Two leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are the latest to sign a Christian statement denouncing the Ugandan “Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009.”
The Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly (2008) and the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the GA, added their names to those of dozens of other leaders from Catholic, mainline and evangelical churches who also signed the statement.
The “Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009” is under consideration by the Parliament of Uganda. If passed, the act would make homosexual behavior punishable by life imprisonment or death. It would also punish citizens for not reporting their gay or lesbian neighbors to the authorities.
“Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children worthy of respect and love,” the statement reads. “Yet we are painfully aware that in our country gays and lesbians still face hostility and violence. We recognize that such treatment degrades the human family, threatens the common good and defies the teachings of our Lord — wherever it occurs.”
Others groups represented by signatures on the statement are Evangelicals for Social Action, Africa Faith and Justice Network, Catholic Theological Society of America, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, Pax Christi International, United Church of Christ and several theology professors and writers.
“As Americans, some may wonder why we are raising our voices to oppose a measure proposed in a nation so far away from home. We do so to bear witness to our Christian values, and to express our condemnation of an injustice in which groups and leaders within the American Christian community are being implicated,” the statement reads. “We appeal to all Christian leaders in our own country to speak out against this unjust legislation.”
The statement is meant to raise awareness about the bill in the United States and help spur Christian leaders here to speak out against it.
To read the statement and see the full list of signatories, click here.