Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda – CoU, Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has urged President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to assent to the recently passed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023.
The Archbishop made the call in his Easter message delivered at the Church of Uganda Provincial Offices at Namirembe.
He appealed to the President to assent to the Bill into to become law and ensure that Uganda does not set a legal precedent that will be difficult to overcome in the future.
“The LGBTQ-affirming countries have shown us the negative consequences. To surrender to their threats is to set Uganda on a path of self-destruction. Please, Your Excellency, protect us,” said the Archbishop.
Steered by Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, the House last month passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023.
The Archbishop’s statement comes amidst calls from the international community for President Museveni not to assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and different protests against Uganda’s position.
Under the private member’s Bill, Parliament approved the death penalty for the offence of aggravated homosexuality. The offence of aggravated homosexuality is where a victim is a child below 14 or above a person 75 years, a person with a disability or suffers a disability as a result of the sexual act, a person with mental illness and others.
The offence also applies where the offender is a parent, guardian or relative of the victim, the victim contracts a terminal illness as a result of the sexual act, the offender is a serial wrongdoer, an offender is a person in authority over the victim, the offence was committed against a person by means of threats, force, fear of bodily harm, duress, undue influence and others.
Those convicted of attempted aggravated homosexuality will face 14 years once convicted, the offence of homosexuality will attract 20 years in prison, attempted homosexuality 10 years, recruiting, displaying and distribution of material for same-sex sexual acts 20 years, allowing the use of premises for homosexuality 10 years and other penalties.
Now in his Easter message, the Archbishop challenged Ugandans about sexual immorality in the country.
“I have phrased this challenge very deliberately as the “challenge of sexual immorality” – because it is not only homosexuality that is challenging us. But, heterosexual immorality is also challenging us. Fornication, defilement, rape and adultery are attacking our families, our souls, and our country,” he said in part.
He added that homosexuality is currently a challenge because it is being forced on the country by outside, foreign actors against Uganda’s will, culture, and religious beliefs.
“They disguise themselves as “human rights activists,” but are corrupting real human rights by adding LGBTQI+ to their agenda. There have always been a few people in our communities who were known as homosexuals and the communities knew how to relate with them. The fact that very few of our local languages even have a word for homosexuality shows how it is not a part of our cultures and our communities. This is one of the areas where our culture is aligned with the Bible, which never speaks positively about homosexual relationships,” said Archbishop Kaziimba.
He commended Parliament for upholding the position of homosexuality being illegal, saying that LGBTQ relationships should not be promoted in school curricula, in cartoons, and in the so-called “human rights workshops,” or any other forum as normative.
“There is no moral equivalence between LGBTQ relationships and lifelong, heterosexual, monogamous marriage. The Bible teaches, and scientific studies have shown, that children flourish when they are raised by both their mother and father, and with the presence, involvement, and support of their extended family. This is the African way; this is the Biblical way; and this is the way shown to us through natural law,” he added.
Parliament’s approval of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 is the second attempt by Uganda to have stand-alone legislation against homosexuality.
In December 2013, Parliament passed the first Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was tabled by Ndorwa East MP, David Bahati and assented to by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on February 24th February 2014. However, the Constitutional Court annulled the law on August 1st, 2014, on grounds that it had been passed without the requisite quorum.