Uganda Anglicans support anti-homosexual bill with amendments

UPDATED -see below
UPDATED -again

The Church of Uganda had ended its silence on the anti-homosexual legislation according to Christianity Today:

In a statement provided to Christianity Today, the Church of Uganda expressed concerns with the bill, recommending that the bill be amended to reflect the following:
1. Ensure that the law protects the confidentiality of medical, pastoral and counseling relationships, including those that disclose homosexual practice in accordance with the relevant professional codes of ethics.

2. Language that strengthens the existing Penal Code to protect the boy child, especially from homosexual exploitation; to prohibit lesbianism, bestiality, and other sexual perversions; and to prohibit procurement of material and promotion of homosexuality as normal or as an alternative lifestyle, be adopted.

3. Ensure that homosexual practice or the promotion of homosexual relations is not adopted as a human right.

4. Existing and future Educational materials and programmes on gender identity and sex education are in compliance with the values and the laws of Uganda.

5. The involvement of additional stakeholders in the evaluation of the gaps in the existing legislation, including, but not limited to, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, its Department of Immigration and other relevant departments.

6. The undertaking of a comprehensive legislative and literature review of all the laws and literature related to the subject at hand in order to identify the actual gaps in the existing legislations.

Box Turtle Bulletin believes this means:

In fact, this recommendation amounts to a tacit opinion that the draconian bill, even in its breathtaking scope and breadth, doesn’t go far enough as far as the Anglican Church in Uganda is concerned. It also represents a rift between the Ugandan Church and the Anglican Communion’s head, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who quietly and meekly condemned the proposed legislation in December.
A number of Conservative Anglican churches in the U.S. have sought to align themselves with the Anglican Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, in an ongoing schism taking place here in America. Those American parishes are now fully aligned with an overseer who is on record as being perfectly fine with unleashing a genocidal wave against LGBT people in Uganda.

The Ugandan Daily Monitor says that the Church of Uganda opposes the bill.

The country’s Anglicans yesterday added their voice against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Like the Catholics before them, the Church of Uganda officially rejected the Bill.

They proposed that instead of the death penalty for gays who seduce boys - as the Bill put forward by Ndorwa West David Bahati demands – the law should be changed to ensure that vulnerable boys are properly protected.

Archbishop Luke Orombi, in his first public comments on the controversial Bill, however said they do not recognise homosexuality as “a human right”.

“The Church of Uganda believes that homosexual practice is incompatible with the Scripture,” the prelate said in a statement issued yesterday, citing a resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference in Britain.

He added: “At the same time, the Church of Uganda is committed at all levels to offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning.”

Agreeing with Christianity Today's reading of Orombi's statement, the conservative Christian Post says:

Williams' comments [in his General Synod address today] come after the head of the Anglican Church of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi, issued a statement affirming the Ugandan Church’s support for the African country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Williams, meanwhile, called the bill "repugnant."
From the other end of the spectrum, Stephen Bates agrees:
[The ABC's] warning to Anglicans not to demonise opponents was immediately undermined by a pugnacious statement by the archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, who, with immaculate timing, insisted on his church's support for homophobic ­legislation under consideration by the Ugandan parliament.
Let's not forget Philip Ashey, a former Episcopal Church priest who was accepted into the Church of Uganda in 2005, the role he is playing for ACNA in the General Synod debate or Orombi's attempt to use Ashey as his replacement last summer on the Anglican Consultative Council.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m.

USA Today reads the statement as saying "Kill or jail gays but not pastors":

At last, the Church of Uganda, the Anglican Communion branch there, has spoken up on the anti-homosexuality bill it has been studying for months. Their confusing statement, released today to Christianity Today, is long on bewildering rhetoric and very short on proposed amendments.

USA Today points out that Christianity Today says it received the statement from the Rt. Rev. David Zac Niringiye, assistant bishop of Kampala in the Church of Uganda:

He last spoke in that magazine when he was annoyed over U.S. churchmen such as Rick Warren criticizing the bill as unjust and unChristian.

In that CT interview with Niringiye he also said,
My view is that the death penalty is not a legitimate sentence for any offense, including murder and so on. But there is no Christian consensus on the legitimacy of the death penalty.

More background from The Nation here

Comments (4)

And the synod debate on ACNA is when?

A blogger who has followed the bill closely writes,

"Other than [point 1], they want to make it more clear that homosexuality is against the law. ... For opponents of the bill, this is not encouraging."

Was there any opposition expressed to the use of the death penalty or imprisonment? Yes #1 it seems would protect clergy and other professionals from having to turn people in, but what about the penalties for association, discussion etc.

Clearly their position is based in the ignorant assumption that glbt people are recruited, not born.

The attack here on seeing it as a human right, should also be noted.

Can we file a complaint under the Anglican Covenant now against the Ugandan Church?

Does the Daily Monitor have a different source, seems like all the others suggest they support the bill.

The Monitor appears to have the same statement. They parse it differently. The Monitor reads the statement as saying that an existing law should be amended rather than amending the bill. The word "legislation" is what is being tripped over in these varying accounts. Legislation technically means a law that is in force, but sometimes it's given mean as a bill that not yet passed into legislation, as in "legislation making its way through Congress."

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space