Integrity is shocked and saddened by the news that President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has signed into law the draconian anti-homosexuality law that introduces long prison sentences for gays and lesbians and makes it a crime to fail to report someone you believe to be gay. This will increase anti-gay hatred and set in place a renewed witch-hunt in which many people will be hurt.
We call upon the Church of Uganda to take seriously its commitment to Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in which Anglican Communion bishops committed themselves "to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and… to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ." Such a commitment in a time like this will surely include providing places of sanctuary for those whose lives are threatened.
Our hearts go out to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers who this morning are living in fear of betrayal by friends, family and neighbors and of long-term imprisonment.
It is unfortunate that Uganda should choose this way, according to a government spokesperson, "to demonstrate Uganda’s independence in the face of Western pressure and provocation." Uganda’s symbolic independence is being won on the backs of one class of citizens and this will provoke fear and confusion among the very people Museveni is elected to serve.
Integrity hopes that President Obama will follow up on his comment that this could complicate US relations with Uganda and will seriously consider the reduction of US aid until Uganda can show a better record of human rights.