Friday January 17 2014

Religious leaders appeal to President

Sheikh Ramathan Mubajje, Archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lwanga

Sheikh Ramathan Mubajje, Archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Archbishop of Anglican Church Stanley Ntagali during a press briefing in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY BETTY NDAGIRE 


KAMPALA-Religious leaders have asked President Museveni to quickly assent to the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, just like his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan did recently.

However, the leaders’ call came on the same day it was revealed that the President has written to the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, rejecting the proposed law and asking for it to be reconsidered by MPs.

After more than two years of on-and-off debate, Parliament last year passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, spelling out life sentences for anyone convicted of homosexuality.
Gays and lesbians were listed as homosexuals by the Bill. A proposal to put the punishment to 14 years in jail was rejected by the House.

“Once again, we thank Parliament for passing the Bill and urge His Excellency the President, just like his colleague in Nigeria, to assent to the Bill,” said the religious leaders in their joint message to the President yesterday.

In the statement read by Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga, the chairperson Council of Presidents, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, the religious leaders expressed shock at attempts by some Ugandans, including highly placed persons in government, to overturn the Bill.

“As religious leaders, we condemn any form of discrimination against any gay persons, but we consider homosexuality part of human weakness and sinfulness that must be dealt with at a personal level through repentance,” Metropolitan Lwanga said.

He said homosexuality is rooted in an interpretation of human freedom that glorifies the finite nature of human person within which such freedom is to be exercised.