This month we have 2 stories illustrating the dangers for LGBT people in some parts of the world, as well as an invitation to a weekend conference at the beginning of April, and news of a new and improved AE website.
Anglican Archbishops from around the world have issued a statement condemning the murder of a gay rights campaigner in Uganda at the end of last month. The murder of David Kato has caused flood of messages of sadness and concern from around the world. The statement supports an earlier statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing profound shock and deep sympathy for his family and friends, and says that, “no one should have to live in fear because of the bigotry of others.”
The statement came at the end of a week-long meeting of Anglican Archbishops from around the world, but the Archbishop of Uganda was not present and has not made any statement on the issue. The Church of Uganda supports long jail sentences for homosexuals and opposes any move in Uganda to include sexual orientation as a human right. They also want the law strengthened to specifically include lesbian relationships. You can read the official policy of the Ugandan church here
Sadly, David Kato’s funeral was also marred when the Anglican Lay Reader who was leading the service used it as an opportunity to berate David’s friends who had gathered there, telling them that homosexuality was evil and that they would face the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah if they did not repent. See BBC News Africa.
In the UK, it’s tempting to take for granted that we LGBT people, our partners and our families are recognised and protected by law, even if gaining acceptance in church can still be tricky. However, back in November, a coalition of mainly African and Arab states succeeded in getting sexual orientation removed from a UN resolution which urges countries to protect the right to life of all people, and to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. Effectively it meant that the UN would cease to endorse the protection of LGBT people against hate-motivated violence and murder.
Fortunately, at the end of December, a revision proposed by the USA successfully reversed the decision. A statement from the White House said that “killing people because they were gay” could “not be rationalised by diverse religious values or varying regional perspectives.”
However, it’s a sobering reminder not only that violence against LGBT people is still common globally, but also that it is often still the states which consider themselves to be the most Christian (or Moslem) who are seen to openly oppose measures to tackle it.
The speaker is Justin Lee, the founder and executive director of The Gay Christian Network (GCN) , an interdenominational organization serving LGBT Christians around the world. Justin grew up in a Southern Baptist home in the USA, where he developed a passion for serving God and studying the Bible. After years of fighting his orientation, Justin came out to himself and began the process of wrestling to reconcile his sexuality with his faith in Christ.
A full brochure and booking form is attached. The conference is filling up fast, so act now if you would like to register.
There is a new look coming for the Accepting Evangelicals website from the beginning of March – and are also launching a weekly AE Blog on the website with the opportunity to comment on the postings.
So log on next month and let us know what you think!
God Bless and Keep you All