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Save lives in Uganda

Lives of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters in Uganda are in jeopardy.

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."

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 it would allow extradition of refugees who are LBGT back to Uganda for sentencing.

Violation of civil liberties

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.

We believe that ‘all persons, regardless of … sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured.’

Within The United Methodist Church, we have had significant disagreements over issues of human sexuality. We have been unified in our commitment to non-violence, however, and to the protection of LBGT individuals from discrimination and harm.

As our United Methodist 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.”

Sign petitions

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which could be considered by the Uganda Parliament any day now, makes homosexuality punishable by imprisonment and endangers LGBT individuals and their loved ones.

Please take a moment to sign petitions we’ve prepared to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and Uganda Parliament Speaker Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga to urge them to drop this discriminatory legislation, and instead engage in open dialogue about human sexuality.

We are sending a copy of the petitions to United Methodist Bishop Daniel Wandabula of the East Africa Conference.

We need your help to protect the lives and safety of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters in Uganda. By opposing the Uganda anti-homosexuality law, you are taking a stand to protect the lives and safety of our brothers and sisters in Uganda.

Sign the petition: ““People of Faith are Unified in Commitment to Non-Violence .”

Editor's note: Amee Paparella is Director of Women’s Advocacy at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society.

Letter to the Editor