Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Uganda gay-porn stunt 'twisted'

Pastor Martin Ssempa
Pastor Martin Ssempa was accused of perpetuating violence

A Ugandan clergyman's decision to show gay pornography to his congregation has been labelled as "twisted, homophobic propaganda" by a gay rights groups.

Behind the Mask told the BBC the stunt, by anti-gay Pastor Martin Ssempa, equated homosexuality to paedophilia.

The pastor showed the pornography in an attempt to gain support for a proposed law which would see some gay people facing the death penalty.

The bill, under consideration by MPs, has been condemned across the world.

US President Barack Obama has described the proposals as "odious".

Religion misused

Noma Pakade, from the African gay rights group Behind the Mask, accused the pastor of perpetuating violence by his anti-gay campaign.

Anti-gay protesters in Uganda
Anti-gay rallies have been held in Uganda

"Showing pornography in church in the presence of minors is twisted homophobic propaganda, where homosexuality is equated to paedophilia and pornography," she told the BBC.

"It is not surprising, but rather disappointing, that in Africa in the 21st Century yet again discrimination and prejudice is legitimised through religion."

Homosexuality is already against the law in Uganda and punishable by lengthy jail terms.

But supporters of the bill, including the pastor, want the punishments ramped up.

"In Africa, what you do in your bedroom affects our clan, it affects our tribe, it affects our nation," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He justified his decision to show gay pornography to about 300 people, saying: "We are in the process of legislation and we have to educate ourselves about what homosexuals do."

The anti-gay proposal, introduced into parliament as a private member's bill, garnered wide support among Ugandan MPs and conservative religious groups.

But President Yoweri Museveni recently hinted that he was coming under international pressure to scrap the proposals.

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