As a follow up to a letter delivered to Uganda’s President Yowari Museveni, the board and many member ministries of Exodus International have issued a statement condemning Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.
Due to the continued threat of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced before the Ugandan parliament on October 14, 2009, and bills like it in other nations, the Board of Directors of Exodus International and its North American membership felt a vital need to issue the following statement:
The statement is very similar to the letter which was delivered to the Ugandan President in November, 2009. The statement in full after the jump:
“Exodus International believes that every human life, regardless of an individual’s sexual behavior, is of inestimable worth to God and that defending this principle is foundational in offering a Christian response to any issue. As such, Exodus International has not and will not support any legislation that deprives others of life and dignity including, but not limited to, Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. We stand with all who are defending this basic, biblical tenet and remain committed to sharing the compassion, hope and life-giving truth and grace of Jesus Christ.
“In November of 2009, several of us sent a letter to Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady Musenevi expressing our concerns regarding The Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. The legislation would render some homosexual practices crimes punishable by life imprisonment and possible death. We believe that sexual crimes against children, whether committed by someone of the same or opposite sex, are the most serious of offenses and should be punished; we consider same-sex behavior in consensual adult relationships another matter.
Since the Bible clearly states that homosexual behavior was not part of God’s creative intent for human sexual expression, the Christian church must remain a safe, compassionate and confidential place. If homosexual behavior and knowledge of such behavior is criminalized and prosecuted, as proposed in this bill, church and ministry leaders will be unable to assist hurting men, women and youth who might otherwise seek help in addressing this personal issue. The Christian church must be permitted to extend the love and compassion of Christ to all, regardless of an individual’s adherence to scripture. We believe that such legislation would make this mission a difficult, if not impossible, task to carry out.
Many of us, and those we know and work with, have personally struggled with same-sex attractions and some have lived as gay-identified individuals, but we have since found a new identity in Jesus Christ. We now live our lives to reflect the transformation that is available to those who submit their mind, will and emotions to the Lordship of Christ. We sincerely believe that such transformation cannot be achieved in an environment of government coercion where the vital support, care and compassion of the Christian community is discouraged and prosecuted. In addition, it wasn’t through coercion that Christ set us free, but through the gracious invitation He extended to us for relationship and the freedom He gave us to choose our own path.
The body of the letter is followed by signatures of the Exodus staff, board and many member ministries. I hope this gets to the Ugandan press and others there who might be influenced to reconsider their stance.