The Daily Monitor, a newspaper from Uganda’s capital city, Kampala, is reporting that the nation’s Catholic bishops have reversed their decision and now support an anti-homosexual bill, which at one point called for the death penalty for lesbian and gay people. Along with other religious leaders, they are now calling for the criminalization of homosexuality bill to be revived.
The article states:
“Speaking after their recent annual conference organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), an ecumenical body which brings together the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches, the bishops resolved that the parliamentary committee on Gender should be tasked to engage the House on the Bill which is now at committee level.
“ ‘We also ask the Education committee to engage the Ministry of Education on the issue of incorporating a topic on human sexuality in the curricula of our schools and institutions of learning,’ the resolutions signed by archbishops Henry Luke Orombi [Anglican], Cyprian Kizito Lwanga [Roman Catholic] and Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga [Eastern Orthodox], indicated.
“The clerics also appealed to all the churches in the country ‘to remain steadfast in opposing the phenomena of homosexuality, lesbianism and same-sex union.’ ”
The website Care2.com carries an article which highlights the Catholic reversal on this bill, noting:
“The Catholic Church had previously been the sole major religion in Uganda in opposition to the bill. . . .
“The Vatican came out strongly and publicly against the bill and, Wikileaks revealed, even lobbied against it. Uganda watchers say that the change by the Ugandan Catholic church is ‘very serious’ and that the UJCC resolution was pushed by an Anglican Bishop.”
An earlier version of this posting, based on a report from an African news source, suggested that the bill contained the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality, as it originally had. A later report indicated that the death penalty has been removed from this bill.
Five previous Bondings 2.0 posts have dealt with the situation of lesbian and gay people in Uganda:
December 23, 2011: A Gay Catholic in Uganda Speaks; Cardinal George Should Listen
December 26, 2011: Breaking the Catholic Silence on LGBT Human Rights Violations
January 26, 2012: NEWS NOTES: January 26, 2012
March 4, 2012: When Will the Pope Speak Out, Too?
International outcry, starting with the Vatican, can help to sway Uganda from undertaking this gross human rights violation.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry