Prominent US Christians Renew Concerns over Criminalization of LGBTI People & Groups in Uganda
(Washington – December 7, 2012) The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights (RFK Center) has released a statement from a diverse group of top Christian leaders in the United States expressing their renewed concern over Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Today’s release builds upon and reiterates the principles of two previous statements organized by the RFK Center that collectively represent the voices of over 60 leading African-American, Catholic and Evangelical voices.
"If enacted into law, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would violate a litany of Uganda's international human rights obligations," said Santiago A. Canton, Director of the Partners for Human Rights program at the RFK Center. "It has been clear from the beginning that faith leaders in Uganda and the West have been a constant source of misinformation and a driving force behind this grave threat to the human rights of LGBTI Ugandans. We will need continued engagement and support from the faith community in order to protect the rights of all Ugandans, and in particular Uganda's LGBTI community."
Originally introduced in 2009, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill never came to a vote in Uganda’s 8th Parliament. In a highly irregular procedure, the Bill was brought back in the 9th Parliament where, despite repeated requests from civil society, Ugandan parliamentarians have refused to hold public hearings on the matter. Now Ugandan leaders have threatened to pass the Bill as a "Christmas gift." However, the prominent Christian leaders of the statement conclude: "As the Christmas season approaches, we hope Christians everywhere will join together to reject the idea that a Bill targeting a vulnerable minority could ever be an appropriate celebration of the birth of Christ."
In the coming days, the RFK Center will be working with partners around the world to disseminate the concerns of prominent faith voices to Uganda in order to combat the widespread support and misinformation from Uganda's influential faith community regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is currently moving forward in parliament.
Cate Urban, Communications
RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights
Click here for a copy of the most recent statement organized by the RFK Center and released in conjunction with Human Rights First.
Click here for a copy of the July 2012 statement by leading Evangelical and Catholic leaders organized by the RFK Center in conjunction with Faith and Public Life and Human Rights First.
Click here for a copy of the July 2012 statement by leading African-American Christian leaders organized by the RFK Center in conjunction with the Global Justice Institute.
Click here for a copy of the June 2012 statement by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Prize Laureates organized by the RFK Center.