Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Uganda: Lord have mercy upon us

Uganda's new anti-gay law is all about hatred.

Jim White  |  25 Feb 2014

As many will be aware Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni yesterday (February 24) signed into law an anti-gay law.

It was done with a flourish in front of a battery of media cameras. The new law gathers lesbians into the ‘criminal category’ for the first time.

There seems little doubt that this shift in law is about hatred. It is designed to increase the persecution of people and destroy the love they feel for one another.

Making homosexuality illegal will make the vital HIV/AIDS education, and the honesty and openness about sexual behavior that work requires, extraordinarily difficult.

Policing and prosecuting the law will be corrosive to private life and loves and will demean those who do the policing.

Archbishop Tutu compared the law – which could see gay people facing lifetime prison sentences – to Nazism and Apartheid.

Our own Archbishops have (so far) been unable to come up with anything to say publically. They had press releases ready to go for a number of events recently like the death of Nelson Mandela. This event has been no less predictable.

 Of course, it would be hypocritical for them to say anything. Difficult for me to say anything, for that matter.

Our own church law is no different in its discrimination. Moreover, some nations in Polynesia, part of our Province, have similar laws – although without the same excessive punishment. From both angles we are could be accused of not setting our own house in order.

 It is time for us to recognize what we have become and with whom we are now aligned. Lord have mercy upon us.

Jim White is Assistant Bishop of Auckland.