(ACC News) The Anglican Church of Canada’s House of Bishops has issued this statement regarding the proposed Private Member’s Bill in Uganda called “The Anti-Homosexuality Bill”:
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, along with the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, express our dismay and concern over the draft proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before the Parliament of Uganda.
The proposed Bill would severely restrict the human rights of Ugandan citizens both at home and abroad by infringing freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, freedom of organization, and legitimate advocacy of civil rights. It would impose excessive and cruel penalties on persons who experience same-sex attraction as well as those who counsel, support, and advise them, including family members and clergy.
We, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, affirm that our baptismal covenant requires us to “respect the dignity of every human being” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves.” We further note that 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1:10 called upon all bishops to reject the irrational fear of homosexual persons and to create opportunities to listen to the voice and experience of homosexual Christians. We recall that the Primates Meeting in Dromantine, Ireland 2005 condemned all persecution and violence towards homosexual persons. Clearly, the proposed Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill fails to meet these standards.
We therefore call upon our colleagues in the House of Bishops of the Province of Uganda to oppose this Private Member’s Bill. Together with our colleagues in the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, we call upon our own Government of Canada, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to convey to the Government of Uganda a deep sense of alarm about this fundamental violation of human rights and, through diplomatic channels, to press for its withdrawal.