Alan Chambers, “former” homosexual
and President of Exodus International

An US ex-gay group accused of fuelling anti-gay hysteria in Uganda has said that it does not support a bill that aims to further criminalise homosexuality in that country.

Exodus International, an American Christian group which believes that gays and lesbians can be cured of their homosexuality, made the statement in a letter it claims to have sent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

“We want to humbly share our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced before the Ugandan parliament on October 14, 2009. First, we believe that sexual crimes against children, homosexual or heterosexual, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished accordingly. Homosexual behavior in consensual relationships, however, is another matter”, said the organisation in the letter.

“While we do not believe that homosexual behavior is what God intended for individuals, we believe that deprivation of life and liberty is not an appropriate or helpful response to this issue. Furthermore, the Christian church must be a safe, compassionate place for gay-identified people as well as those who are confused about and conflicted by their sexuality. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalised and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue.”

The letter was co-signed by the group’s President Alan Chambers. Exodus has been slammed for taking part in an anti-gay conference in Uganda in March. The conference is credited with initiating the drafting of the anti-gay bill which is now before Uganda’s parliament.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, if made law, would retain the current life sentence for homosexuality, would impose the death penalty for those who have gay sex with disabled, HIV positive or under age people and would ban any expression of support for gays and lesbians.

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