The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd
Henry Luke Orombi.
The Church of Uganda has rejected the country’s horror anti-gay bill because it would limit the Church’s ability to provide “love and care for all God’s people caught up in any sin”, but continues to believe that homosexuality should not be seen as a “human right”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Church said that the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill introduced into parliament should be scrapped in favour of adapting existing laws to counter “growing propaganda influencing younger people to accept homosexuality as a legitimate way of expressing human sexuality”.
It added that it appreciated the bill’s intention of “protecting the family” but urged that the Penal Code, through which homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, be instead amended to ban the dissemination of “homosexual” literature and to also criminalise lesbianism and bestiality, which are not currently addressed in the law.
The Church furthermore affirmed that in its opinion, “homosexual practice has no place in God’s design of creation, the continuation of the human race through procreation, or His plan of redemption”.
The Church of Uganda’s statement is its first official comment on the anti-gay legislation and goes against the stance taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who is the head of the global Anglican Communion. In December last year Williams said that the bill was of “of shocking severity” and rejected it outright.
The proposed anti-gay legislation would impose the death penalty on those accused of “aggravated” homosexuality. It would also maintain the current life sentence for gay sex as well as making it illegal to lobby for LGBT equality, provide any support for LGBT people or even write about LGBT rights. People will face jail time if they do not turn in gays and lesbians to the authorities.