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Ugandan president, bishops: Remove death penalty from anti-homosexuality legislation

Catholic World News - January 08, 2010

Echoing a recent statement by the nation’s bishops, President Yoweri Museveni has made clear his opposition to homosexuality activity but asked the legislature to remove a provision from a bill that would impose the death penalty in cases of homosexual rape and homosexual activity by a person with HIV.

“The president doesn't believe in killing gays. I also don't believe in it,” said the nation’s ethics minister. “I think gays can be counseled and they stop the bad habit.” The bishops of Uganda stated recently:

We, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda, appreciate and applaud the Government’s effort to protect the traditional family and its values.

The Catholic Church is clear in its teaching on homosexuality. Church teaching remains that homosexual acts are immoral and are violations of divine and natural law. The Bible says that homosexuality is strictly forbidden (Lev. 18:22) “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestable”, Further more the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “ Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural law, and under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2357)

However, the Church equally teaches the Christian message of respect, compassion, and sensitivity. The Church has always asked its followers to hate the sin but to love the sinner … Homosexuals have the need of conversion and repentance. They also need support, understanding and love as all strive to be members of the Kingdom of God. The recent tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill does not pass a test of a Christian caring approach to this issue. The targeting of the sinner, not the sin, is the core flaw of the proposed Bill. The introduction of the death penalty and imprisonment for homosexual acts targets people rather than seeking to counsel and to reach out in compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope …

The proposed Bill does not contain clauses encouraging homosexuals to be rehabilitated … Additionally, in our view the proposed Bill is not necessary considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned under section 145 of the penal code.

44% of Uganda’s 12.6 million residents are Catholic.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: The Sheepcat - Jan. 08, 2010 11:27 PM ET USA

    The CP story is inaccurate on several counts. It misquotes the gay leader in Uganda, according to Warren Throckmorton, a conservative Evangelical who is organizing opposition to the bill. http://wthrockmorton.com/2010/01/07/mugisha/ The story also is wrong to say the Catholic Church in Uganda supports the bill aside from the death penalty. The bill scapegoats gay-identified people in Uganda. One can firmly oppose the gay agenda while rejecting the bill as harsh and unnecessary.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 08, 2010 10:23 PM ET USA

    Several years ago I attended a symposium for Catholic schools on how to deal with the issue of homosexual acting-out by students. An African religion teacher--obviously not well adapted to the U.S. yet--said that in his country "we run them out of the village and burn down their house." Good to see the Ugandan bishops' response to such an inhumane bill. Of course, the U.S. legislators seem always to go too far in the other direction. . .

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 08, 2010 7:23 AM ET USA

    3 percent of Uganda's population has died from AIDS. Apply that to the United States and you would get 10 million cumulative deaths from AIDS. This is effectively a cry from the non-homosexual population to the homosexual population there to stop spreading AIDS. It originates as a response to a real threat and recent history. This is not a fantasy of homosexual haters as the media spins it.

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