Friday, December 4, 2009

Other Sheep Uganda Press release condemning the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda

Time and again, religion and the bible have been used to discriminate against and torture minorities in different societies over time. Cases in point are women in the church, blacks during the times of slavery, even colonization had a religious face, etc which activities have led to loss of livelihoods and even life for many innocent people.
The same can be said about the current anti-homosexuality bill 2009 which was tabled in the parliament of Uganda on October 14, 2009 by Hon. Bahati.
This bill derives its life from none other than the religious fundamentalists sponsored by their American partners and though the proponents of this bill claim that homosexuality is a western practice, events overtime have shown that it is actually homophobia and hate campaigns that are being adopted from the west.
This is an extension of the proxy wars by religious powers from the developed world who after their discriminatory massages have been shunned where they were founded, are now trying to get a new lease of life by exporting their hate doctrines to Africa. Sexual minorities in Africa have now become collateral damage in the cultural/religious wars of the developed world.
In March 2009, a three day anti-homosexuality seminar was carried out in Kampala to launch an anti-gay hate campaign whose purpose was to build up momentum for this bill. The seminar had three American evangelical speakers who preach the ex-gay massage.
From a religious point of view, let us look at how this bill contravenes the teachings of the bible;
 While its proponents claim to be fighting for the family, the bill breaks rather than build the family. It makes family members ‘spies’ of each other rather than “keepers” of one another. It turns parents into prosecutors of their children and siblings into accusers of one another. Something the bible does not instruct us to do.
 Showing brotherly affection is particularly made difficult by this bill just in case it is interpreted as intent to commit homosexuality.
 And while the Bible teaches compassion, understanding, and love within the Christian Faith, this bill calls for victimization, isolation and deaths to homosexuals.
 It totally undermines the pivotal role of grace in the Christian Faith. “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us…” The work of salvation was done for us before we were aware of it or even accepted it. God’s gift of love was not dependent on our identities or sexuality or even willingness to acknowledge the gift. It was just given. The Church has the duty to exemplify this understanding and demonstration of love.

Even if you think that homosexuality is a sin, the Bible has clear prescriptions for sinners and judgment is not for man but for God, we cannot let politicians legislate on each and every sin. we call upon you to oppose this bill.
And aside from the religious angle, let us consider the faith in which this bill was tabled by looking at what it calls for;
 Any person alleged to be homosexual would be at risk of life imprisonment or in circumstances of “aggravated homosexuality” the death penalty;
 Any parent who does not denounce their lesbian daughter or gay son to the authorities would face fines of $ 2,650.00 or three years in prison;
 Any teacher who does not report a lesbian or gay pupil to the authorities within 24 hours would face the same penalties;
 And any landlord or landlady who happens to give housing to a suspected homosexual would risk 7 years of imprisonment.
 Similarly, the Bill threatens to punish or ruin the reputation of anyone who works with the gay or lesbian population, such as medical doctors working on HIV/AIDS, civil society leaders active in the fields of sexual and reproductive health, hence further undermining public health efforts to combat the spread of HIV.

Remembering the hard fought for freedoms that have enabled us today to freely practice our religious beliefs, this bill calls on the state of Uganda to renounce the most cherished international treaties hence leaving Ugandans with no defense as far as human rights are concerned, it calls for Uganda to withdraw from the following international declarations;
 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
 The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its protocols;
 The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
 The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women;
 The Convention on the Rights of the Child, and
 The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Other Sheep Uganda condemns this bill because it does not uphold religious principles, Human Rights and is presented in Bad Faith. This bill if passed will not only prove difficult to implement but will be a duplication of already existing discriminatory laws in the statute books of Uganda.

We call upon you to add your voice to the opposition of this bill.

Other Sheep- Multicultural Ministries with sexual Minorities is the only worldwide ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to empowering sexual minorities throughout the world with the Good news of God’s unconditional love for all and salvation through God’s Son, Jesus Christ

For more information contact
Wamala Dennis

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