Position of ICRCU
Tuesday, 9th March, 2010
IRCU is an initiative that brings together different religious institutions to address issues of common concern.
Its membership comprises of the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, the Church of Uganda, the Uganda Orthodox Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Vision: A divinely Peaceful, prosperous and HIV/AIDS free Uganda
We the Council of Presidents of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) gathered this 10th day of February, 2010, at IRCU Secretariat;
Having read and considered carefully the provisions in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill yet to be debated by Parliament;
Aware of our mandate to nurture and protect the moral fibre of our society, guided by the Holy Scriptures of the religions we subscribe to;
Hereby state that:
1. The Bible, the Quran and other Holy Teachings treat homosexuality as a sin. Both the Bible and Qur’an are categorical in their objection to same sex relationships (Lev. 18:22; Surah Ash’shura 26:165-166). Homosexual acts are contrary to the natural divine law, and under no circumstance can be approved.
2. The IRCU Council of Presidents, therefore, condemns homosexuality as an undesirable evil that should not be allowed in our society.
3. Our religious teachings promote respect, compassion and sensitivity. We, therefore, condemn the sin but welcome the sinners to confess, repent and seek a new beginning. This is based on the belief that all people are called by God to fulfill His will in their lives; IRCU, therefore, decries the proposed death penalty and life imprisonment in the proposed Bill as unwarranted. We believe homo-sexuals need conversion, repentance, support, and understanding and love in order to abandon their practices and return to God fully.
4. Since the proposed death penalty and life imprisonment do not provide the sinner an opportunity to repent, hence falling short of compassion to those who need conversion, repentance, support and hope, they are unnecessary.
5. Even the proposal to prosecute those who fail to disclose information regarding homosexual acts is inconsistent with the trust, confidentiality and professional ethics of persons such as parents, priests, counselors, teachers, doctors and leaders, to whom the sick, troubled and repentant sinners turn in search of support and advice for rehabilitation. The proposed law does not provide for the rehabilitation of repentant homosexuals. Yet as Religious Leaders, we are mandated to reach out to all people of God in a show of love and compassion (Mt. 9:10-13). The proposed Bill also has the potential to destroy the family as it is likely to undermine the important role of parents in providing guidance to their children.
6. Additionally, in our view the proposed Bill may not be called for considering that acts of sodomy are already condemned under section 145 of the Penal Code. However, we recognize the need to improve on the Penal Code as it has gaps which can be addressed by some provisions contained in the proposed Bill.
7. We the Council of Presidents of the Inter – Religious Council of Uganda, therefore, advise government, and all well-meaning groups and individuals to take remedial measures against this evil that has crept into our society by:
a. Exposing the people and organizations funding homosexuality in the country;
b. Providing enough information on recruitment and funding to the public in the interest of transparency and accountability;
c. Establishing facts on homosexuality and gay activities in Uganda and publishing a brochure which IRCU can distribute through its structures;
d. Emphasizing our core cultural and religious values and undertaking moral education in schools; and
e. Counteracting the distortion and misrepresentation of the debate on homosexuality by the media.
His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga: Archbishop of the Uganda Orthodox Church; Chairperson, IRCU Council of Presidents
His Grace the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi: Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Uganda/Member IRCU Council of Presidents
Pr. Dr. John Kakembo
President, Seventh-day Adventist Uganda; Union/ Member IRCU Council of Presidents
His Eminence Sheikh Shaban R. Mubaje: Mufti of Uganda/ Member IRCU Council of Presidents
His Grace Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga
Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese/
Member IRCU Council of Presidents