UPDATE:On August 26, Aid for AIDS Nevada issued a statement severing all ties with Canyon Ridge Christian Church, over the Church's continued involvement with Pastor Martin Ssempa. For a statement from Aid for AIDS Nevada announcing this, click here.
Aid for AIDS Nevada is the largest and oldest AIDS service organization in the state of Nevada. But the organization has come under criticism of late for erasing questions on its Facebook page, and failing to respond to questions from activists, about the organization's relationship with a controversial church in Las Vegas, Canyon Ridge Christian Church, which financially and institutionally supports ministers in Uganda working to pass a vehemently anti-gay piece of legislation known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This bill would, among other things, institute the death penalty for gay people living with HIV, and would institute life prison sentences for anyone convicted of homosexuality.
Yet despite such harsh scenarios, Canyon Ridge Christian Church continues to back the ministers who are lobbying for this bill, and Aid for AIDS Nevada keeps avoiding activists who question whether the organization has a relationship with Canyon Ridge Christian Church.
It's time for Aid for AIDS Nevada to come clean and not only condemn Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, but to call on Canyon Ridge Christian Church to abandon their financial and institutional support of ministers in Uganda working to criminalize HIV.
- Associate Director
- Executive Director
- Director of Finance and Administration
Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas has a very dubious financial and institutional relationship with a pastor in Uganda, Martin Ssempa, who has been a vocal proponent of legislation in the country known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This bill, among other things, would institute the death penalty for gay people living with HIV who have any sort of sexual relations, and would also institute harsh prison sentences for anyone found guilty of homosexuality.
Canyon Ridge has been taken to task for their support of this pastor by many activists and leaders. Indeed, even the Southern Nevada Health District severed ties to the Canyon Ridge Christian Church over its involvement with Pastor Martin Ssempa.
Recently, a number of activists have become concerned about Aid for AIDS' connection to Canyon Ridge Christian Church. Several folks have tried to question whether Aid for AIDS supports the work of Canyon Ridge Christian Church on your Facebook wall, and those posts have been deleted. Meanwhile, Aid for AIDS Nevada continues to allow Canyon Ridge Christian Church to participate in an annual AIDS walk. You even have them listed on your Web site here: http://afanlv.kintera.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=329363&lis=1&kntae329363=62679BE246954AA59BF72C8A6390AD28&team=3621231
I urge you to issue a clear condemnation of Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and to also condemn the work that Canyon Ridge Christian Church is doing to financially and institutionally support pastors in Uganda who support criminalizing HIV with the death penalty. That's an untenable position. I would like to know that your organization believes so, too.
Thank you for your time.
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