Episcopal Café has drawn attention to several articles in Religion in the News about the Church of Uganda and the proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in that country.
Mark Fackler writes about Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill.
Jesse Masai writes about The Word from Kampala’s Anglicans. This is based on interviews with Archbishop Orombi’s communications director, Amanda Onapito, and Assistant Bishop of Uganda David Zac Niringiye.
“The church’s position on human sexuality is consistent with its basis of faith and doctrine and has been stated very clearly over the years as reflected in various documents,” she said. “From a careful and critical reading of Scripture, homosexual practice has no place in God’s design of creation, the continuation of the human race through procreation, or his plan of redemption.
“The Church of Uganda believes that homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture. At the same time, we are committed at all levels to counseling, healing, and prayer for people with homosexual orientation. The church is a safe place for individuals who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”
On the bill itself, she continued, the COU prefers that current law (Penal Code Cap. 120) be amended, clarifying gaps, protecting all parties from uneven enforcement and from the anti-homosexuality bill’s encroachment into family life and church counsel. Currently, the bill outlaws failure to inform authorities of homosexual activity, much as standard criminal law forbids failure to testify concerning wrongful acts observed. Ugandan law protects underage girls from sexual predators, Onapito explained, but not underage boys.
The COU wants the law to protect, not criminalize, confidential relationships of medical, pastoral, and counseling professionals and their clients, she said. An amended Penal Code must, in fairness and for the protection of youth, specify lesbianism, bestiality, and “other sexual perversions” as targeted behaviors. The free marketplace of ideas must have legal boundaries prohibiting material that “promotes homosexuality as normal or as [merely] an alternative lifestyle.”
Onapito added that while the church’s position may be contrary to Western notions of fair treatment for gays, it hardly poses the desperate risk to life and freedom that gay rights advocates fear. There should be no doubt, however, that the COU wants to ensure that “sexual orientation is excluded as a protected human right.”
We also learn, from the Church of Uganda website, that
Church of the Province of Uganda will be hosting the second All African Bishops’ Conference from August 23- 29, 2010 in Kampala, Uganda.
Read lots more about it at the conference website.
Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
$25,000 over one year to fund the All Africa Bishops Conference, a week long gathering in August  that will address the emerging pastoral and contextual education concerns in Africa.
The Church of Uganda itself does not accept money from such sources but is nevertheless the host of this conference.
The official position of the Church is explained in this FAQ about Church of Uganda, GAFCON, and the Anglican Communion.