"Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God's children worthy of respect and love," the statement reads. "Yet we are painfully aware that in our country gays and lesbians still face hostility and violence. We recognize that such treatment degrades the human family, threatens the common good, and defies the teachings of our Lord — wherever it occurs."
In his statement, Ssempa expressed concern that Obama failed to understand the nature of the legislation. "President Barack Obama makes two mistakes," Ssempa said in his statement. "First, Uganda's anti-homosexuality law only prescribes the capital punishment in cases where the victims are children or the handicapped. This is consistent with the existing laws for similar crimes by heterosexuals. We wonder if President Obama thinks that the heterosexual rape of a girl is a lesser crime than the homosexual rape of a handicapped boy."
"Secondly," Ssempa goes on, "homosexuals and lesbians are never targeted for who they are, rather what they do. It is the repugnant sexual acts which they do which constitutes a crime, a sin and a rebellion against the order of nature. Here in Africa, we believe homosexuals can CHANGE. It is very disappointing for Africans to hear Obama, who ran on the ticket of 'change we can believe in,' losing courage when we postulate in faith that homosexuals can truly change. We wish to tell him that sodomy is neither the change we want nor can believe in."
Sending Qwelane, who is not a fit and proper journalist , as an ambassador to a country which is currently wrestling over potential legislation providing for the death penalty for homosexual activities, is a message. It signifies that our answer to the internal policies of Uganda is not merely to "respect their sovereignty" by not interfering. We send a person who is a kindred spirit to those who are wishing to impose the supreme penalty for what has long been practised in Africa.
In appointing Qwelane the Zuma government would be showing its unstated objectives, the danger it represents not only to homosexuals but for all who sought and wish to establish a democratic, emancipatory constitution.