The Washington Post carries an op-ed piece about the plight of LGBT people in Uganda from a pair of unusual advocates: a former ambassador who was also president of a Catholic college, and an evangelical leader.
Thomas Patrick Melady is senior diplomat in residence, The Institute of World Politics, a former U.S. Ambassador to Burundi, Uganda and the Holy See and President Emeritus of Sacred Heart University.
The Rev. Richard Cizik is president, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.
A 2009 bill introduced in the Ugandan parliament would have enforced lifetime prison sentences and in some cases the death penalty for homosexual acts, as well as punish citizens for not reporting their gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities. The radical proposal stalled after an international outcry, but this inhumane legislation has been reintroduced. Some efforts have recently been made to strip the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of its most extreme provisions, but any effort to persecute people for their sexual orientation or gender identity offends intrinsic human dignity and violates Jesus’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.
While there are different theological views about the morality of homosexuality and divided opinions on same-sex marriage, the criminalization of homosexuality is incompatible with the teachings of our faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that “every sign of unjust discrimination” against gays should be avoided. Evangelicals read in Genesis that the breath of the divine gives life to human beings. We are all made in God’s image. The entire Judeo-Christian worldview is built on this unshakable foundation. Any actions that defile the sacred architecture of human dignity must be opposed.