Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda
To: Ugandan President Museveni; Ugandan Speaker Rebecca Kadaga
*UPDATE: More than 500 faith leaders have signed our petition out of the 3900 signed on so far. Amazing response from our faith communities. Faith can't be used to denigrate anyone! * As people of faith and faith leaders, we are deeply distressed and concerned to learn that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill has resurfaced for consideration by the Ugandan Parliament. We do not know what the final bill will look like, it could include the following, however, we oppose the bill in any form: 1. make homosexuality a punishable crime potentially including life imprisonment or even execution; 2. mandate that family members and friends turn their own LGBTQ loved ones to authorities or else face jail time; 3. allow extradition of any LGBTQ refugee citizen back to Uganda for sentencing. With respect and urgency, we call upon the leadership of the great Ugandan nation to reject the needless, deeply harmful, dehumanizing bill. Instead of debating the bill, we urge deep conversations about sexuality in Uganda, in Africa, and within ecumenical Christianity.
Why is this important?
Our various faiths teach that every person is made in the image of God, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Whatever our biblical interpretation and religious tradition, we know that God calls us to love each other, not persecute each other. We condemn the criminalization of homosexuality, especially state-sponsored violence against LGBT people, their friends and families. Passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would rip the very fabric of communities, turning Ugandan families against themselves. Our faith demands we stand with Uganda’s sexual minority community rather than use our religion to justify their persecution. Silencing and criminalizing any group based on who they love or how they express their gender chafes against our very moral fiber. It breaks a core teaching of our many traditions: that we treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. "Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?" -Job 31:15 “Those who say, 'I love God,' and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen." -1 John 4:20 LINKS TO DETAILS OF THE BILL: -Description and full text of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/2denrG -Info on renewed push to pass Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TulT60 -Rachel Maddow 2010 interview with David Bahati, who formerly introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TdNOIW