Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ugandan President claims homosexuality is "foreign culture"
The Ugandan President has spoken of his country's "rejection" of homosexuality during a speech he gave at the wedding of a former MP's daughter.
Yoweri Museveni said the purpose of life was to create children and that homosexuality was a "negative foreign culture."
Uganda is one of the African countries at the centre of a row in the Anglican Communion over homosexuality and the ordination of gay priests that threatens to rip the Anglican Church to shreds.
260 bishops, many of them African, have declined invitations to the Lambeth conference, (the once a decade meeting of Anglican bishops) on the grounds of ordination of woman and gay bishops is immoral and against the teachings of Christ.
The conference began in Canterbury this week. 650 bishops and archbishops are in attendance.
The Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi has already called for all pro-gay bishops to apologise to God. During a press conference he said, "The rift in the Church can only be bridged if the liberal bishops, espousing sexual perversion, repent and return to Christ's teachings."
In June this year, Ugandan Bishop Luzinda condemned homosexuality.
"I have been hearing that gays are demanding that the government should legalise their activities. This is absurd because God created a man and woman so that they can produce and fill this world," Bishop Luzinda said.
"The government should not be tempted to legalise this backward culture which is bound to destroy this country."
"Not all that comes from Europe is superior and must be taken up by us," Bishop Luzinda said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has also angered liberal members, particularly the US Episcopal Church, for not inviting openly gay bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to the Lambeth conference.
The plight of Uganda's gay men and lesbians has been highlighted recently, with high profile asylum cases such as Prossy Kakooza championed by Peter Tatchell and LGBT equality groups.
At Pride London earlier this month the Deputy Labour Party Leader and Minister for Equality, Harriet Harman, was booed over the government's high deportation record of gay and lesbian asylum seekers.
Many gay asylum seekers are being deported on the premise that they can continue to pursue their sexuality in the native land if they act "discreetly".
In 2006 a Uganadan newspaper published a list of citizens they believed to be gay. The Red Paper printed 45 first names and professions of people believed to be homosexual men.
During President Museveni's time in office LGBT Ugandans have been repeatedly threatened, harassed or attacked. Many have fled the country.