Ugandan bishop attacks European attitude towards gays

PinkNews Staff Writer June 10, 2008
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An Anglican bishop has urged the government of Uganda to keep homosexuality illegal.

Eria Paul Luzinda of the Mukono diocese said that “not all that comes from Europe is superior and must be taken up.”

“I have been hearing that gays are demanding that the government should legalise their activities,” Bishop Luzinda said, according to the Daily Monitor.

“This is absurd because God created a man and woman so that they can produce and fill this world.

“The government should not be tempted to legalise this backward culture which is bound to destroy this country.”

In 2007 Bishop Luzinda condemned the decriminalisation of adultery by the Ugandan Constitutional Court.

Last week three gay rights activists forced their way into an international conference about HIV/AIDS prevention in Uganda.

Their protest was sparked when the head of Uganda’s AIDS commission said that gay people are driving up the number of infections in the country, but would not be targeted with prevention work.

The international meeting was organised by an international group including the US, the World Bank, the UN.

More than a million of Uganda’s 27 million people are already HIV+.

The three protesters have been released from jail but are to face charges.

Uganda’s penal code carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for homosexual conduct, while ‘attempts’ at carnal knowledge get seven years of imprisonment.

A poll in August 2007 found that 95% of Ugandans want homosexual acts to remain illegal.

Government officials have regularly threatened and harassed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans.

In 2005 Uganda became the first country in the world to introduce laws banning same-sex marriage.

Last summer an organisation called Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a coalition of four LGBT organisations, launched a campaign called “Let us Live in Peace.”

At a press conference in Kampala the group condemned discrimination and violence against LGBT people, as well as the life-threatening silence about their sexualities in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes.

In response, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo told the BBC that homosexuality was “unnatural.”

He denied charges of police harassment of LGBT people, but also declared, “We know them, we have details of who they are.”

In response to the SMUG press conference the first anti-gay rally in the country’s history and was organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.

UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church of Uganda.

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