Friday 27 November 2009

The deafening silence over Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill continues

The reluctance of senior Anglican leaders to make a statement about the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill has yet to change. Having spoken with a member of staff at Lambeth Palace I am aware of their reasoning, even though I think it is wrong.

It is wrong for many reasons, but not least because the Church of Uganda is breaking with the position adopted by the Anglican Communion, a position which has been used repeatedly by the conservative coalition to deny western Provinces the right to grant a full and equal place in the church to LGBT people. This is undermining the effectiveness of mission and ministry of the churches in North America and the UK as well as affecting the lives of LGBT Anglicans everywhere in personal and very painful ways.

In an email to me, gug, the gay Ugandan, says no one in Uganda has any doubts that the Church is supporting the bill, though at the moment it does not serve their purpose to reveal this to the international community. The 'no official position' stance was taken up for international consumption but the Church has sent representation to parliament to support the bill and they have issued press statements in Uganda supporting the bill.

And of course, there have been statements from people like the Bishop of Karamoja which we revealed on Wednesday. As significant, in Church of Uganda congregations sermons on homosexuality are frequently preached and are whipping up homophobia and support for the bill.

Andrew Brown comments on the silence in today’s Comment is Free for the Guardian

He says the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester both solemnly denounced violence in the Congo, where they have no influence at all, but on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill maintain a resolute post-colonial silence.

Andrew speculates that the English Archbishops feel their position is already clear, having signed the Dromantine Communiqué of 2004, along with Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda and all Anglican primates.

Andrew says the official language of Dromantine: “We continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship,” is clearly incompatible with the language and intention of the Ugandan bill. The bill takes the perfectly genuine prejudices of the ignorant, inflames them, and enshrines them in law. The gay-hunting frenzy which is central to the relationship between American right-wingers and some African evangelicals is reaching the point of organised legal killing.

The Anglican Church of Uganda is no longer really a part of the same Communion as the Church of England or the Episcopal Church of the USA, not because we are more inclusive of LGBT people but because we have complied, at deep personal cost, with the requirements of Anglican policy in Lambeth 1.10, Windsor and Dromantine and Provinces such as Uganda and Nigeria have not.

Far from preventing the victimisation or diminishment of lesbian and gay people and providing pastoral care and comfort they are supporting repressive legislation and exacerbating an already intolerable level of prejudice and homophobia.

The failure of Anglican leaders to defend their own teaching, let alone the spiritual and physical safety of her LGBT members is an outrage.


  1. He says the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester both solemnly denounced violence in the Congo, where they have no influence at all, but on the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill maintain a resolute post-colonial silence.

    I think this double standard is so telling, Colin. Their silence has nothing to do with believing it is none of their business and everything to do with cowardice and expediency. They wash their hands and they walk by on the other side, eyes averted.

  2. The Archbishop of Canterbury and York are showing their true colors...Canterbury has ¨gone over¨ the demonizing of LGBT Anglicanside and York has a ¨faith healer¨ Ugandan REAL LIVE brother who runs his own successful religious Circus in Kampala (also the brother was recently accused of Gay sexual mischiefmaking). These guys are kidding anyone...religious leaders they are not.

  3. Leonardo - you are wrong. They ARE religious leaders, very much in the mold of religious leaders who, for 2000 years, have participated either passively or openly and aggressively in the extermination of human beings who did not obey their supposedly divine-mandated dictates! They are nothing more than clever psychopaths hellbent on power, control and oppression. They are NOT the saints and martyrs who have stood firm in the celebration of diversity and love, which alone was the teaching of Jesus Christ.

  4. Leonardo, eloquently articulated! It was the chief priests and elders who arranged the death of Jesus. They despised his teaching - just as the Ugandan clergy who support this bill despise his teaching. The whole of the Mosaic Law can be summed up in one word, LOVE. These hypocrites don't know love, much less teach it. Am I surprised? Not at all. Am I outraged at their arrogant ignorance? You bet. They should read and meditate on the Judgement (Matthew 25:41-44): 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' "These will go away into eternal punishment"

  5. Sorry Leonardo - I didn't read properly. I should have written: "Anonymous, eloquently articulated!"