"It's offensive to me," said Ssempa. "It's offensive to me that every time a black man does something good, you have to say that a white man told us to do it. That's really offensive to me. We feel that even those Americans who came here, they are wimps. And they have been blamed for this law. They've all screamed no, we have nothing to do with it. Why don't we accept that Africans can make an anti-homosexuality law? Why do you have to blame somebody else?"
Among those caught in the blame game: American evangelical megastar Rick Warren, who was once a friend of Ssempa's, and who invited him to California to speak at his Saddleback Church.
Warren has since ended his relationship with Ssempa, and has also repudiated the bill, delivering this message to Ugandan pastors on YouTube.
"It is my role to correct lies, errors, and false reports when others associate my name with a law that I had nothing to do with, completely oppose and vigorously condemn," he said.
"I think that Rick Warren is misguided," said Ssempa. "I think he is typical of some American Christians who are petrified of homosexuals in America."
But the outrage in the West may mean the bill gets watered down or even killed. The Ugandan parliament will hold hearings on it later this month.
As for Lively, he says if they drop the death penalty, he'll actually endorse it. Whether the bill passes or not, the culture wars – both at home and abroad – promise to continue raging on.