Ugandas president, Kaguta Yoweri Museveni får protestbrev fra kirkeledelsen i Norge.
– Denne typer lover hører hjemme i en totalitær stat, ikke i et demokrati. Vi håper og ber om at du ikke vil støtte en lov som fremmer hat, diskriminering, undertrykkelse og urett.

Slik uttrykker preses i Den norske kirkes bispemøte, Helga Haugland Byfuglien og generalsekretær i Mellomkirkelig råd, Berit Hagen Agøy seg i et brev til Ugandas president, Kaguta Yoweri Museveni. Bakgrunnen er at et lovforslag om å innføre dødsstraff for homofile, er på trappene i Uganda.

Et liknende lovforslag ble fremmet i 2009, men ble den gang stoppet av president Museveni.
– Vi er dypt bekymret over utviklingen i Uganda og en del andre afrikanske land. Når vi dessuten vet at kristen teologi og kirkelig engasjement ligger bak, blir det spesielt viktig for oss å vise at vi tar avstand fra argumentasjonen, sier Berit Hagen Agøy.

I et brevet til president Museveni skriver Haugland Byfuglien og Hagen Agøy blant annet
– Uavhengig av hva vi mener er rett og galt fra et trosperspektiv, mener vi at landets lover må gi beskyttelse for alle mennesker, særlig de som er utsatt, og begrense enkeltpersoner og gruppers misbruk av makt.

Norges Kristne Råd har også engasjert seg mot lovforslaget og har sendt et liknende brev til Ugandas statsminister Amama Mbabazi.

Her er brevet fra kirkeledelsen i Norge:

CHURCH OF NORWAY
National Council, Council on Ecumenical and International Relations, Sami Church Council

His Excellency
President of the Republic of Uganda H.E. Kaguta Yoweri Museveni

Advent greetings
Over the last decades, there has been an increased global awareness and movement towards a stronger defense of the dignity and rights of all people and persons, irrespective of color, ethnicity, creed and gender. From a faith perspective, this has been a realization of the protection of the inherent dignity of every human being, equally and genuinely created in the image of God. Even when our brothers and sisters from our own faith communities are living as minorities among people of other faiths, there is a strong recognition of their rights to live contrary to the faith of the majority.

It is therefore with great concern and distress that we hear that the Parliament of Uganda is about to pass a bill against certain minorities in Uganda – the so called Anti-homo- sexuality Bill.

Our Lord Jesus Christ summarized the Ten Commandments in the two cardinal teachings: Love God with all your being and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. According to Jesus, all laws and commandments were created to teach us to love. Even to love our enemies. We are therefore also asked not to do to our brother and sister what we would not want to be done towards ourselves. In spite of what we believe is right and wrong from a faith perspective, we strongly believe that the law of the country must provide a framework to protect all people, in particular the vulnerable, and limit the misuse of power of individuals and groups in society. And the law should definitely not promote hatred.

This kind of legal framework belongs to a totalitarian state, and not to a democracy. Experiences have shown that such informer activities lead to violence, murder, abuses and impunity wherever they are introduced, as we have seen in many countries, and recently in Uganda.

It is our hope and prayer that you will abstain from supporting any law that will promote hatred, discrimination, oppression, violence and injustice towards small number of persons in your country who would rather need love and compassion.

Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Helga Haugland Byfuglien
Presiding Bishop of the Bishops’ Conference
Mrs. Berit Hagen Agøy
General Secretary, Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations