012, an exposé on Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony that has been viewed nearly 80 million times on YouTube, is not explicitly anti-gay, it seems clear that Invisible Children is committed to a similar worldview as these other groups.
No doubt, Ssempa’s complete opposition to the separation of church and state aligns with the Christian Dominionist mentality that links the other organizations. He opposes the use of condoms to fight the spread of HIV, promoting instead abstinence-only education, but he is best known for his anti-gay evangelism. Ssempa shows gratuitous gay porn in his presentations, claiming homosexuality is an “abomination” and that all gay men engage in fisting and “anal licking.” Watch him discuss his opposition to homosexuality:
Invisible Children has clarified that it has no affiliation, past or present, with Martin Ssempa:
Invisible Children has never and will never have a relationship with Martin Ssempa. This specific video, from 2005, highlights a self-organized group of students that appears to have wanted to support Invisible Children. Invisible Children visited Grove City College, but not until 2006 – the year IC began its road tour program – and certainly not due to any connection with Martin Ssempa. Invisible Children fully supports gay rights in the United States and around the world, and has spoken out for years against acts of violence on members of the LGBT community in Uganda. Hate in any form is counterproductive to our mission.