Monday, January 11, 2010

ELCA Expresses Grave Concerns about Ugandan Legislation

The ELCA has expressed its grave concerns about the pending legislation in Uganda that would impose extraordinarily draconian punishments in an effort clearly intended to eliminate, imprison or remove all LGBT persons from Uganda simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. (See earlier LC/NA blog post for more background.)

These concerns were addressed in a letter from Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the letter, Hanson said that "enactment of this kind of legislation would be an abhorrent injustice and outside the norms and standards of internationally recognized human rights." He further cited that the proposed legislation ran counter to the stance of the ELCA established in its social statements on the death penalty, peace, and human sexuality.

Bishop Hanson thanked the Secretary of State for the strong stance the United States government has taken on this issue. He further said that the ELCA will continue to monitor the situation as it develops when the Ugandan Parliament returns to session in February, and will speak out against the enactment of the bill.

Lutherans Concerned is pleased that the ELCA has joined the numerous governments, agencies, religious organizations and thousands of individuals worldwide who condemn this legislation. Lutherans Concerned calls on all to hold those who had a substantial or influential hand in the creation of this reprehensible legislation responsible for the dire consequences that will result should it become law in Uganda.

See the full text of the announcement by the ELCA late on January 8.

See the full text of Bishop Hanson's letter.

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