Uganda May Cut Ties With Church of England Over Gay Rights
Shortly after Uganda passed the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014 (formerly known as the "Kill the Gays Bill"), the country has announced that they may break away from the Church of England over that body’s stance on gay rights.
In a recent article in Gay Star News, Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has said the head of the Anglican Church had become "spiritually blind’" on homosexuality.
Addressing Christians at St. Andrew’s Church in Bukoto, Ntagali said he had received a letter from Ugandan-born Archbishop of York John Sentamu. The letter, co-signed by Archbishop of Canterbury, said the Church of England was "concerned" about the African country’s homophobia.
"I told him it does not matter even if we do not work with them because the Church of England is a product of repentance and the USA is founded on Christian values but they seem to have become spiritually blind," Ntagali said in response.
The Ugandan archbishop accused the Americans and the British of trying to play double standards by "preaching homosexuality" but sending missionaries to spread the "word of God."
"Many people have spiritual blindness but let us not mix issues," said. Ntagali. "One hundred thirty six years ago, the Church of England sent graduates from Oxford University to Africa to evangelize. America is a super power built on Christian principles... but in all this money is involved."
Ntagali told Monday Times that the law was necessary, and insists that as per the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference of 1998, homosexual practice is incompatible with the Scripture, and the conference cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.
The Church of England does ordain gay clergy as long as they are celibate. The Ugandan Church, along with others in Africa, has already broken its ties with Anglicans in North America over the blessing of same-sex unions.
In a surprisingly bold move, Scotland has officially declared it will offer asylum to "any Ugandan" persecuted by the new law.
In a letter to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, Scottish parliament member and minister for external affairs Humza Yousaf urged him to "offer asylum to any Ugandans who feel threatened or persecuted by the legislation." He added, "Scotland will play her part in providing asylum for those seeking refuge from this draconian legislation."
The letter came as Scotland prepares for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this summer, where prominent members of the Ugandan government will arrive in the city. Yousaf said that Scotland would work hard to be a safe and welcoming place for all.
"No one from any part of the Commonwealth who visits Scotland will be under any doubt about our values as a welcoming, open and tolerant society," Yousaf wrote in his letter. He later said, "Ugandan legislation flies in the face of Scotland’s values as a welcoming, open and tolerant society, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."
Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.