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More Primates issue statements on LGBT community treatment

Posted on: January 31, 2014 2:01 PM
In some cases, the legislation had threatened life imprisonment for homosexual acts and also made it a crime not to report gay people.

By ACNS staff

The Primates of the Church of Uganda and The Episcopal Church yesterday issued statements on anti-gay legislation and the treatment of members of the LGBT community.

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and Bp Katharine Jefferts Schori both issued the statement in response to increasing public concern about legislation in parts of Africa that, in some cases, threatened life imprisonment for homosexual acts and also made it a crime not to report gay people.

Uganda's Primate began his statement, "The Church of Uganda is encouraged by the work of Uganda’s Parliament in amending the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to remove the death penalty, to reduce sentencing guidelines through a principle of proportionality, and to remove the clause on reporting homosexual behaviour, as we had recommended in our 2010 position statement on the Bill.

"This frees our clergy and church leaders to fulfill the 2008 resolution of our House of Bishops to “offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

He then went on to express concern about the position of other Anglican Communion Member Churches on the issue of human sexuality. Read his full statement at http://bit.ly/1hXf6Om

Primate of The Episcopal Church, Bp Jefferts Schori wrote that the Church has made it clear that every member of the LGBT community is due the same rights and respect as "any other member of the human family."

"Our advocacy for oppressed minorities has been vocal and sustained," she wrote. "The current attempts to criminalise LGBT persons and their supporters are the latest in a series, each stage of which has been condemned by this Church, as well as many other religious communities and nations.

"Our advocacy work continues to build support for the full human rights and dignity of all persons, irrespective of gender, race, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability or inability. To do less is effectively to repudiate our membership in the human community. No one of God’s children is worth less or more than another; none is to be discriminated against because of the way in which she or he has been created."

Read her full statement at http://bit.ly/1eCVr2G

On Wednesday the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a statement recalling previous commitments to the pastoral support and care of everyone worldwide, regardless of sexual orientation. Read the ACNS article on that statement here http://bit.ly/1fhuKCf