Our choice: speak out together or abandon the persecuted.

The religion and society thinktank Ekklesia says that opposition against the ‘anti- homosexuality’ Bill currently being proposed in Uganda is an opportunity for churches to experience some unity around issues of sexuality which so often divide them because, no matter what their views on sexual ethics, Christian leaders should be able to speak with one voice against this bill. Standing against violence, persecution and unjust laws may be the basis for building common ground in the future.

A news release from Ekklesia reads:

But Ekklesia also warns that continued silence from church leaders on the issue will also speak volumes. A failure to speak out will be widely seen as revealing the ‘real’ attitudes of many in the churches to gay, lesbian and bisexual people.

An online petition launched by Ekklesia urges the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who has so far remained silent on the issue, to speak out against the Bill. The petition has already brought signatories from priests, ministers and other church leaders around the world and those who, despite differing beliefs over homosexuality, have come together to expose the hollowness of the religious rhetoric used by the Bill’s supporters.

Ekklesia’s associate director Symon Hill said: “This is a rare chance for Christians of many views to stand united, whatever their beliefs about sexual ethics. Many Christian leaders and groups have already condemned this Bill. But those that refuse to do so run the risk of never being taken seriously in future debates on sexuality or human rights.

“Given the importance of Anglicanism in Uganda, it would be right and proper for the Archbishop of Canterbury to make a statement. It is all the more important given that the Archbishop of York, who grew up in Uganda, has said he has no plans to speak out against the Bill.”

Christian organisations in Britain which have condemned the Bill include Accepting Evangelicals, Changing Attitude, Courage UK, Ekklesia, Fulcrum, Inclusive Church and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM).

The campaign against the Bill is led by Sexual Minorities Uganda.

See the Ekklesia news release here.

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