Petition Closed
Petitioning Spokesperson Jessica Santillo and 2 others

U.S. Health and Human Services: No Funding for Groups With Ties to "Kill The Gays" Legislation

Welcome to Jacksonville, Florida, where a federally-funded abstinence-only program taught to more than 50,000 students has some shady and scary ties to a Ugandan pastor who wants to see gay people locked up in jail forever or executed.

Andy Kopsa over at The Florida Independent has an amazing investigative piece looking at the organization Project SOS, an abstinence-only program founded in 1993 by a woman named Pam Mullarkey. Turns out Mullarkey has worked with and praised a pastor in Uganda who has been championing a piece of legislation known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. That pastor? Martin Ssempa, the religious leader who travels around the country showing graphic pornography to men, women and children in order to whip up anti-gay sentiment, and who has said that LGBT people in the country deserve to be locked up in prison for life, or sentenced to the death penalty.

Mullarkey currently sits on the board of Project SOS. And Proejct SOS, since 2002, has received upwards of $6 million in federal grant money, including a recent grant in September 2010 for over $400,000. This is unacceptable. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department should not be rewarding organizations that praise the work of leading anti-gay pastors in Uganda.

To make matters worse, Project SOS has a curriculum which has been documented as "unacceptable" by the American School Health Association, and misleading by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. Why is this organization receiving so much money from American taxpayers?

Send the U.S. Health and Human Service Department a message that they should not be funding groups like Project SOS.

Letter to
Spokesperson Jessica Santillo
Department of Health and Human Services External Affairs
Office of Inspector General, Health and Human Services Don White
I recently became aware that an abstinence-only program in Florida, Project SOS, has some disturbing ties to advocates and religious leaders in Uganda championing a bill known as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would institute the death penalty or life imprisonment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the country.

I've also learned that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department has been a major funder of Project SOS, giving the organization upwards of $6 million in grant money since 2002, most recently a September 2010 grant of over $400,000. This is deeply troubling.

More concerning is the fact that Project SOS has been widely criticized by organizations, including the American School Health Association and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States for providing misleading, misinformed, or downright unacceptable information to students regarding human sexuality. This is an organization that should not be rewarded with millions of dollars in federal grant money.

Please commit to stop funding this organization. To read more, check out this excellent investigate piece in The Florida Independent, exposing the ties between Project SOS and Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill - http://floridaindependent.com/22289/federally-funded-jacksonville-abstinence-program-has-ties-to-%E2%80%98kill-the-gays%E2%80%99-ugandan-pastor.

Thank you for your time.