12/24/09-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
The Archbishop of York has denounced the proposed Ugandan law which would have made it a capital offense for anyone to be gay if they had HIV/AIDS, and would impose a life sentence on them if they were just found guilty of being gay. Archbishop John Sentamu is the second highest ranking archbishop in the Anglican Communion and was born in Kampala, Uganda. Archbishop Sentamu stated that he felt that the bill being debated was “victimizing” and that it was “a diminishment of the individuals concerned”. He also went on to say that the Anglican Communion remains committed to recognizing that gays and lesbians were valued by God.
The bill that is under consideration also places a penalty of three years in jail for anyone who does not report anyone they know of who is gay. The bill was introduced by Member of Parliament David Bahati. His rationale is that homosexuality is a choice and that it is a sin. Under his reasoning, the aim of this bill is to put an end to the sin by imposing horrific punishments in hopes of getting the sinner to repent. It is a case of “hate the sin and kill the sinner.” Of course, his rationale has been heavily influenced by people outside of Uganda such as Richard Cohen, one of the leaders of the Ex-Gay Movement, and Pastor Rick Warren. Both have rejected the scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetic. Both have also had a great deal of influence on the Ugandan law, as has the rather mafioso sounding Fundamentalist organization called The Family.
Archbishop Sentamu has pointed out that the bill confuses the difference between consensual homosexuality and aggravated sexuality such as rape. Archbishop Sentamu gave a radio interview reposted on the BBC.
Picture of Archbishop Sentamu via Wikipedia