May 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, chaplain of Integrity Uganda, launches a speaking tour in the USA to denounce worldwide homophobia and Uganda's "anti-homosexuality bill” which could lead to Senyonjo's arrest for his support of the LGBT community. Senyonjo, one of the few Ugandan Anglican bishops or priests who strongly condemns the bill, calls it a gross violation of human rights. He is a married, grandfather of 11, and will visit California, Minneapolis, New York and Washington, D.C.
Bishop Christopher has paid a high price for his consistent advocacy for LGBT persons. In 2006, he was stripped of all church responsibilities and financial support and he is no longer recognized as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Uganda. Instead of bowing to church intimidation, his courageous response has been to speak out even more strongly for the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as the tide of persecution in Uganda is rising.
Uganda already allows imprisonment of gay people, but the proposed law would propose more harsh sentencing including the death penalty, life imprisonment, extradition and required reporting by friends and family. This new law was proposed after a series American anti-gay Evangelicals and writers visited Uganda.
Many of these anti-gay advocates call gay rights “evil” and make outrageous claims, i.e. blaming the gay community for the Nazi holocaust. Despite direct appeals and protests by pro-LGBT faith leaders across the country and recently in Kansas City and Washington, D.C., anti-gay advocates from the US will travel to Uganda to hold more rallies in support of the draconian law.
"Bishop Christopher is the Desmond Tutu of Uganda," said The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, Integrity USA's VP of International Affairs, "and we support his witness and his speaking truth to power at a time when few will oppose what amounts to state-legislated genocide.”
Integrity USA, a 35 year old LGBT advocacy group within the Episcopal Church is the sponsor of Bishop Christopher visit. Integrity Uganda could soon be outlawed if the proposed law is passed.
CITIES ON THE TOUR : Overall tour coordination: Rev, Canon Albert J. Ogle Vice President for National and International Affairs, Integrity USA firstname.lastname@example.org 949 338 8830
Los Angeles May 10-16 Louise Brooks email@example.com
Sacramento May 17-18 Rev. Brian Baker firstname.lastname@example.org 916 446 2515
San Diego May 19-21 Rev. Canon Albert Ogle email@example.com 949 338 883
Orange County May 15-16, 21 Rev. Canon Albert Ogle firstname.lastname@example.org 949 338 8830
San Francisco May 22-26 Rev. John Kirkley email@example.com 415 861 1436
Andrea Shorter firstname.lastname@example.org 415 581 0005
Minneapolis May 27- 31 Rev. Mark Thompson email@example.com;
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Black firstname.lastname@example.org.
New York June 6-8, 13-17 Rev. Patti Ackermann email@example.com 917 488 9929
Washington, DC TBA
Bishop Christopher’s tour is made possible by the generous donations of members of Integrity USA, the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, Los Angeles and New York; the Domestic Workers Union of America, Equality California, Linda and Rick Miles, Changing Attitude Ireland, Human Rights Campaign and the support of many local organizations and individuals. Donations to the work of Integrity Uganda can be made online to http://www.iintegrityusa.org/ and directed to The Hopkins Fund.