Andy Kopsa, writing for the Florida Independent, has a story out that links Project SOS to Martin Ssempa.
Project SOS, a Jacksonvile-based abstinence education program, has received more than $6.5 million in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since 2002 — including $454,000 in September 2010. This despite the fact that the group has been cited for teaching false information about HIV and is a supporter of Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, one of the most outspoken advocates of legislation in that country that prescribes the death penalty for homosexuals.
Project SOS’ federal funding came through the Administration of Children and Families, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, via grants for Community Based Abstinence Education and a Healthy Marriage Demonstration grant. The abstinence education funding is made available through Title V (.pdf) of the Social Security Act. A provision of Title V requires that states provide a $3 match for every $4 in federal money.
Kopsa asked Director Pam Mullarkey about Ssempa’s support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill:
In a phone interview with The Florida Independent, Mullarkey said she was unaware of any controversy surrounding Ssempa or his support of the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill.
The Independent provided Mullarkey with numerous links to news articles and YouTube clips, including video of Ssempa calling for the death penalty for homosexuals (whom he refers to as “pedophiles”) while claiming to ABC News that homosexuals eat feces.
“I know Martin well enough to know that because of his Christian faith he would never support the death penalty,” Mullarkey said when asked about Ssempa’s support of a bill that would punish “aggravated homosexuality” with death.
Mullarkey went on to praise Ssempa as a “change agent” who took a stand for abstinence education as a way to rid Uganda of HIV/AIDS. “At the university, Martin took a stand — he had them burning condoms as a commitment to abstinence,” she said.
Discussing the fact that Ssempa lost “almost half his family” to AIDS, Mullarkey told the Independent that homosexuals in Africa “have destroyed people’s lives.”
Mullarkey would not denounce Ssempa’s actions surrounding the anti-gay bill. She later told the Independent she emailed Ssempa and is “waiting for his response” before she “will make a statement” on the issue.