Reuters: Uganda government softens Kill Gays bill

Timothy Kincaid

December 23rd, 2009

Per Reuters:

Uganda will soften its proposed anti-gay legislation, but the government denied on Wednesday that it was bowing to an outcry in the West over a controversial bill that could have seen homosexuals put to death.

Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo told Reuters that the revised law would now probably limit the maximum penalty for offenders to life in prison rather than execution.

“There have been a lot of discussions in government … regarding the proposed law, but we now think a life sentence could be better because it gives room for offenders to be rehabilitated,” he said in an interview.

“Killing them might not be helpful.”

Ya think?

But let us not consider this a victory. The bill continues to be egregious and draconian. And it is still the moral obligation of decent people to oppose it.

Tom in Lazybrook

December 23rd, 2009

Any criminal penalties for being Gay is offensive. And we should make the Family, Senator Brownback, Rick Warren, and the others OWN this bill.

Remember, the argument should be..

“Senator Brownback can’t win an argument on Gay Rights, thats why he has no criticism and doesn’t support penalties for Uganda throwing all Gays in jail” or something along those lines.

The Uganda and Rwanda laws should also be brought up every time a Christian complains about persecution.

Seriously, many religious right groups in the USA supported (or at least support groups that did) the UN defeat of a resolution that said that Gay people should not be convicted of a crime simply because they are Gay. (Hint – I believe the “Family” vehicle fighting for criminalization of Gay behavior is called the World Council of Families or World Congress of Families). They supported the Syrian and Iranian position (as well as the Islamic Conference) on that one.

So the next time some religious right person tries to whine ‘persecution’ about some photographer in NM denying public accomodation or some church in NJ losing its tax breaks, I suggest we ask them about the UN votes and their support (if they are indeed linked – many of them are) of organizations that worked to defeat that UN resolution.

Lynn David

December 24th, 2009

Add the Catholic Church of Uganda to the mix against the Bahati Bill:

The Catholic Church in Uganda Against Homosexuality bill
Written by Dr. Cyrian Kizito Lwanga, Archibishop of Kampala
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
We, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, appreciate and applaud the Government’s effort to protect the traditional family and its values.
The Catholic Church is clear in its teaching on homosexuality. Church teaching remains that homosexual acts are immoral and are violations of divine and natural law. The Bible says that homosexuality is strictly forbidden (Lev. 18:22) “Do Not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable”, Further more the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “ Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, and under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357)
However, the Church equally teaches the Christian message of respect, compassion, and sensitivity. The Church has always asked its followers to hate the sin but to love the sinner. Considering the fact that all are called by God to fulfill his Will in their lives and to repent of their sins (Mk1:14-15) “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Homosexuals have the need of conversion and repentance. They also need support, understanding and love as all strive to be members of the Kingdom of God
The recent tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue. The targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope. The bible says in Luke 6:36-37 “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
Further more, the Proposal to prosecute those who fail to disclose information regarding homosexual acts puts at risk of the breach of confidentiality and professional ethics of persons such as Parents, Priests, Counselors, Teachers, Doctors and Leaders, at a time when they offer support and advise for rehabilitation of homosexuals. The proposed Bill does not contain clauses encouraging homosexuals to be rehabilitated. As a Catholic Church, we have a mission to reach out to all of the people of God as Christ showed no one is beyond God’s mercy and love, “In Mt 9:10-13, while Jesus was at table in his house, many tax Collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus… The Pharisees saw this and said to his Disciples, Why does your Teacher eat with Tax Collectors and sinners? He heard this and said, Those who are well do not need a Physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire Mercy not sacrifice, I did not come to call the Righteous, but sinners.”
The criminalizing of such reaching out is at odds with the core values of the Christian faith.
Additionally, in our view the proposed Bill is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned under section 145 of the penal code.

+Cyprian. K. Lwanga
23rd December 2009

Lynn David

December 24th, 2009

Radio Sapientia in the link above is the Roman Catholic FM radio station in Uganda.

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