The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, Archbishop of Church of Uganda, released the following statement in response to the President’s assent to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 on 29th May 2023.
“The Church of Uganda welcomes the diligent work of Parliament and His Excellency, the President, in crafting the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.
“We’re grateful the current Act affirms the merits of the existing provisions in the current penal code. We are also grateful that the Act builds on existing laws by offering greater protection of children through strong anti-grooming measures, strong restrictions on promotion, and protection of children by not allowing those convicted under the act to be employed in organizations that work directly with children. We also appreciate that the Act protects people from false allegations.
“As expressed in our responses to earlier versions of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill over the last fifteen years, the Church of Uganda supports life and, in principle, does not support the death penalty. As grievous as aggravated defilement and aggravated homosexuality are, we do not support the death penalty for those crimes, and continue to recommend life imprisonment instead.
“I also want to remind you of a few things I shared in my Easter message in April. Homosexuality is currently a challenge in Uganda because it is being forced on us by outside, foreign actors against our will, against our culture, and against our religious beliefs. They disguise themselves as “human rights activists,” but are corrupting real human rights by adding LGBTQ 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.
“LGBTQ relationships should not be promoted in school curricula, in cartoons, in so-called “human rights workshops,” or any other forum as normative. There is no moral equivalence between LGBTQ relationships (which cannot procreate) 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.
“Those countries that legalized homosexuality a long time ago have seen a long-time decline in their population growth. In fact, many of those countries are now faced with the problem of negative population growth. Negative population growth leads to the collapse of countries, cultures, civilizations, and economies.
“We are grateful the President has assented and signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. This ensures 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. We thank the President for not surrendering to their threats and for protecting Uganda from their paths of self-destruction.
“At the same time, we must recognize we also have major challenges in our families and communities with heterosexual immorality. Fornication, defilement, and adultery are also attacking our families, our souls, and our country. Many of the people loudly protesting against homosexuality are quietly fornicating or betraying their spouse through Gender-Based Violence, adultery, or defiling their own children.
“The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is good and we are grateful to the President for assenting to it. But, it will not solve all of our problems. We must also examine our own hearts and repent of sexual greed.
“Many people feel like they can’t control their sexual urges. It’s as if they are a slave to it and they must obey it with whoever is in front of them. Sexual temptation is a very strong force, which is why we preach Christ crucified and risen because He sets us free from being slaves to such temptations.
“For those who have been caught up in the lies of homosexuality, fornication, and adultery, God wants to set you free from the bondage of those lies. I call on our churches to develop pastoral healing ministries and recovery centres so the church will be a safe place to find healing, forgiveness, freedom, and hope from whatever sexual sin you have been enslaved to.”