HRC Calls on American faith leaders to do their part in stopping human rights abuse
WASHINGTON – Upon news the Ugandan Parliament is poised to consider a bill as soon as today that proposes jail terms for gay individuals, including a life sentence in some circumstances, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, calls on American faith leaders to reach out to their influential friends and colleagues in Uganda to urge them to condemn the bill and work to halt consideration. The bill, originally proposed in 2009, has been delayed numerous times. Experts believe the Ugandan Parliament is now positioned to vote on and pass the anti-LGBT bill. The bill also prohibits promoting LGBT rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who funds or sponsors gay rights. It is reported that a clause in the original bill calling for the death penalty will be dropped.
"American faith leaders know that calling for the death penalty - or even calling for imprisonment of - an entire community is not in line with Christian values," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "American Christian faith leaders with ties to Uganda, like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, must reach out to their influential Ugandan friends to ensure that the human rights of Ugandans are not put up to a vote.”
American Christian faith leaders have been active in Uganda for decades and have significant ties to Ugandan political leaders and faith leaders. Such influential American faith leaders, including Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and voices from the Trinity Broadcasting Network, have a moral obligation to urge their Ugandan friends and allies to condemn the bill. Many of these American faith leaders have shown a commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDs epidemic in Uganda and know passage of this bill would curtail these efforts. Public statements and private conversations by these American faith leaders, if they are done immediately, could save the lives of thousands of Ugandans.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.