Rob Buckingham's Blog

Uganda’s Anti-Gay Legislation

A few weeks later, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced. While homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, the bill introduced in October last year, is intended to put more teeth into prosecuting violators and features several provisions that human rights groups say would spur a witch hunt of homosexuals in the country. The bill states:
• Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced, at minimum, to life in prison.

• People who test positive for HIV may be executed. Who will go to HIV testing if he knows that he will suffer the death sentence?

• Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual sex more than once, may also receive the death penalty.

• The bill forbids the "promotion of homosexuality," which in effect bans organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention.

• Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it would risk up to three years in prison.This means pastors and leaders will, by law, have to dob in anyone who comes to them and talks about their homosexuality.

Law makers have indicated that they will pass the bill before the end of 2010. Pentecostal and other Christian leaders in Uganda are pushing and lobbying this bill through. It has the blessing of many religious leaders. A leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje, has called for gays to be rounded up and banished to an island until they die.

In the United States, a coalition of Christian leaders released a statement denouncing the bill:"Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God's children, worthy of respect and love.”

Rick Warren, who was originally linked to the support of the bill says, "I had nothing to do with, completely oppose and vigorously condemn” this legislation.

Joyce Meyer said, “It is increasingly evident that the proposed “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” introduced in the Ugandan parliament is a profoundly offensive, dangerous and disturbing attack on the very foundation of individual liberties and human rights afforded not only to the good citizens of Uganda, but on the at-large global community.  If enacted, this hostile legislation will also further, and adversely, serve as a major setback in the global health efforts to combat Uganda’s AIDS epidemic and reduce the record-high infection rates among the country’s HIV population, an already at-risk community that could be further ostracized, threatened, and targeted as potential criminals. As a global society, we do not have to agree, endorse or condone the lifestyle choices of others. However, history has taught us that we equally cannot and should not excuse those who would hide behind religion or misuse God’s word to justify bigotry and persecution.”

This legislation is the result of the teaching of “unchristian” Christians and clearly shows that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn very little from history. I’m thrilled that Joyce Meyer and Rick Warren have spoken out so clearly.  I’m very aware that my voice is in no way as loud as theirs, but that is no reason to remain silent. 

The Bible says, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”  This Bill flies in the face of the Royal Law and favors straight people over gay. This legislation breaks God’s Law and no Christian should support it.

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