Thinking Anglicans

taking action on Uganda

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.

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Ford ElmsFather Ron SmithColin CowardErika BakerTim Chesterton Recent comment authors
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Leonardo Ricardo
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¨A Call to Action¨ ¨A Call to Archbishop Orombi of Uganda¨ ¨A Call to ALL PRIMATES at The Anglican Communion¨ DENOUNCE THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL IN THE PARLIAMENT OF UGANDA. PROTEST AT THE UGANDA DIPLOMATIC MISSION IN YOUR COUNTRY As you already know, the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.” was recently tabled before the Parliament of Uganda. The Bill’s provisions are draconian and among them are; • Any person alleged to be homosexual would be at risk of life imprisonment or in some circumstances the death penalty; • Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities… Read more »

Dave Rattigan
Guest

“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.”

Not likely. The same thing happened in Nigeria, and the Church in Nigeria supported it. Their fundamentalist fans in the West were conspicuous by their silence: http://davidlrattigan.blogspot.com/2009/03/jaccuse-church-of-nigeria.html

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

The Church of England will repudiate the Porvoo Agreement with the Lutheran Church of Sweden, because the Swedes have approved a same-sex marriage ceremony. They will break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA) because TEC left open the possibility that some day they might consecrate another openly gay bishop. Yet not a word on Uganda’s vicious new laws.

The Great Sin of Anglicanism is taking shape.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

My guess is that we will hear as little, and as mild when and if anybody conservative speaks up, from all the Usual Anglican Suspects. The human rights of queer folks are rather like the communion bits about violating another diocese; quickly to be set aside for good conservative Anglican cause, accompanied by lots of wagging preachers going on and on about danger and damage impending, all from those same queer folks and allies who must be violently put away from decent Anglican folks. Expect, soon, the preening, self-congratulating sort of gospel, saying violence against African queer folks will save,… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

I pray you’re wrong, Charlotte, or those supporting “Great Sin of Anglicanism” will have a lot to answer for, come Judgment Day. Lord have mercy!

Doxy
Guest

I have written the Presiding Bishop and asked her to speak out against this evil. I encourage everyone to do the same.

Her e-mail address is: pboffice@episcopalchurch.org

I have to say, however, that I am disappointed she hasn’t already spoken out. Words matter. Our beleaguered brothers and sisters need to know that we have not forgotten them. And those of us in the pews need to know that we are members of a faith community that will speak up against those who would perpetrate evil in the name of God.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“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.’ – Colin Coward – Colin! Are you serious when you make this statement? Obviously some of the bishops who are fostering the culture of homophobia in the Church of England, who might have links with Uganda and/or Ruanda and Nigeria, are secretly unmoved by the homophobic actions of their Global South co-partners – especially when they have already shown their approval of the GAFCON fraternity and its… Read more »

gayuganda
Guest

Would be interesting to have that letter to the Primate in Uganda published in Uganda.

Possible to send it to me? Or to one of the contacts in SMUG?

gug

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I have written the Presiding Bishop and asked her to speak out against this evil. I encourage everyone to do the same”

I’ll second that. I have done so, but expect not much.

I didn’t bother waking up His Wooliness. The last time I wrote, I eventually got a dismissive email from one of his keepers.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

I’ve added my two cents’ worth at the Fulcrum website asking that Fulcrum support this. Personally, if the open letter is generally as Colin describes it, I would want to be associated with it for sure. However, ‘the devil is in the details’, and it might be helpful if the authors of this open letter published the text they have in mind, so that people know exactly what they’re signing onto before committing to it.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ron
Read your comment back to yourself, replacing all references to homophobia and Africa with references to Jews in Nazi Germany.
Or with Apartheid in South Africa.
Or with Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Do you still believe the world should speak out?
Even if you really believe that all our silent bishops are quietly working behind the scenes, do you genuinely believe that is enough?

Colin Coward
Guest

I have posted the text of the proposed Open Letter on Changing Attitude’s web site http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?ID=451

I’ve also added a second post on the blog, (with more to follow when I return home from church, responding to Fulcrum) http://changingattitude-england.blogspot.com/2009/11/ugandan-anti-homosexuality-bill.html

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Charlotte, I have explained elsewhere my idea of the problems encountered by bishops of the Church of England being seen to interfere with the internal politics of the Ugandan Government. Charges of what could be seen to be Western Imperialism have already been levelled against Provinces of the Anglican Communion by some African Primates who see them as cultural imperialists, This has been one of the charges of Nigeria’s Archbishop Akinola in his defence of his own stand against the LGBT community in Nigeria. This is a problem, where certain Western Church leaders are willing to collude with out-dated prejudice.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Charges of what could be seen to be Western Imperialism have already been levelled against Provinces of the Anglican Communion by some African Primates who see them as cultural imperialists”

There’s links on another thread this morning that show that this is EXACTLY what’s happening. How could we expect anything else?