World News

Anglican archbishop ‘grateful’ for anti-homosexuality law

The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, the Anglican Primate of the Church of Uganda, has welcomed his country’s new law which allows for the death penalty for homosexual acts.

The world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ bill was signed into law by Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni. The law has sparked widespread international outrage, with US President Joe Biden describing it as “shameful” and a “tragic violation of universal human rights”.

But Archbishop Kaziimba welcomed the new law.

“We are grateful the President has assented and signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023,” he said in a statement. “This ensures that Uganda does not set a legal precedent that will be difficult to overcome in the future.”

He said that homosexuality was being “forced on us by outside, foreign actors against our will, against our culture, and against our religious beliefs”.

Archbishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, Primate of the Church of Uganda. Credit: The Church of Uganda

“We thank the President for not surrendering to their threats and for protecting Uganda from their paths of self-destruction,” the archbishop said.

He expressed reservations about the provision of the death penalty, however.

“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,” he said.

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, described the bill, before it was made law, as “shocking and discriminatory”.

“The passing of this discriminatory bill – probably among the worst of its kind in the world – is a deeply troubling development,” said the High Commissioner .

“If signed into law by the President, it will render lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Uganda criminals simply for existing, for being who they are. It could provide carte blanche for the systematic violation of nearly all of their human rights and serve to incite people against each other.”

It was passed by all but two of 389 MPs on 21 March.

In April, Archbishop Kaziimba signed GAFCON’s Kigali statement rejecting the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“We have no confidence that the Archbishop of Canterbury nor the other Instruments of Communion led by him (the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meetings) are able to provide a godly way forward that will be acceptable to those who are committed to the truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency and authority of scripture,” the statement read.