People of Faith are Unified in Commitment to Non-Violence
We need your help to protect the lives and safety of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters in Uganda.
The Uganda Parliament is considering a bill that would impose more severe punishments for homosexual acts, which are already illegal there. The re-introduced bill would put LBGT individuals and their families at great risk. It has been called the "world's most harsh and comprehensively homophobic law."
The petition is directed to:
- Uganda Parliament Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga
- President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Uganda
- CC: Bishop Daniel Wandabula, East Africa Conference of The United Methodist Church
We are writing to respectfully request that the faithful nation of Uganda reject this dehumanizing bill that would deeply harm our lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LBGT) brothers and sisters by putting them at great risk of discrimination and abuse.
It is our understanding that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would impose more severe punishments for homosexual acts, which are already illegal there. The re-introduced bill would put LBGT individuals and their families at great risk. It has been called the "world's most harsh and comprehensively homophobic law."
The bill would impose severe new punishments. Among these are a seven-year prison sentence for consenting adults who have gay sex, life sentences for people in same-sex marriages and even jail for those who don’t report gays and lesbians in their midst. Lawmakers claim to have dropped the bill’s death penalty in cases of “aggravated homosexuality,” in which HIV is spread or gay adults have sex with minors.
We further understand that the bill would allow extradition of refugees who are LBGT back to Uganda for sentencing.
This sort of treatment of LBGT persons is a clear violation of their civil liberties and stands in direct opposition to Jesus Christ's call to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Within the United Methodist Church, we have had significant disagreements over issues of human sexuality, and we understand that different individuals and groups hold opposing and passionate beliefs on homosexuality. We as a church, however, have been unified in our commitment to non-violence and to the protection of LBGT individuals from discrimination and harm.
As our Book of Discipline clearly states, we believe that "all persons, regardless of … sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence." We further "support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation." (United Methodist Church, Book of Discipline, 2008)
The issue of human sexuality is one that requires conversation, not discrimination. As members of the United Methodist denomination and the church universal, we implore you to reject this legislation and any further endeavors to limit the basic human rights of LBGT persons and their families. Further, we encourage open dialogue and education as a non-violent alternative and means for moving forward.
Thank you for your time and consideration. May God grant you strength in faith and wisdom in your leadership.