Press release by SACRED on Uganda’s anti-LGBT law

 

PRESS RELEASE

The South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity condemns Uganda’s anti-LGBT law

It was with great sorrow that SACRED learned that by the passage of Uganda’s anti-LGBT law the already serious plight of Uganda’s LGBT community has been further endangered. It is a ‘hate law’ that conflicts utterly with the universal human rights guaranteed to every individual on Earth, in a non-discriminatory manner as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Research has proved beyond doubt that homosexuality is not a ‘choice’ but a biological fact. It cannot be changed. To persecute people because of the way they are born is wrong. It is no different from persecution based on ethnicity. As a Jewish religious organisation SACRED cannot stand by in silence as the enactment of a law that has had so many violent predecessors takes place. Our own history obliges us to act and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the individuals who will be affected by this law.

Apart from criminalising homosexual acts, the law criminalises the giving of any assistance to Uganda’s LGBT community, already one of Uganda’s most marginalised and in desperate need of help. There have also been credible reports of increasing police persecution, detainment, torture and blackmail of gay men. Since men who have sex with men are generally undetectable to society, the newly enacted law leaves everyone –regardless of sexual orientation – and their loved ones vulnerable to a veritable witch hunt. Such tactics typify the campaign that lead to the deaths of 6 million Jews, up to one million homosexuals and 220,000 Sinti and Roma in the 1940’s.

As a religious organisation SACRED is concerned by the role of those who claim to be engaging in religious work in the passing of this law. SACRED dissociates itself entirely from such actions and repeats that imposing humiliation and hardship on another can never be called a true religious act. SACRED completely rejects the notion that to be LGBT and religious is impossible. Indeed SACRED holds that not only is it possible, it is a religious obligation to reach out to LGBT people and embrace them as full members of all faith communities.

 

Enquiries may be directed to James Lomberg, Executive Director of SACRED, on 0791 366 343 or executivedirector@sacred.org.za