Anti-gay anger is neither Christian nor African

Rev Gideon B. Byamugisha

What you need to know:

  • Just like people living with HIV/Aids, suspected homosexuals suffer needless pain of exclusion because of our selfishness.

Our grave challenges from some selfish homosexual practice recruiters and promoters notwithstanding, I am spiritually troubled by the excessive levels of virulent hate and anger that accompany social media discussions and parliamentary debates around Ugandans who do not (and may not) sexually orient nor socially identify as heterosexuals.  

I find the moral language used, the emotions generated, and the levels of psychic aggression and spiritual violence generated around this community unreligious and uncultured too. There are big societal dangers that come with encouraging the politics of sexual identity to override our personal and collective spirit of love and grace.

It is not correct to continue glossing over our own spiritual shortcomings, our moral gaps, and our pastoral care failings towards those we unfairly stigmatise and self-righteously ridicule year after year without a deep reflection on how our own individual and collective actions or inactions could have contributed to their unique ‘being’ and ‘experience’.

Just like many people, countries are suffering because their dominant theological views, ethical paradigms, and spiritual values have become so self-centered and non-apologetically selfish. Many others are suffering because theirs have become equally loveless and non-repentantly self-righteous.

Just like people living with HIV/Aids, suspected homosexuals suffer needless pain of exclusion because of our selfishness and self-righteousness.

Instead of selfishly blaming, shaming, and harassing these people, we should extend to them our repentant hand of love and heart of care. We should pray for (and with) them empathically.

To end some of these inequalities, parents, guardians, and spiritual and cultural mentors should showcase principled morality of love and grace, demonstrable spirituality of compassion and solidarity, and advocate for politics of equity and justice, forgiveness and reconciliation. We should aim for harmonious living and unity of purpose in diversity as pillars that should shape our character and beliefs.

I pray that in the future, our Members of Parliament should not table and debate laws against minority Ugandans with such deep and toxic levels of personal anger, social prejudice, civic disgust, and spiritual hate.  Whenever laws are passed in this manner, then such laws cannot be fair and just to the minority communities in question.

Just like in other cases in our public service rules our legislators should declare their spiritual and moral conflicts of interest before they participate in the passing of such laws.

These sexual identity wars and the resulting socio-cultural rifts, emotional disgusts and verbal outbursts, and possible violence do not only jeopardise the targeted communities but also the future of our families and communities, country and continent at large.   When people or certain communities divert most of their energies from innovation and production to spying on, lying about, hunting, and destroying each other; what happens to the country’s targets of creating jobs and bettering incomes?

The writer is the HIV-positive & Most-At Risk People of Faith representative on the National Equity Plan Committee, and chairperson of Community Led Monitoring.