Harvard’s AIDS expert Edward Green condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009

The Christian Post published my op-ed this morning regarding the deleterious effects of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill on AIDS work. I was able to interview Edward Green, who is the Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at Harvard University. Green is widely known respected among AIDS researchers and prevention specialists for his work in primary prevention. As noted in the op-ed, Dr. Green worked with Martin Ssempa to craft policy which emphasize abstinence and fidelity. I didn’t add in the op-ed that Stephen Langa was also a co-author.

About the bill, Dr. Green told me:

The bill sounds dangerous and completely inhumane. As a practical matter, such a bill is unenforceable and would only drive homosexuality underground, terrorize gay men and women and their loved ones, and justify witch hunts.

I also was able to interview Karen Moul of the Catholic Relief Services. CRS has received millions to prevent and treat AIDS around the world. She noted that their efforts are hampered by stigma now; this bill will make the situation worse.

Also, go on over to Christian Post and read this article…

Adding D to ABC: How a Proposed Ban on Homosexuality in Uganda Will Undo AIDS Progress

Relevant to AIDS relief work, there is no exemption in the bill for professionals.

Tue, Nov. 03, 2009 Posted: 07:23 PM EDT Continue reading “Harvard’s AIDS expert Edward Green condemns Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009”

Op-ed in Uganda’s Independent: Put down the stones

This appeared on the website of the Independent.

At Uganda Talks we welcome guest blogs from our readers. Today, associate professor of psychology at Grove City (a Christian college in the U.S.), Warren Throckmorton, writes about Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill.

Put down the stones

Christians believe that when Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders of His day, He had just the right response. However, I fear that many of my Ugandan brothers and sisters now doubt that Jesus was correct in His example. Let me explain.

In the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John, the Pharisees and teachers of the law brought a woman to Jesus for Him to judge.

They said, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” The woman expressed no repentance, no remorse; she was coerced to this degrading situation by the religious leaders who used her as a scapegoat and example.

Jesus did not speak but instead wrote in the dirt on the ground before He spoke. We don’t know what He wrote, but we do know what He said: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

No one tossed so much as a pebble. They all walked away, leaving the woman untouched by the wrath of men. Rather, she had been touched by the mercy of her Benefactor.

Jesus asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

We do not know whether or not she left her life of sin. The Bible does not say. However, we do know that Jesus prevented this woman from being stoned to death. She had sinned and was free to go.

Was Jesus wrong?

As I read the Anti-Homosexuality Bill proposed in Uganda by MPs David Bahati and Benson Obua, I wonder if perhaps these gentlemen think Jesus should have picked up a stone. Instead, Jesus intervened on behalf of the woman, was He wrong?

Clearly, He did not believe adultery was proper. But He signaled a new way of dealing with sin, one which emphasizes mercy and freedom, rather than coercion and death. People must choose to follow the teachings of Christ, not be coerced by Pharisees or government officials. The human heart cannot be changed by laws, but through the freely chosen grace of Christ.

Brothers and sisters, jailing or killing gays or those suspected of being gay or those who know gays cannot create a righteous people, and in fact may further a self-righteous people. One may disapprove of homosexuality, and still treat homosexuals as you would want to be treated. Who among us could stand if our private sins were judged in such a manner as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009?

I urge my brethren in beautiful Uganda to follow the example of Jesus. Please, for the sake of Christ, put down your stones.