Uganda: Rights Not Repression
Uganda: Rights Not Repression
Please Circulate Widely
All My Relations:
I've now received a number of enquiries regarding an on-line petition posted by AVAAZ, and available at this link: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/uganda_rights/ Many have asked if this petition is endorsed by the United Church of Canada, and I am pleased to now inform you that I have been advised that: "The UCC social policy is totally in agreement with the intent of this petition."
I personally have checked out this site, and I am also compelled to believe that it is quite legitimate. Again, I personally have willingly added my name to the petition, for I am saddened to discover that at this stage in our universal struggle to ensure equal rights and justice for all of humanity, any nation would even contemplate legislation as repressive as what the Ugandan parliament is debating right at this moment. As a Christian I am ashamed to have to further acknowledge that certain American organizations who purport themselves as being "Christian", have in fact encouraged the Ugandan government to even consider adopting legislation that proposes to execute persons judged through criminal prosecution to be homosexual, lesbian, trans-gendered, or bi-sexual. Imagine a law that can put a person on trial, and condemn them to the death penalty, purely on the basis of the sexual orientation with which they were born!
If you are not as yet aware of this situation, the AVAAZ site noted above contains background information for you to consider. This issue has also received a good deal of coverage in respected media outlets, and if you would like to read some of this material from neutral sources I invite you to please do so. You might wish to begin your research with two separate reports that the CBC Radio One programme "The Current" has run over the past few months, one of them as recently as the third segment of Wednesday's broadcast. You can reach transcripts and podcasts at the following links: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2010/201002/20100217.html and http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/2010/201001/20100113.html
You will be interested to know that the United Church of Canada has already sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, along with the Ugandan High Commissioner in Ottawa, expressing our collective opposition to this proposed legislation. The Prime Minister has acknowledged receipt of this letter, and indicated that his government has taken the matter under advisement. A copy of this letter is attached to this e-mail.
If after considering all of this information, you are likewise appalled by this situation, I urge you to add your name to this world-wide petition. Regardless of our own sexual orientation, I believe that we must not remain on the sidelines while this outrage continues to fester. I make this appeal to you simply as one human being who believes that following Jesus' teaching means that we are "called" to actively uphold the dignity and inherent worth of every other human being.
Miigwech & zhawendaagozi.
Rev. R. Matthew Stevens
London Conference, United Church of Canada,