Colin Coward reports: Anglican (and other) responses (and none) to Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.
You would have expected the Anglican Church in Uganda, those responsible for implementing Anglican Communion policy and those with supportive links to Uganda to have issued strong statements condemning the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Lesbian and gay Ugandans now face the very real danger of being subjected to draconian legislation and more intense public vilification. Changing Attitude is in contact with a number of lesbian and gay Ugandan Anglicans who are terrified by the prospect.
On behalf of Inclusive Church and Changing Attitude, Giles Goddard joined me in writing to the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Uganda and the bishops of Bristol, Sodor and Man and Winchester, the three English dioceses linked to Uganda. The letters have just been posted so no replies have yet been received.
We reminded them that Lambeth 1988 passed resolution 33:3b) urging the church to speak out against capital punishment and Lambeth 1998 1:10 committed the Communion to “listen pastorally to the experience of homosexual persons and … to assure them that they are loved by God…” and to “minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn the irrational fear of homosexuals…”.
We urged the Primate of Uganda to speak out against the proposed legislation, to argue for the protection of lesbian and gay people in Uganda and respond faithfully to the commitments made by the Lambeth Conference.
Archbishops and Bishops have been devastatingly silent so far. Last Friday we emailed the leadership teams of Fulcrum, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Church Society. asking them if they would join Changing Attitude and Inclusive Church in signing an open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Uganda and the Bishops of Guildford, Winchester and Sodor and Man about the proposed anti-homosexual legislation. We hoped that despite our differences we are all committed to oppose anything which further criminalizes LGBT people or puts them at risk of violence rather than legislating for their protection. We did not receive a single reply from the 40 people emailed…
The Fulcrum discussion on this topic can be found here.
Background information is available at various sites:
Box Turtle Bulletin The Text of Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill
Amnesty International USA Uganda’s Proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ Law Threatens Human Rights, Say International Organizations or another copy at Human Rights Watch Uganda: ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ Bill Threatens Liberties and Human Rights Defenders
And the latest news report, from the Uganda Daily Monitor: Uganda’s toothless battle on gays.