Uganda’s strict new anti-gay law is “another step backward for the ever-growing LGBTQ community of Uganda and the whole of Africa,” according to the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.
Same-sex relations already were illegal in Uganda, but the new law signed by President Yoweri Museveni May 29 calls for life imprisonment for anyone convicted of homosexuality and mandates the death penalty for anyone convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” That includes the transmission of HIV through gay sex with children and disabled people.
“While the punishments outlined in this law were reduced from its original form, this act remains one of the world’s most damning against the LGBTQ community,” the AWAB statement said. “The objectively draconian punishments of this act combined with intentionally vague definitions are a further extension of the Ugandan government’s intentional actions to infringe on the basic human rights of everyone — not just the LGBTQ community.”
AWAB said it “stands with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Uganda and the whole of Africa as they fight against the increasing hostility that continues to infringe on their most very basic human rights. AWAB condemns this governmental action and calls upon President Museveni to repeal this vehemently hostile act against not only the LGBTQ+ community but also the whole of the people of Uganda. “
Further, AWAB called on member congregations to support Crossing Lines Africa. This organization teaches nonviolent methods of creating peace specifically in relation to sexual and ethnic minority groups in Uganda and other African countries. That organization also is affiliated with Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.
“The work [Crossing Lines] is doing in Uganda is the work that is directly targeted by the Anti-Homosexuality Act and is work these recent government actions have proven is required to keep the LGBTQ community in Uganda alive,” the AWAB statement said.
AWAB counts more than 140 member congregations and ministries in its fold. The group supports churches and ministries in being “welcoming and affirming of all people regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Focus on the Family affiliate is the unifying force behind campaign to restrict transgender rights | Analysis by Steve Rabey