Catholic Leaders Must Speak Out Against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill

Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill, which would impose the death penalty on certain people convicted of having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, seems poised for passage soon.

Rebecca Kadaga

The Associated Press reports that Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s Parliamentary Speaker, announced yesterday that the bill will be going forward for a vote in the next few weeks:

“Ugandans ‘are demanding it,’ she said, reiterating a promise she made before a meeting on Friday of anti-gay activists who spoke of ‘the serious threat’ posed by homosexuals to Uganda’s children. Some Christian clerics at the meeting in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, asked the speaker to pass the law as ‘a Christmas gift.’

“ ‘Speaker, we cannot sit back while such (a) destructive phenomenon is taking place in our nation,’ the activists said in a petition. ‘We therefore, as responsible citizens, feel duty-bound to bring this matter to your attention as the leader of Parliament … so that lawmakers can do something to quickly address the deteriorating situation in our nation.’ ”

A report in The Advocate notes that the bill can be put to a vote in a matter of two weeks.

A news story in the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News provides some background on the criminal status of homosexuality in Uganda, as well as what the proposed law would mandate:

“Even without the law, Uganda already has laws that criminalize homosexuality and is one of 76 countries where it is illegal to be gay. The proposed law would broaden existing laws, and includes the death penalty to those convicted of aggravated homosexuality and life imprisonment for those convicted of the offense of homosexuality.

“Aggravated homosexuality is defined as gay acts committed by parents or authority figures, HIV-positive people, pedophiles and repeat offenders.

“Offense of homosexuality is defined as same-sex sexual acts or being involved in a same-sex relationship.”

Shamefully silent on this bill have been the Catholic bishops of Uganda, a heavily Catholic nation.  Indeed, earlier this summer it was reported that the Catholic bishops reversed their position from quiet opposition to the bill to outright support for it.

Catholic leaders in the U.S. have spoken in opposition to the bill, including Ambassador Thomas P. Melady, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.  President Barack Obama has called the bill “odious.”

More Catholic voices will be needed to defeat this horrendous law.  Indeed, in July Ugandan LGBT rights advocates called on the international community, including religious leaders, to lend their voices to oppose the bill.

Catholic bishops here in the United States and Vatican leaders in Rome need to lend their voices to international opposition to the proposed law.  Silence is not an option at this point.  Too many innocent lives hang in the balance.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

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11 Responses to Catholic Leaders Must Speak Out Against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill

  1. Maryann says:

    One, holy, catholic apostolic church????? Where is the pope on this? Another reason why my husband and I are looking for a church that doesn’t think that my son or we are “less than”.

  2. […] Catholic Leaders Must Speak Out Against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] Catholic Leaders Must Speak Out Against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] example, they have been shamefully silent on the issue of the anti-homosexual bill which has been discussed in Uganda’s parliament for several years now, and which could be […]

  5. […] Ugandan Parliament will reportedly vote on the “Kill the Gays” bill in coming days and this development has stirred two university communities to take action against the infamous […]

  6. […] Parliament in Uganda, a pre-dominantly Catholic nation, re-introduces a bill to make the death penalty a possible sentence for lesbian and gay people. […]

  7. […] Africa, with nations like Uganda attempting even to pass the death penalty as punishment, and the Catholic hierarchy there has been too often silent about the […]

  8. […] November 14, 2012: Catholic Leaders Must Speak Out Against Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill […]

  9. […] nation’s Anti-Homosexuality Act in his comments. The former law, once known as the “Kill the Gays” bill because at one time it contained a death penalty provision for LGBT people, ended up […]

  10. […] nation’s Anti-Homosexuality Act in his comments. The former law, once known as the “Kill the Gays” bill because at one time it contained a death penalty provision for LGBT people, ended up […]

  11. […] de la nación  en sus comentarios. La ley anterior, una vez conocido como el ” Mata a los Gays“proyecto de ley porque a la vez que contiene una disposición pena de muerte para las […]

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