Further Evils of Uganda's "Anti-Homosexuality Law"

For Immediate Release, Thursday, April 8, 2010

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

Affirmation has already commented about the proposed law in Uganda known as
the "Anti-Homosexuality Law" or Bill Number 18. As initially proposed, this
law would punish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in
Uganda with lifetime jail sentences and or death. Even a friend, family
member, or clergy person who knows a queer person and does not report them,
could receive lengthy jail time.

However, it is important to realize that this proposed law does not stand
alone. It comes out of homophobic conversations and ideas. Several media
sources have noted that only a few months prior to the introduction of
Uganda Bill Number 18, some American Christian evangelists visited Uganda to
spread more of their hatred and homophobic teachings. And while several
United Methodist leaders have openly spoken against this law, our own Book
of Discipline offers support to it. As long our doctrine includes the
phrase, "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian
teaching," we as a denomination are offering support and philosophical
underpinnings to such laws.

In addition, legislators in other countries are noticing Uganda's proposed
law. They are watching to see how the debates go and what the final outcome
is. Many are considering developing their own very draconian laws in their
countries. Included in this number are legislators from the United States.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and
Queer Concerns continues to call for the removal of this very hateful and
inaccurate language. While we fully support open discussion and the
expression of a wide range of opinions, we also hope that United Methodists
will express themselves in a very caring and loving attitude. Our
denomination must find ways to disagree and yet still be in a relationship
of love with one another. Our denominational leaders may all speak against
the anti-homosexual laws like that currently before the Parliament in
Uganda. General Conference may even pass resolutions decrying persecution
and hatred of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Inter-sex, Queer persons,
and those Allies who know them. But as long as our Discipline contains this
phrase, "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian
teaching," The United Methodist Church is effectively supportive of such


As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming
gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church
as we journey with the Spirit in creating God's beloved community.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization
with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

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